The Meeting Place

Tax office offers relief for bushfire victims

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) announced on Monday that it will grant a two-month lodgement and payment deferral to taxpayers impacted by the recent catastrophic bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland.

Acting Deputy Commissioner Andrew Watson said that people affected by the fires should focus on getting their other affairs in order and not worry about their tax obligations at this time.

“We have applied automatic lodgement and payment deferrals to postcodes impacted by the fires, meaning if you’ve been impacted by the fires you don’t need to contact the ATO or your tax professional – we’ve already done it for you,” Mr Watson said.

Individuals in impacted areas who have lodged their 2018-19 income tax returns and have received a bill that would normally be due on 21 November 2019 now have until 21 January 2020 to pay.

Mr Watson added that if taxpayers are concerned about their tax obligations, they should feel free to contact the ATO on 1800 806 218 to discuss how the office can support them.

“You can also discuss your options with your registered tax professional, if you have one.”

The ATO will continue to monitor the ongoing situation and make further decisions to include additional areas and/or provide further deferrals as needed.

Automatic deferrals have been put in place for the following 16 local government areas impacted by the bushfires:

New South Wales

  • Bellingen
  • Clarence Valley
  • Coffs Harbour
  • Glen Innes
  • Severn
  • Kempsey
  • Inverell
  • Mid Coast
  • Nambucca
  • Port Macquarie-Hastings
  • Richmond Valley
  • Tenterfield
  • Uralla
  • Walcha



  • Noosa
  • Livingstone


How big hearted


Sarcasm is all very well, but at least the ATO will not be suing for non-payment of tax or adding interest to the unpaid debt. Well not until January at least.

I can't  see the poor farmers, disenfranchised home owners,  who now own at best a shell, being affected by 'income tax'. They don't  have any blood income.




What does happen to people who lose their homes? Where do they go if they don't lop with friends or family? Do they get help with accommodation? Where does all the money go that is collected to help them? Why don't I know the answers to these questions? We are not told, that's why!

But good to know the ATO is looking after them (NOT). 

Ha ha this is funny! I was expecting actual help, silly me!