Show download pdf controls
  • Drought help

    If the drought is causing financial difficulties for you or your business, we can help with:

    • more time to pay or payment plans with interest-free periods
    • waiving penalties or interest charges
    • tax incentives for primary producers
    • small business tax concessions.

    You can phone us on 1800 806 218 to discuss your situation.

    If you have been affected by a disaster such as cyclone, flood, bushfire or storm visit our Dealing with disasters page or phone us on 1800 806 218.

    On this page:


    Here is a short video about our drought assistance program.

    Media: Our drought assistance program Link (Duration: 00:40)

    Help for individuals and businesses

    Personalised help

    If the drought is causing financial difficulties we can arrange to:

    • quickly pay any income tax or activity statement refunds we owe you
    • prevent any refunds from being used to pay other government debts.

    In special circumstances, we can release you from your tax debt if paying the taxes would cause serious hardship.

    We're committed to doing what we can to help. Phone us on 1800 806 218 to discuss your situation.

    See also:

    Small business tax concessions

    If you're running an eligible small business, there are a number of concessions that may help you at times of financial pressure.

    Find out about:

    Help for primary producers

    We recognise the significant impact of ongoing drought on rural communities.

    We offer measures to help primary producers manage their finances when facing drought:

    • You can get immediate tax deductions for capital expenditure on water facilities, fencing and fodder storage assets, and landcare operations that will help you prepare for, and manage during, drought.
    • If you put money into your farm management deposit account within the last 12 months you can withdraw those funds without affecting the deductions you have claimed. Your financial institution may require advance notice of your request for early withdrawal.
    • Special tax concessions may affect which amounts you include in your assessable income each year and how you pay your PAYG instalments. If you operate as an individual or in partnership, you can also benefit from exceptions to the non-commercial losses rules.

    See also:

    How drought assistance payments affect tax

    If you or your business receives drought assistance payments from private funds, charitable groups or crowdfunding platforms, the tax treatment of the payments is affected by why you received the funds and how you used them.

    If you intend to use the payments for business expenditure they must be declared as assessable income. However, you can also claim the appropriate business deductions. For example, if you spent the payment on livestock feed, which is a deductible expense, the increase in assessable income will be offset by the increase in deductions claimed. This means there will be no net effect on your taxable outcome.

    If you intend to use the payments for food or clothing (or other such non-business purposes) they are not counted as assessable income.

    See also:

    Help from other government agencies

    Other government agencies provide programs to support individuals and businesses experiencing hardship due to drought:

      Last modified: 03 Dec 2020QC 47234