Tax ruling to help Sir Ivan fire recovery

ONE MONTH ON: Grasses begin to sprout from the scorched fire ground near Coolah. Photo: WOLTER PEETERS, THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

ONE MONTH ON: Grasses begin to sprout from the scorched fire ground near Coolah. Photo: WOLTER PEETERS, THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

Donations to the Sir Ivan fire recovery effort will now be tax deductible following a declaration from Revenue and Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer.

This week Ms O’Dwyer declared the February 2017 Sir Ivan bushfires a disaster for the purposes of establishing Australian disaster relief funds.

“Following the fires, the Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton, immediately raised the plight of his local community with me and the need to support them in getting back on their feet,” Ms O’Dwyer said.

“I know that Australians have a big heart and this declaration will allow new funds and qualifying existing funds established for the relief of people affected by the Sir Ivan fires to receive tax deductible donations.”

Mr Coulton said he was pleased Ms O’Dwyer understood the significant impact of the fires, which have devastated the communities of Coolah, Leadville, Uarbry, Cassilis and Dunedoo.

“Tax deductibility of donations will assist in raising funds to help people recover and get on with their lives,” Mr Coulton said.

“The Sir Ivan fire was so intense and led to more than 55,000 hectares of country being burned out. I heard how firefighters and farmers fought hard to stop the inferno, many helping their neighbours, only to return to their own properties to find they had lost everything.

“The 12 house-community of Uarbry was almost wiped off the map with a number of homes reduced to ashes and the St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church, built in the 1920s, now nothing more than a pile of rubble.”

Funds will need to apply for formal endorsement. The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission and the Australian Taxation Office are available to assist funds in this process.

Donations to funds supporting the Sir Ivan fire recovery effort will be tax deductible for a period of two years from the date of the declaration – Monday, March 13, 2017.

Further information on establishing an Australian disaster relief fund is available at www.ato.gov.au.

Donations in support of the recovery effort can be made to the Warrumbungle Shire Mayor’s Bushfire Appeal (Sir Ivan Fire).

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