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Deferments And Loans For Fire Affected Areas
March 16, 2020

For the regional areas, the bush fires have seriously impacted many businesses ’ abilities to operate. It is important that these businesses are aware of special concessions and deferments. We would like to encourage you to share this information with any businesses you know that have been affected.

The government is providing a suite of measures to help small businesses that have suffered the impact of devastating bushfires.

The package includes grants, loans and some tax assistance for the estimated 192,000 small businesses and sole traders in the most severely affected regions.

The recovery process from the fires are largely unknown, but these benefits will allow businesses to continue to operate during this very uncertain time.

Eligibly For Automatic Deferment

The ATO has created a list of identified impacted postcodes, if you are in one of them they will automatically defer any lodgments or payments you have due. There is no additional paperwork to do. There is no need to apply for a deferment, it will be automatically applied. Income tax, activity statement, SMSF, FBT and excise return lodgments, and their associated payments, will be deferred until 28 May 2020.

For anyone who has been affected by the fires but your postcode is not included on the current postcodes list, there is still time to make a phone call to the Emergency Support Infoline on 1800 806 218 for help.

If you don’t have a tax or BAS agent and are unable to access forms or business records, call on 1800 806 218 and the ATO will help you lodge over the phone.

Business Loans

Loans of up to $500,000 will be offered for business that has suffered asset loss or significant loss of revenue.

The loan would be up 10 years and used for the purposes of restoring or replacing damaged assets and for working capital.

The loans will offer a repayment holiday of up to two years, with no interest accruing during this period. The subsequent interest rate would be set at 50 percent of the 10-year Commonwealth government bond rate — currently around 0.6 percent.

Next Steps

If you or anyone you know needs this information, please pass it on. We are always available for a quick chat to assist with any questions on purchasing new equipment. Please do not hesitate to get in touch, we know it is important to support small businesses to recover and get back to doing what they love.