H&R Block sends our sympathies to those communities in Victoria and Western Australia which are currently struggling to come to terms with destructive bushfires.

The ATO has announced a number of measures to alleviate the tax compliance burden on those living in the fire affected areas.

The measures apply to those areas affected by the Otway Ranges fire in Victoria and the Waroona fire in Western Australia.

For those living in postcode areas 3234 (Wye River and Separation Creek) and 6218 (Yarloop):

  • Tax refunds will be fast-tracked
  • Lodgment and payment dates for income tax returns due between January and March 2016 and activity statements due in December 2015, January 2016 and February 2016 have been automatically deferred to 28 April 2016

Both measures will apply automatically to residents of affected postcodes. People and businesses affected by the fires 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 allow more time to pay tax debts and will offer assistance to those who need to reconstruct tax records destroyed in the fires.