The Turnbull Government has announced that donations to Australian disaster relief funds established to provide relief in the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Debbie will be tax deductible.
The Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, has declared Tropical Cyclone Debbie and associated rainfall and flooding a disaster for the purposes of establishing Australian disaster relief funds.
The Federal Member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry MP said the cyclone has had a devastating impact on the Capricornia region.
“There have been casualties, loss of property and loss of irreplaceable possessions,” Ms Landry said.
“The people of Capricornia have shown great strength and resilience, having already come together as a community to commence the rebuilding process.”
“Australians are working together to support those communities that have been devastated,” Minister O’Dwyer said.
“The Government is moving quickly to allow qualifying new and existing funds established for the relief of people affected by Tropical Cyclone Debbie to receive tax deductible donations.”
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission are available to assist with this process. Funds will need to apply for formal endorsement via the ATO website.
As a result, donations to Australian disaster relief funds, established to provide relief in the aftermath of the cyclone, will be tax deductible for a period of two years from 28 March 2017, the date the cyclone made landfall in Queensland.
In order to further assist the communities that have been impacted by the cyclone, the Australian Taxation Office has also initiated fast tracking of tax refunds for people affected by extreme weather and flooding in Queensland and NSW.
Taxpayers and their Tax and BAS agents will also have additional time to lodge income tax returns and activity statements.
Automatic deferrals of one month are now in place for tax lodgement and payment dates (excluding large pay as you go withholders) for people in identified postcodes. The ATO’s website has a list of new lodgement dates for affected regions.
Individuals who have a business or reside within a region that is not listed but have been impacted by the disaster, can call the ATO on 1800 806 218 for assistance.
Further information on establishing an Australian disaster relief fund is available at www.ato.gov.au