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By Haruna Kobayashi, for ExpatBriefing.com
16 January, 2017
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has issued further details of the Government's proposal to grant tax relief for certain ex gratia disaster assistance payments.
As part of the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook, the Government announced that it will provide ongoing tax relief in relation to ex gratia disaster assistance payments made to New Zealand Special Class Visa (subclass 444) holders. This visa lets New Zealand citizens visit, study, stay, and work in Australia.
The ATO explained that the Government will exempt ex gratia Disaster Recovery Payments from income tax and make a tax offset available for ex gratia Income Support Allowance payments. It said that these ex gratia payments are equivalent to the tax-exempt Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment and Disaster Recovery Allowance, respectively, which are made to Australians.
All of these payments provide financial assistance to individuals who are negatively affected by a disaster occurring in Australia.
The ATO said that making the tax relief ongoing will remove the need for periodic amendments and will provide greater certainty to recipients.
The Government will provide this tax relief for the 2014-15 financial year and all following financial years.
Legislation to implement the measure is currently before the House of Representatives. The change will take effect from the date of Royal Assent.
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