“When emergency situations like the current fires happen, the disastrous effects are felt immediately and are often uncontrollable,” said Queensland based Peter O’Regan FCA, Chair of CA ANZ’s Regional Council.
“However other potential losses, like financial losses, can be managed and potentially prevented during bushfire season by remembering a few key steps.
“Chartered Accountants are well placed to help their clients and communities navigate their recovery and restructure their affairs where needed.”
CA ANZ has developed the following financial checklist so small businesses can minimise financial hardship this bushfire season:
1. Look after yourself, your family and your staff
It is a stressful time and many business owners will feel the pressure of so many people who rely on them. It is vital to get enough sleep, eat well and take care of yourself during these trying times.
“Many CA’s across regional Australia have been trained in mental health to ensure we are also equipped to support our clients and ask R U OK?”
2. Government emergency grants.
“Particularly for those who are affected by the current fires, we urge you to check business and personal entitlements.
“People who have lost their homes and need immediate financial help may be able to access the Federal Government’s disaster recovery payments which equate to $1000 per adult and $400 per child.
Details of these grants are available here.
3. Safeguard the financial essentials.
“Ensure all your essential finance documents are in a single safe place which you can easily grab should you need to leave abruptly.
“Also ensure your business technology is secure so you can get up and running again as quickly as you can.”
4. Check your insurance and financial commitments.
“Verify your current policies to know where you’re covered.
“Often, bushfires within the first 48 or 72 hours of you first taking out the policy are not covered, if you are taking out a new policy make sure to review the fine print.
Also, the banks have special packages for disaster affected customers. Get in contact as soon as you can to ask how they can help give you some room to breathe.
5. Trading stock, equipment and buildings.
“Keep records of any damaged stock, repairs, clean-up costs or temporary storage costs for insurance, government assistance and tax deduction purposes.
“The ATO myDeductions app is an easy way to keep your records in one place.
“Remember tax deductions apply to repairs, not improvements (there’s a difference) and replacement equipment costing less than $30,000 attracts a 100% tax write-off until 30 June 2020.
6. Engage experts.
“Engage with the ATO and State & Territory tax authorities or work with your accountant to see if any favourable tax adjustments or extensions can be made in your next business activity statements and tax return.
“I encourage you to contact your local accountant when you are able to do so to help you navigate the financial assistance options available to you.”
To view CA ANZ’s full financial checklist visit: https://www.charteredaccountantsanz.com/member-services/technical/business-issues/climate-change/ca-anz-checklist-for-small-businesses-impacted-by-natural-disasters