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  • Natural disasters

    If you or your clients are affected by natural disasters such as a cyclone, flood, bushfire or drought, we can help you manage your lodgment program and reconstruct records.

    We can provide support by:

    • allowing lodgment deferrals of activity statements or tax returns without penalty
    • allowing additional time to pay tax debts without incurring general interest charges (GIC)
    • making arrangements for payment of tax debts by instalments
    • remitting penalties that were automatically imposed during the disaster
    • fast-tracking refunds
    • refunding amounts credited to existing debts when the client has entered into a deferral to pay or an arrangement to pay their tax debts
    • conducting field visits to help with reconstructing tax records and making reasonable estimates.

    When appropriate, your clients may also consider varying their pay as you go (PAYG) instalments.

    See also:

    Additional time to lodge and pay

    You may not need to request a deferral if there is a natural disaster. Sometimes we use a list of affected postcodes to identify people and businesses in disaster-affected areas. In these instances, we will automatically provide you with a lodgment deferral and inform you that you do not need to make your own deferral request.

    If a general lodgment deferral has not been provided, or the extension is not long enough for you or your client, contact us as soon as possible.

    If you have a small number of clients needing a deferral due to a natural disaster, you can request a lodgment deferral through the:

    Requests for additional time to lodge documents covered by your lodgment program will be allowed automatically if your request meets certain guidelines. If your request falls outside these guidelines, we will consider it on a case-by-case basis, in line with the Lodgment obligations, due dates and deferrals – Practice Statement.

    The lodgment deferral form also allows you to request additional time to pay. However, if your clients' lodgments are up to date but they cannot pay their tax debts on time or would like to request remission of penalties or interest, phone us on 1800 700 724 to discuss their circumstances.

    See also:

    Long-term support for your lodgment program

    We can also help you get your lodgment program back on track if:

    • you have a large number of clients that have been seriously affected by a natural disaster
    • your practice has been damaged or affected in other ways by a natural disaster.

    See also:

    Reconstructing records

    For individuals

    We can help if you have clients who have lost their records due to a natural disaster by:

    • providing on-site visits to help them
      • reconstruct their lost or destroyed tax records
      • work out reasonable estimates if their records cannot be reconstructed
       
    • providing information we already have, such as records of your clients' tax returns, notices of assessment and payment summaries
    • speaking with third parties if appropriate
    • working closely with you as a tax professional.

    If you reconstruct records on your client's behalf

    If you wish to help your clients reconstruct their records or make reasonable estimates, we ask that you follow a similar process to ours.

    To reconstruct records, we:

    • ask for information from employers if required, for example, PAYG payment summaries
    • use information from bank accounts where income was regularly deposited
    • consider contributions made to super funds.

    When to make a reasonable estimate

    If your client's records cannot be reconstructed, we will accept a reasonable estimate. However, each client will have to provide a signed letter declaring their estimate is true and correct. We will supply a Reasonable estimate pro-forma they can complete.

    Contact us

    If you need more information about ways to help your disaster-affected clients, phone our Natural disaster assistance for registered agents line on 1800 700 724.

    For businesses

    We can help if you have business clients who have lost their records due to a natural disaster by:

    • providing on-site visits to help them    
      • reconstruct their lost or destroyed tax records
      • work out reasonable estimates if their records cannot be reconstructed
       
    • providing information we already have
    • speaking with third parties if appropriate
    • working closely with you as a tax professional.

    Records we can provide

    We can help by providing records of your clients':

    • activity statements and tax returns, if lodged
    • pay as you go (withholding) annual reports, if lodged by employers.

    If you reconstruct records on your client's behalf

    If you wish to help your clients reconstruct their records or make reasonable estimates, we ask that you follow a similar process to ours.

    To reconstruct records, we:

    • use bank and other third party information, including information from suppliers
    • use activity statements that have already been lodged, along with information from the affected business or individual to reconstruct their tax returns
    • consider all information we have already received to work out a trend-based average, preferably over three years, this average includes    
      • tax statistics
      • other external industry norms and factors in economic events.
       

    When to make a reasonable estimate

    If your client's records cannot be reconstructed, we will accept a reasonable estimate. However, each client will have to provide a signed letter declaring their estimate is true and correct. We will supply a Reasonable estimate pro-forma they can complete.

    Contact us

    If you need information about ways to help your natural disaster affected clients, phone our Natural disaster assistance for registered agents line on 1800 700 724.

    Last modified: 24 Apr 2018QC 43989