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Tax Professionals ready to assist in crisis

Publication date: 14 Jan 11 | Source: THE TAX INSTITUTE

Taxation Institute of Australia CEO Noel Rowland says his members' thoughts and prayers are with those who have been affected by the flood crisis in Queensland.

"We recognise the significant challenges posed by these devastating circumstances and stand ready to assist our members in any way we can," Mr Rowland said. 

"As people in flood-affected areas turn to repairing the damage caused, the full extent of the challenges posed by this crisis will become apparent.

"Some of our members will face unique challenges in running their practice over the coming weeks and months.

"We will continue to work with the Australian Taxation Office and other Government bodies to ensure appropriate assistance is provided to those affected."

The ATO has granted an automatic one-month extension for the lodgment of monthly activity statements and related payments for businesses with addresses within flood-affected postcodes.

The ATO has also announced that it will assist practitioners and taxpayers dealing with the crisis by:

  • fast tracking refunds;
  • giving people extra time to pay debts - without interest charges;
  • giving more time to meet BAS and other lodgement obligations - without penalties;
  • helping reconstruct tax records where documents have been destroyed, and make reasonable estimates where necessary;
  • offering visits from field officers to help reconcile lost records; and
  • helping them claim tax hardship concessions.

Anyone affected can contact the ATO on 1800 806 218.

"I know that in this time of hardship we are well placed to harness the expertise of our members who may be in a position to assist others, by way of pro bono tax advice, extra staff, or office space, which will go a long way to helping with the recovery," Mr Rowland said. 

Mr Rowland has urged members who require information or assistance, or who can offer help, to contact the Institute via Tax Policy.

Members wishing to donate funds to assist those affected can do so via the Flood Relief Fund.


About the Taxation Institute of Australia:
  The Taxation Institute is Australia's leading professional association in tax.  Working together with the tax profession they aim to improve the tax system and the delivery of tax services through education, sharing of information and consultation.

For more information:

Robert Jeremenko, Senior Tax Counsel, Taxation Institute of Australia,   T: 02 8223 0011, M 0468 987 300

Craig Regan, Lighthouse Communications, 02 9692 8811, 0408 448 527.