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9th January, 2020

Australia bushfires 2020: Relief for impacted businesses announced

While Australian bushfire season has devastated the lives of many and continues to do so, there is help on the way for impacted individuals, families and businesses.

Beginning with an early start to the NSW fire season in November 2019, the Australia bushfires made international headlines, having caused an unprecedented loss of life, property and natural heritage throughout Australia.

So far, estimates for the damage bill put the number close to $400 million, with many families, farmers and other business owners facing months – possibly years – of rebuilding ahead of them.


ATO announces automatic deferrals for the fire-affected


As organisations and individuals around the world begin rallying to support their appeals and charities of choice, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has also considered what it might do to alleviate some stress for those impacted by the fires.

A media release from the ATO dated 8 January this year announces a list of postcodes that will receive automatic tax deferrals – meaning one less thing for those people to worry about.

“If you’ve been impacted by these bushfires, we don’t want you to be concerned about your tax affairs,” the media release read.

“Now is the time for you, your family and community.

“We’ll help you sort out your tax affairs later.”

The release goes on to state that, for listed postcodes that are known to be impacted by bushfire, they’ll automatically grant deferrals for any lodgments or payments due.

And if you have been impacted, but your postcode isn’t on the ATO’s list, there’s an Emergency Support Infoline where you can seek assistance in attaining a deferral, or even lost tax documentation.

If any of this applies to you or someone you know, don’t hesitate to visit the ATO website for further details.


MYOB: Supporting business owners


As a key technology supplier to the Australian and New Zealand business community, online accounting provider MYOB is keenly aware of the pain being felt by many because of these fires.

Like the ATO and many other businesses across the country, MYOB has pledged its assistance.

In a bit to support customers directly, MYOB chief executive Greg Ellis revealed MYOB will waive two months of subscription fees for impacted customers.

“We have been exploring how best we can support our impacted customers who are doing it tough and have identified 4000 businesses are in areas affected by fire,” said Ellis.

“We want to support all impacted businesses at a time when we know they need to recover and rebuild.

“To that end, we are offering all bushfire-affected customers the next two months’ subscription-free.”

Customers who’ve experienced any setbacks as a result of the fires are encouraged to complete an online claim form and share any ongoing needs for their business.

“We hope this in some small way helps our customers focus on the essential work they need to do.”


Show your solidarity: Initiatives for good


If you haven’t been directly impacted by the bushfire crisis, chances are you’re considering how to you can donate your goods, time or money to a worthy cause.

And, with many foodbanks and collection points already reaching capacity, we’re increasingly being directed to offer financial donations wherever possible.

With that in mind, below are a few key initiatives people might consider.

General bushfire relief efforts:

Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery

Salvation Army Disaster Appeal

Vinnies Bushfire Appeal

Bendigo Bank’s Community Enterprise Foundation

Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

Support our native wildlife and lost pets:

RSPCA Australia

Australian Animal Rescue

Australian Koala Foundation

The Wilderness Society

Support for First Nations Communities:

Fire Relief Fund For First Nations Communities

Support our regional businesses:

Spend With Them

Buy From The Bush

Empty Esky

Whatever you can afford to donate, you’re guaranteed to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others.

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