We hope this email finds you and your loved ones safe and well in the midst of the recent floods.

Despite a natural disaster that has affected 75% of Queensland (not to mention the interstate and overseas natural disasters impacting on our neighbours), the team at elliotts are lucky to be relatively unscathed.

We know that many others are not as fortunate and we extend sympathy and well wishes to all of those during this time.

We also understand that you may have concerns regarding your financial affairs.

Please know that we are here to assist in anyway we can.

Below are some useful tips for those affected by the crisis to help those affected to get back on your feet.

The Queensland Rural Adjustment Authority (QRAA) are offering non-repayable grants of up to $25,000 to assist primary producers in re-establishing their enterprises and will contribute to clean up, repair and restoration expenditure.

Small businesses and primary producers within the listed flood disaster areas are eligible, though the grants do not compensate for loss of income.

Evidence of damage and proof of expenditure (e.g. receipts) is required when applying.

TAX TIP: Clean up, repair and restoration expenditure for businesses is mostly tax deductible, meaning you may be able to offset the grant income with eligible expenditure. Remember to ensure that expenditure is incurred in the same financial year as receiving the grant income in order to claim income offsets.

The Department of Employment, Economic Development & Innovation (DEEDI) is offering freight subsidies for flood affected areas. A subsidy of up to 50% off freight costs and up to $5,000 is available for the movement of foodstuffs, building and fencing materials, restocking livestock, fodder, machinery, equipment and fuel.

Learn more about freight subsidies, eligibility criteria and terms and conditions, including application forms.

The Queensland Rural Adjustment Authority (QRAA) is offering loans of up to $250,000 with an interest rate of 4%; payable over seven years.

These loans are available through the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements via the QRAA and are intended for small to medium businesses and primary producers in disaster-declared areas.

These loans are intended to help with sustenance, restocking, replacement of farm buildings, essential property operations, payment of rent or rates and replanting/restoration/re-establishment of affected areas.

Learn more about concessional, low interest loans, eligibility criteria and terms and conditions, including application forms.

To give aid to individuals and families adversely affected by the floods, the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) has set up payments to give short-term financial assistance.

Those affected by the floods may be eligible for payments of $1,000 per adult and $400 per child.

Enquiries and applications can be made through Centrelink.

If you require more information on the AGDRP and wish to submit a claim, please visit the Centrelink website.

http://www.centrelink.gov.au/internet/internet.nsf/payments/disaster_rates.htm

http://www.centrelink.gov.au/internet/internet.nsf/emergency/qld_flooding_dec10_agdrp.htm

A range of concessions are available through the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

If you were affected by the floods, the ATO will automatically defer the lodgement and payment date for December monthly activity statements originally due 21 January 2011 to 21 February 2011, so you do not need to apply for a deferral. If any later deferrals have already been granted, these still apply.

If you face other lodgement or payment obligations in the coming weeks and need additional time or receive any ATO correspondence that  you are not ready to deal with, please contact us and we will contact the ATO to make special arrangements for you.

The ATO will help those affected by flooding recover damaged or destroyed documentation.

We also have records on file for clients, so if you need copies of anything, please let us know.

If the documentation is not recoverable, we can contact the ATO on your behalf and they will note this on your file.

Most banks and many insurance companies have announced flood assistance schemes including deferred payment periods for existing commitments. Contact your bank and/or insurance provider to find out what they are offering.

In moving forward and rebuilding after this disaster, we would like to offer you any help we can.

There are a number of things you should consider when rebuilding your business.

Before taking stock of damages, conducting repairs and purchasing new plant and equipment, please seek our advice to ensure you are doing so in the most tax effective way, and so you can be protected in the future.

We look forward to seeing this crisis through with you.

The Queensland Government has launched an appeal to help fellow Queenslanders affected by the recent floods. Many communities have been devastated. Some families have lost everything. You can help make a difference by donating to the Premier’s Flood Relief Appeal.