If you were affected by a flood or fire in 2013, the ATO can give you helpful extensions and concessions. This post provides basic information about preparing your individual tax return in 2013 if you’ve been affected by a natural disaster.
Need more time to lodge, pay or respond to the ATO?
- You can ask the ATO to give you extra time to lodge your 2013 tax return. If the ATO approves an extension, generally there are no penalties imposed.
- If you’re experiencing financial difficulties as a direct result of a natural disaster you can ask for extra time to pay a debt that you already owe to the ATO.
- If you volunteered to help with a disaster clean-up (particularly if you travelled interstate) you can also request an extension of time from the ATO
Please note: Granting of any extension is at the discretion of the ATO and will be communicated to you in writing if it is approved.
I’ve lost my income and tax records in the disaster
There are several ways to recover important documents that were lost, damaged or destroyed in a natural disaster.
The ATO can provide you with a copy of the following documents
- Past Income Tax Returns
- Past Activity Statements
- Past Notices of Assessment
If you’ve also lost your TFN, you’ll need to have some other details on hand to identify yourself. Prior to contacting the ATO we suggest you have you Date of Birth, Street Address and Bank Account details ready, to help prove your identity on the phone.
Your current or past employers should be able to provide:
- Pay as you go summaries (PAYGs) of Group Certificates
Your Bank or Financial Institution:
Your bank or financial institution can provide:
- Bank Statements
- Interest Statements
- Investment Records
I’ve lost my expense receipts; can I still claim deductions?
If your receipts, log books and other supporting documents were lost or destroyed in a disaster, the ATO may accept your claims without substantiation.
The claims must be considered reasonable (by the ATO) and there must be no other way for you to obtain a copy of the evidence that was lost or damaged.
(Talking to a tax agent Like Etax.com.au is a good way to get an idea whether the ATO will consider your claims as reasonable.)
Donating to disaster relief Appeals
If you’ve donated cash of $2 or more to a disaster relief appeal, then that amount is generally tax deductible. Please note, the donation must have been made to an organisation that is endorsed as a deductible gift recipient (DGR).
If you’re unsure whether your donation was made to a DGR, you can check on the Australian Business Register (ABR) at www.abr.business.gov.au or by phoning 1300 130 248.
Tax extensions for disaster-affected businesses
If you are a business owner or sole trader in an area affected by fire or flood disasters, you may be eligible for extended deadlines on your activity statements. See our guide to Tax Help for Businesses Affected by Natural Disasters.
Please note: The information in the above blog post is general in nature and should not be relied upon as detailed advice that applies to everyone. Each person’s case will be treated individually by the ATO and any decision made solely rests with them.
Etax Accountants, acting as your tax agent can liaise with the ATO on your behalf to apply for various concessions if applicable. Please contact us and one of our Accountants can discuss your individual circumstances with you in more detail.