AUS: Drought Affected Taxpayers

Australian Taxation Office

The Australian Taxation Office can assist drought affected taxpayers:

  • more time to pay
  • waiving penalties or interest charged at a time you were affected by drought
  • payment plans with interest free periods
  • adjusting pay as you go (PAYG) instalments to better suit your circumstances
  • tax incentives for primary producers.

Watch the ATO’s video on their drought assistance program here.

Remember to lodge all activity statements and tax returns by the due date even if you can’t pay.

Are emergency relief payments taxable income?

Amounts given to help your business are assessable income and subject to tax. However, if you spend these on expense in relation to your business (purchasing feed etc.) there will usually be no tax associated.

If used for other purposes outside of the business, such as food and personal clothing, the amounts received are not classed as income and won’t be taxed. Deductions however cannot be claimed for costs associated with buying these items.

If you received fund through a crowdfunding platform learn more here.

Can I get immediate tax deductions?

Primary producers can get immediate tax deductions for new fencing infrastructure and accelerated depreciation is available for new fodder storage and on-farm water storage facilities.

Find out about:

Have access to Farm Management Deposits changed?

The ATO website state “Early access may be available without changing the deduction you claimed. Your financial institution may require advance notice of your request for early withdrawal.”

Individual banks have announced Farm Management Deposit interest offsets:

Other forms of assistance

Small business entity concessions include a reduced company tax rate and PAYG instalment concessions.


Call 1800 806 218 to discuss your situation and find out how the ATO can help.

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