Australian Bushfire Relief
As Australia endures the worst bushfires in decades, and with the devastation still continuing, we outline the following support available to those affected.
State Revenue Office Victorian Bushfire Response
The Victorian Government has announced a range of tax relief measures for people and businesses affected by bushfires. They include:
- Land tax relief on properties that have been affected by bushfires or are used to provide free accommodation for people displaced by bushfires.
- Land transfer duty (stamp duty) relief for people who need to replace homes destroyed by bushfires.
- Reduced land transfer duty (stamp duty) on purchases of commercial or industrial property in bushfire affected local government areas.
- Reduced payroll tax for regional employers with a registered address in a bushfire affected local government area.
- Motor vehicle duty relief for people who need to replace vehicles destroyed by bushfires.
Need more information? Follow the link to the SRO website.
Financial Support for Victims
- The Department of Human Services are providing allowances and recovery payments for each state affected including, weekly and lump sum payments. Please refer to Department of Human Services for full details.
- $5,000 grants are being offered from the Australian Red Cross to help households where their home has been destroyed or rendered uninhabitable. Red Cross $5000 Grant.
- A $15,000 disaster assistance grant is also available for NSW victims – Please refer to Category C Assistance for full details.
- There are a range of services available for Victorian victims, including up to $42,250 per eligible household where there house has been rendered uninhabitable. Please refer to Emergency Vic.
ATO Support for Bushfire Victims
The ATO is providing relief for bushfire victims by deferring Business Activity Statement lodgements and payments for those in affected postcodes. The full list of postcodes and deferrals for each state can be found here for Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria.
If your postcode is not listed, you can contact the Emergency Support Infoline on 1800 806 218.
Other support the ATO can offer include;
- Give extra time to pay your debt or lodge tax forms.
- Help you find lost TFN’s.
- Reconstruct tax records that are lost or damaged.
- Fast track any refunds owed.
- Setup a payment plan depending on your circumstance.
Ignore any penalties or interest charged during bushfire affected times.
Watch Out for Bushfire Scammers!
Unfortunately in this difficult time, while there are many generous people offering help, there are also scammers looking to take advantage of those affected by setting up false fundraising appeals for the bushfire victims.
If you are looking to make a donation please ensure you follow these tips;
- Be aware that scammers maybe impersonating well-known charities or creating their own names.
- They are using tactics such as cold calling, SMS messaging, fake website and social media pages to raise funds.
- Ensure that you donate via pages that verify the legitimacy of the fundraiser.
- You can visit Australia’s Charity Register here to lookup all valid charities.
- If you think you may have donated to a scam contact your bank or financial institution immediately.
If you see any scams please report them to the governments Scamwatch website or call the dedicated number related to bushfire scams on 1300 795 995.
Support Contact Numbers
The stress caused following a natural disaster such as a bushfire can lead to physical, mental and emotional exhaustion; feel free to contact our office to discuss any concerns.
You can also contact the VicEmergency Hotline who provide key information during and after bushfires on 1800 555 677 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Need more help or information?
Click the link below to contact us at Plus 1.