Published in Courier Mail, January 31, 2011

Keep your receipts because some of your flood recovery costs could be tax deductible. That’s the advice for small businesses from Brisbane accountancy firm elliotts in the wake of fears that many would not survive the flood crisis.

Managing Partner Matthew Schlyder said flood-affected businesses should consult their accountant to ensure they were being tax effective in their recovery actions. He said many businesses were not aware that their clean-up, repair and restoration expenditure was mostly tax deductible.

The firm warned that many businesses, including those with flood-insured premises and stock, were vulnerable over the next few months. “Many businesses fail to insure themselves for loss of income due to natural disaster,” he said.

“Countless other businesses that may not have been directly affected by the flood will still find their revenue slump, because their flood-affected customer base is struggling financially.”

He said businesses needed to consider the unthinkable in financial plans and create a strategy for when disaster strikes, including thorough insurance coverage and document management systems.

Small businesses in disaster areas could tap into the $25,000 non-repayable National Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements being run through the Queensland Rural Adjustment Authority,” he said.

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

QRAA said the $25,000 grants were now available in the Local Government Areas of Balonne, Banana, Barcaldine, Blackall Tambo, Brisbane, Bundaberg, Central Highlands, Cherbourg, Fraser Coast, Gladstone, Goondiwindi, Gympie, Ipswich, Isaac, Lockyer Valley, Maranoa, Moreton Bay, North Burnett, Rockhampton, Scenic Rim, Somerset, South Burnett, Southern Downs, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, Western Downs and Woorabinda.

Also available was the QRAA’s loan option of up to $250,000 at an interest rate of 4 per cent – payable over seven years.

The Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation was also offering subsidies of up to 50 per cent off freight costs and up to $5000 for movement of foodstuffs, building and fencing materials, restocking livestock, fodder, machinery, equipment and fuel.