Restoring damaged tax records after a natural disaster


January 22, 2020 1:52 pm Published by

In the event that your records have been damaged or destroyed in a natural disaster, such as bushfires, there are a number of ways you can reconstruct them. The ATO is able to help with reconstruction in the event tax records have been lost or damaged.

Where the tax records are lost or destroyed as a result of a natural disaster, the ATO will allow time for individuals to get their more pressing issues in order. They provide support by:

  • Allowing lodgment deferrals of activity statements or tax returns without penalties.
  • Allowing additional time to pay tax debts without incurring general interest charges.
  • Making arrangements for tax payments to be done by instalments.
  • Fast-tracking refunds.
  • Arranging field visits to help with reconstructing tax records.

The ATO holds and can re-issue or supply copies of tax documents, such as income tax returns, activity statements and notices of assessment. If you have lost your TFN, you can still access your tax information by phoning the ATO.

If you are unable to substantiate claims made in your tax returns or activity statements because records have been damaged or destroyed, the ATO can accept the claim without substantiation, where it is not reasonably possible to obtain the original documents.


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