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  • Bushfires

    If you're facing problems with your tax affairs due to bushfires, we'll work with you to get things back on track.

    Depending on your circumstances, we may:

    • give you extra time to pay tax or lodge tax forms, such as activity statements or other returns
    • find your tax file number (TFN) by verifying your identity using key information, such as date of birth, address and bank account details
    • re-issue documents including tax returns, activity statements and notices of assessment, for example, if you need to access government payments or concessions
    • help you reconstruct tax records that are lost or damaged so you can claim entitlements including income tax deductions or access government payments
    • prioritise any refunds owed
    • set up a payment plan tailored to your individual situation
    • remit penalties or interest charged during the time you have been affected.

    Employers still need to meet super guarantee obligations for their employees. By law, we can't vary the contribution due date or waive the super guarantee charge on late super guarantee payments.

    You can phone us on 1800 806 218 to see what emergency support is available in your circumstances:

    • If you prefer to speak in a language other than English, phone the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 13 14 50.
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can phone our Indigenous Helpline on 13 10 30.
    • If you have difficulty hearing or speaking to people who use a phone, you can contact us through the National Relay ServiceExternal Link (NRS).

    On this page:

    See also:

    Access GST credits and vary PAYG instalments

    If your tax circumstances have changed because of bushfires, you can:

    • change your GST reporting cycle to monthly reporting and payment
    • vary your PAYG instalments.

    Monthly GST credits

    Businesses making purchases to replace stock and other losses may elect to change their GST reporting and payment to monthly. This will give you quicker access to net amount refunds.

    Changing your GST reporting cycle to monthly doesn't mean you have to change your pay as you go (PAYG) withholding reporting cycle. You can manage this by specifying the roles you are changing.

    You cannot change your election back to quarterly until 12 months after you elected to change to monthly. Also, if your GST turnover is more than $20 million you must pay and report monthly.

    If you're registered for fuel tax credits and you elect to change your GST reporting from quarterly to monthly, you will also need to claim your fuel tax credits monthly.

    You can change your GST reporting cycle, either:

    • through your tax or BAS agent
    • in the Business Portal or Online services for business
    • by phoning us on 13 72 26.

    See also:

    PAYG instalments

    You can also vary your PAYG instalments if your circumstances have changed and will result in you paying too much (or too little) for the income year.

    You can lodge a variation on your next business activity statement (BAS) or instalment notice. There is no limit to the number of variations you can make.

    Your varied amount or rate will apply for all your remaining instalments for the income year, or until you make another variation.

    If you've already lodged

    If you've already lodged any quarterly activity statements, you can claim a credit (at item 5B) on your next activity statement for the instalment amount you paid in the previous quarters. You will receive a refund of the amount paid.

    You can also revise your latest lodged activity statement to nil and claim a credit for amounts previously paid.

    If you realise you've made a mistake working out your PAYG instalment, you can correct it by lodging a revised activity statement or varying a subsequent instalment.

    See also:

    Additional support

    Recovery assistance

    The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) and the Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA) may be available if you have been affected by bushfires.

    See also:

    Financial counselling

    If you are a small business or sole trader and you've been affected by the bushfires you can get free financial counselling support from the Small Business Bushfire Financial CounsellingExternal Link Support Line on 1800 413 828. This service is supported by the Australian Government.

    Counselling and mental health support

    The Australian Government is offering free counselling and additional mental health support to individuals, families and emergency services workers affected by bushfires.

    The Australian Government mental health response to bushfire trauma program provides:

    • access for up to 10 free mental health support sessions
    • Medicare rebates through GPs for up to 10 counselling sessions with a psychologist or other mental health professional.

    The services are available from 17 January 2020 to 31 December 2021.

    See also:

    Previous bushfire events

    For information related to previous bushfire events, see:

    Last modified: 27 Apr 2021QC 60611