Tax-free bushfire tax relief payments

A Bill granting tax relief to a number of individuals receiving payments in relation to the 2019-20 bushfires has received Royal Assent and is now law. The Bill provides that certain Government payments relating to the recent bushfires will be non-assessable non-exempt income for tax purposes. This specifically includes payments made to volunteer firefighters to compensate them for loss of income as a result of volunteering as well as payments of ‘Disaster Recovery Assistance’ to taxpayers impacted by the bushfires. However, it is important to note that there are still a range of payments not covered by these changes. For example, payments relating to employment (i.e., payments made to government employees) and payments of workers compensation would normally still be taxable to the recipient.

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