A large amount of debris was cleared out onto the streets of Lismore.
A large amount of debris was cleared out onto the streets of Lismore. Marc Stapelberg

REVEALED: Postcodes to get a tax break after Cyclone Debbie

Tuesday 1.46pm: PAGE MP Kevin Hogan said donations to Lismore City Council's Flood Appeal and other flood relief funds will be tax deductible.

"Our community has been hit by a major natural disaster," he said.

"The community has shown great strength and resilience, having already come together to commence the rebuilding process.

"The overwhelming response to the council's Flood Appeal has been amazing.

"The Government is moving quickly to allow qualifying new and existing funds established for the relief of people affected by the flood to receive tax deductible donations."

Lismore City Council and organisers of other Flood Relief funds in the Lismore Government Area will have to apply for Deductable Gift Recipient endorsement from the Australian Taxation Office.

The ATO and the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission are available to assist with this process. Funds will need to apply for formal endorsement via the ATO website.

Once approved, donations to Australian disaster relief funds, established to provide relief in the aftermath of Cyclone Debbie, will be tax deductible for a period of two years from 28 March 2017, the date the cyclone made landfall in Queensland.

In order to further assist the communities that have been impacted by the cyclone, the Australian Taxation Office has also initiated fast tracking of tax refunds for people affected by extreme weather and flooding in NSW and Queensland.

Taxpayers and their Tax and BAS agents will also have additional time to lodge income tax returns and activity statements.

Automatic deferrals of one month are now in place for tax lodgement and payment dates (excluding large Pay As You Go withholders) for people within the postcode of 2480. The ATO's website has a list of new lodgement dates for affected regions.

Individuals who have a business or reside within a region that is not listed but have been impacted by the disaster, can call the ATO on 1800 806 218 for assistance.

Further information on establishing an Australian disaster relief fund is available at www.ato.gov.au

Tuesday 11.44am: THE ATO has advised there will be help for disaster affected communities in Queensland and New South Wales.

Mark Chapman, Director of Tax Communications at H&R Block offers their sympathies to affected residents and is happy to advise the action for affected taxpayers.

Although taxation may be the furthest H&R Block Tax Accountants offers their sympathies to those affected by the tragedy, and would like to advise the next step actions for those affected taxpayers.

Mr Chapman Says, "H&R Block sends our sympathies to those communities in Queensland and New South Wales which are currently struggling to come to terms with the after-effects of Cyclone Debbie. The ATO has announced a number of measures to alleviate the tax compliance burden on those living in the cyclone affected areas."

Find out how the ATO can help at www.ato.gov.au/individuals/dealing-with-disasters.

These measures will apply automatically to residents of affected postcodes, which are:

Lismore City Council

2471, 2472, 2477, 2480

Tweed Council

2483, 2484, 2485, 2486, 2487, 2488, 2489, 2490

Gold Coast City

4207, 4208, 4209, 4210, 4211, 4212, 4213, 4214, 4215, 4216, 4217, 4218, 4220, 4221, 4223, 4224, 4225, 4226, 4227, 4228

Logan City

4119, 4123, 4124, 4125, 4127, 4128, 4129, 4130, 4131, 4132, 4133, 4205, 4207, 4270, 4280, 4285

Mackay Regional Council

4737, 4738, 4740, 4741, 4750, 4751, 4753, 4754, 4756, 4757, 4798, 4799, 4800

Scenic Rim Regional Council

4211, 4270, 4272, 4275, 4285, 4287, 4305, 4306, 4307, 4309, 4310, 4340

Whitsunday Regional Council

4741, 4800, 4801, 4802, 4803, 4804, 4805

People and businesses affected by the cyclone but located outside these postcode areas may also be able to request assistance by contacting the ATO, either directly on 1800 806 218 or through a tax agent such as H&R Block.

The ATO will also offer more time for people to pay tax debts and will offer assistance to those who need to reconstruct tax records destroyed in the cyclone or resulting floods.

Although taxes and obligations of those affected will be one of the furthest things from their mind, it is important we share that there is support and help provided by the ATO during this difficult time.

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