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Tax exemption for business assistance payments paid to flood victims

CCH Parliament Alert

Published 21 January 2011

Tax exemption for business assistance payments paid to flood victims

The Government has today announced that clean-up and recovery grants of up to $25,000, paid to primary producers and small businesses directly affected by the recent flooding that has occurred since 29 November 2010, will be exempt from tax.

Such grants would normally be treated as assessable income, with taxpayers able to claim deductions for the associated expenditure. However, in light of the extraordinary hardship suffered by those affected by the recent flooding, the Government has decided to make these payments non-assessable, non-exempt income. This ensures the grants are exempt from income tax, while also avoiding interactions with other areas of the income tax.

Assistant Treasurer, Bill Shorten, said "The Government does not want primary producers and businesses who have been directly affected by flooding to pay tax on key disaster assistance payments necessary for them to get back on their feet."

"The Federal Government did the same thing for the Victorian Bushfires, so it makes sense for us to offer the same exemption for flood victims."

The Government has also confirmed that the Disaster Income Recovery Subsidy, which was announced by the Prime Minister on 10 January 2011, to assist employees, small business persons and farmers who have lost their income as a direct consequence of the flooding, will also be tax exempt.

Author: Assistant Treasurer, Bill Shorten

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