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North Queensland Flood – ATO Deferrals

Overview – ATO Flood Deferrals

From 25 January 2019, North Queensland received heavy rainfall originating from a monsoon trough. This resulted in some locations receiving rainfall in excess of 1500mm causing a significant flood.

If your business or residential address is in one of the identified impacted postcodes, the ATO will automatically make arrangements to defer all income tax, activity statement and FBT lodgments and payments due in February, March, April and May 2019, to the deferred due date of 31 May 2019 (you don’t need to apply for a deferral). All deferrals granted for later dates will still apply.

These arrangements are in line with the financial assistance made available through Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

These deferrals do not apply to large withholders (withholding more than $1 million annually or are part of a corporate group).

Employers will still need to meet their superannuation guarantee obligations for their employees.  The ATO cannot vary the contribution due date or waive the Superannuation Guarantee Charge on late super guarantee payments.

If employers or Digital Service Providers in the affected areas have a deferral for Single Touch Payroll (STP) reporting and it is due to expire, then the ATO will provide an automatic extension to the deferral.

If you have a tax debt or overdue lodgment and your business or residential address is within the identified impacted postcodes, the ATO will defer recovery and other action until after 31 May 2019.

Pay as you go instalments

If you are a quarterly pay as you go (PAYG) instalments payer you can:

  • Vary your PAYG instalments to nil on your activity statement for the December 2018 quarter
  • Claim a credit (at item 5B) on your December 2018 activity statement (i.e. September 2018 quarter)

If you’ve already lodged your December 2018 activity statement, you can still vary the instalment or claim a credit by revising your activity statement by the deferred due date of 31 May 2019. You can also vary your PAYG instalments in future periods.

The ATO will not apply penalties or interest to varied instalments for taxpayers within the impacted postcodes in the 2019 financial year.

Fast tracking refunds

If you are in one of the identified impacted postcodes, the ATO will automatically fast track refunds.

Monthly GST credits

Businesses that are making purchases in coming months to replace stock and other losses can elect to change the GST reporting cycle to monthly in order to get quicker access to net amount refunds.

Changing your GST reporting cycle to monthly does not require you to change your PAYG Withholding reporting cycle. You can manage this by specifying the roles you are changing. If you elect monthly reporting now, your monthly reporting will start on 1 April 2019.

If your GST turnover is more than $20 million, you cannot change your election back to quarterly until 12 months after you elected to change to monthly.  This will also require to you lodge your fuel tax obligations monthly (if registered).

Affected flood postcodes

Following are the local government areas and postcodes in Queensland that have been granted disaster funding.

Please click here to view a list of eligible post codes.

Additional postcodes may be added to the list once damage assessments have been finalised.

Griffin & Associates

If you are affected by this flood disaster and you need further assistance, or your business is affected but is outside the identified postcodes, please contact our office.

Source – Australian Taxation Office

Date – 21/03/2019

Griffin & Associates

79 Denham St, Townsville City QLD 4810

Phone 07 4772 6588

Chartered Accountants