The recent devastating flooding in South East Queensland and parts of New South Wales has left many people homeless, caused vast amounts of property damage and has sadly led to loss of life. While the clean-up effort continues in many areas, there is some immediate financial help available for those affected, including the Disaster Recovery Payment and Disaster Recovery Allowance.
Those who need immediate help can apply for the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment. This is one-off financial assistance of $1,000 per eligible adult and $400 for each eligible child aged under 16. This includes Australian resident individuals in various local government areas who have been seriously injured, lost their homes, have had their homes/major assets directly damaged, or those who have lost immediate family members as a direct result of the floods. The payment is also available to eligible New Zealand visa holders (Subclass 444) who have been affected by the floods.
Australian residents and eligible New Zealand visa holders may also be eligible to apply for the Disaster Recovery Allowance. This is a short-term payment for a maximum of 13 weeks. Eligible individuals will need to be 16 years or over, have lost income as a direct result of the storms/floods, and earn less than the average Australian weekly income in the weeks after the income loss.
Flood-impacted small businesses will receive an automatic BAS lodgment deferral – although general interest charge (GIC) may still apply to deferred payments – and can apply for a refund of previously paid PAYG instalments. Any GST refunds will also be “fast-tracked”.
Tip: If your small business needs help in deferring your tax obligations due to the floods, we can help liaise with the ATO on your behalf and work out the best plan for your situation. We can also help guide you through information about the available support payments for individuals and families.