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Need tax support? Here’s what’s on offer

  • June 23 2021
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Need tax support? Here’s what’s on offer

By Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
June 23 2021

The ATO has published a list of support pathways available to taxpayers still reeling from the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 and natural disasters. 

Need tax support? Here’s what’s on offer

Need tax support? Here’s what’s on offer

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  • June 23 2021
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The ATO has published a list of support pathways available to taxpayers still reeling from the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 and natural disasters. 

Need tax support? Here’s what’s on offer

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has published a list of information and support options as it looks to “make tax time easier” for thousands of taxpayers still reeling from the impacts of COVID-19 and natural disasters. 

“Whether you’ve received JobKeeper, JobSeeker, COVID support or disaster assistance payments, accessed your super early, or had your records damaged, destroyed or lost, the ATO is here to give you the tools you need to get it right this tax time,” Assistant Commissioner Tim Loh said in a recent statement.

Among a number of support options, the ATO has assured that it will accept reasonable claims without evidence for those that have had their tax record lost, damaged or destroyed in a natural disaster.

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“We know that many taxpayers are facing lasting impacts left in the wake of natural disasters. If you find your records have been lost or destroyed, whether in cyclones, floods or bushfires, we are here to help,” Mr Loh said.

“If you have a myGov account linked to the ATO, you’ll be able to view some of your records, including income tax returns, income statements and previous notices of assessments. If you lodge through a registered tax agent, they can also access these documents on your behalf.”

As for the taxpayers that received JobKeeper payments as an employee, the ATO assured that all payments will be included in income statements as either salary and wages or as an allowance. Income statements can be accessed via the ATO’s online services, or through the myGov portal, and should be finalised by 14 July, Mr Loh said.

“If you’ve received JobKeeper payments from your employer, you don’t need to do anything different. We will automatically include this information from your income statement in your online tax return for you,” Mr Loh said.

Similarly, JobSeeker recipients will see this information included in their tax return at the Government Payments and Allowances question once it’s ready.

“If you are lodging before this information is there, you will need to add it yourself. Leaving out income will slow your return,” the ATO advised.

Taxpayers stood down as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic will see this reflected in their income statement. 

“You may have received a one-off or regular payment from your employer after being temporarily stood down due to COVID-19. These payments are taxable and should appear in your income statement and will be automatically included in your return,” Mr Loh said.

However, taxpayers that aren’t sure whether these amounts have been included in their income statement are being advised to “check with your employer”.

As for taxable disaster payments, the ATO has confirmed that the Australian government (through Services Australia) COVID-19 disaster payment for people affected by restrictions is taxable.

“When lodging your return, you must ensure you include this income.”

The tax treatment of other assistance payments can vary, however. The ATO website outlines how a range of disaster payments impact your return.

For the millions of Aussies that accessed their super early under the special arrangements due to COVID-19, “you do not need to declare this in your tax return”, Mr Loh has confirmed.

“Any eligible amounts withdrawn under this program are tax-free,” Mr Loh added. 

Recognising that some taxpayers may need more help than others, Mr Loh urged those facing challenges to lodge on time, regardless of whether they can pay their tax bill upfront.

“We understand that unexpected life events can make it hard to pay your tax,” Mr Loh said.

“If you can’t pay your tax bill in full, the best thing to do is get in touch. It’s never too late to ask for help.”

Need tax support? Here’s what’s on offer
Need tax support? Here’s what’s on offer
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About the author

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Maja Garaca Djurdjevic is the editor of nestegg and Smart Property Investment. Email Maja at [email protected]

About the author

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Maja Garaca Djurdjevic

Maja Garaca Djurdjevic is the editor of nestegg and Smart Property Investment. Email Maja at [email protected]

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