Support for East Coast Flood Affected Businesses: What’s Available?
The NSW State Bureau of Meteorology and Emergency Service last Friday warned of the development of a rain and a potential flood situation affecting parts of NSW.
They issued a severe weather warning for heavy rains, which could be life threatening and damaging winds, for the north central coast as well as parts of the forecast districts of Northern Rivers and Hunter.
The NSW State Emergency Service has also called on all people in areas affected by flooding and storms to closely monitor the situation and act immediately on any advice given by the emergency services. ’emergency.
In response, governments and banks have announced or activated disaster relief programs for businesses potentially affected by heavy rains, thunderstorms and floods.
Federal government disaster relief
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Sunday that the Federal Government had activated the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) and Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA) for 34 local government areas in New South Wales affected by storms and flooding. The full list of local government areas can be found here.
Under the AGDRP, a one-time, means-tested payment of $ 1,000 per eligible adult and $ 400 per child is available to people who have been affected by a major disaster in Australia or overseas.
The DRA is a short-term payment intended to help individuals if a declared disaster directly affects their income.
Individuals can access the DRA for a period of up to 13 weeks, with Services Australia paying the DRA from the date a person loses income as a direct result of the NSW floods.
Services Australia also noted that the DRA is a taxable payment and may withhold voluntary tax deductions from the payments. Additionally, people receiving the DRA might be able to obtain tax compensation for the beneficiaries, which may reduce the amount of tax paid.
Individuals have until September 20, 2021 to file a request with the AGDRP and the DRA.
Government of New South Wales disaster relief
The NSW government announced that it had activated its Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangement (DRFA) program for 34 local government areas.
The DRFA is jointly funded by the federal government and state and territory governments through which the federal government provides financial assistance to support state governments with disaster recovery costs.
Eligible costs include measures to support individuals and families, businesses, primary producers, non-profit organizations, and local and state governments.
Loans of up to $ 130,000 at a fixed concessional interest rate may also be available to small businesses and primary producers who have been directly affected by a disaster.
These loans can be used to meet carry-on baggage requirements or to repair or replace damaged property not covered by insurance.
The loan program is currently administered by the NSW Rural Assistance Authority.
Support from banks
The Australian Banking Association has announced that major banks have put in place a series of measures, which may include:
- a deferral of scheduled loan repayments
- waiver of fees and charges, including termination fees on early access to term deposits
- debt consolidation to make repayments more manageable
- restructuring of existing loans free of customary set-up costs
- defer payment of interest on a case-by-case basis
- offer additional financing to help cover cash flow shortages
- postpone future credit card payments
- increase emergency credit card limits.
Australian tax office assistance
The ATO also said it would support companies facing problems meeting their tax obligations due to the floods.
Depending on your situation, the ATO has stated that it could:
- give more time to pay off debt or file tax forms such as business statements
- help find a lost tax file number (TFN) after verification of an identity
- reissue income tax returns, activity statements and notices of assessment
- help rebuild lost or damaged tax records
- prioritize refunds due
- set up a payment plan suited to the circumstances of a business, including an interest-free period
- remit any penalties or interest charged during the time a business was affected.
However, the ATO has said that employers must still meet super guarantee obligations for their employees, saying that by law it cannot change the due date for contributions or waive the super guarantee fee on employees. late super guarantee payments.
Contact details for government departments and banks
ANZ – 1800 149 549 – website
Australian Taxation Office (ATO) – 1800 806 218 – website
Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) – 1800 314 695 – website
National Australia Bank (NAB) – 1300 961 577 – website
NSW Rural Assistance Authority – 1 800 678 593 – website
Services Australia – 180 22 66 – website
Westpac – 1 800 067 497 – website
Local government areas eligible for government disaster assistance (as of March 22, 2021)
Armidale, Bellingen, Blacktown, Blue Mountains, Camden, Campbelltown, Canterbury Bankstown, Central Coast, Cessnock, Clarence Valley, Coffs Harbor, Cumberland, Dungog Shire, Fairfield, Hawkesbury, The Hills, Hornsby, Inner West, Kempsey, Ku-ring- gay, Macquarie Lake, Liverpool, Maitland, Mid-Coast, Nambucca, Newcastle, Northern Beaches, Parramatta, Penrith, Port Macquarie-Hastings, Port Stephens, Sutherland, Tenterfield, Wollondilly