With the recent bushfires devastating many parts of Australia, it is not a top priority to be thinking of tax obligations, either personal or business related.
In the event that your records have been damaged or destroyed in a natural disaster, such as bushfires, there are a number of ways you can reconstruct them. The ATO is able to help with reconstruction in the event tax records have been lost or damaged. Where the tax records are lost or destroyed as a result of a natural disaster, the ATO will allow time for individuals to get their more pressing issues in order. They provide support by:
- Allowing lodgment deferrals of activity statements or tax returns without penalties.
- Allowing additional time to pay tax debts without incurring general interest charges.
- Making arrangements for tax payments to be done by instalments.
- Fast-tracking refunds.
- Arranging field visits to help with reconstructing tax records.
The ATO holds and can re-issue or supply copies of tax documents, such as:
- Income tax returns.
- Activity statements.
- Notices of assessment.
If you have lost your TFN, you can still access your tax information by phoning the ATO. They will allow for other information to verify identity, such as an individual’s date of birth, address or bank account details.
Employers should have copies of individuals’ PAYG payment summaries and banks should be able to provide bank records that have been destroyed. Registered agents may also have copies of individual records. In the event your bank charges a fee for replacing bank records and other services to help reconstruct records or provide information due to a disaster, individuals can claim a deduction in the income year that those fees are charged.
If you are unable to substantiate claims made in your tax returns or activity statements because records have been damaged or destroyed, the ATO can accept the claim without substantiation, where it is not reasonably possible to obtain the original documents.
If you have any questions about the information above please contact the team at Abbotts, we will be happy to assist you. You can find details to get in touch with us on our contact us page.