ATO to send certificates to travel agents for pandemic relief
The Australian Taxation Office will begin issuing a certificate of tax information to struggling travel agents adversely impacted by COVID-19 that applied for the one-off stimulus payment.
The COVID-19 Consumer Travel Support Program payment is a one-off stimulus to help travel agents and tour service businesses with a turnover of between $50,000 and $20 million that have had their business impacted by COVID-19.
Payments will be scaled, with a minimum payment of $1,500 for a business with a turnover of $50,000 up to a maximum payment of $100,000 for a business with a turnover of $20 million.
In a recent notice on its website, the ATO said a certificate may be sent to:
- a client’s registered mailing address that is held by the ATO, which may be their practice address;
- a sole trader client’s myGov inbox, if they have a myGov account linked to the ATO; and
- your client mail inbox in online services for agents, if communication preferences have been set for their practice to receive client mail.
“If you receive a certificate on behalf of your client, you should forward this as soon as possible, to support them to meet the application deadlines for the program,” the ATO said.
“To help ensure integrity and to simplify the process, the ATO will only issue certificates for ABNs that have been provided to us by Services Australia following an initial grant application. Clients or their tax professionals will not be able contact us directly to request a certificate.”
The federal government announced the scheme after thousands of travel agents reached out to the small business ombudsman last month asking for help.
Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham said the payment recognises that travel agents are operating in an exceptional set of circumstances where most are having to refund last year’s income while continuing to work with no additional income.
“Providing further assistance to travel agents in the current environment will help keep them afloat at a time when they are continuing to hold travel credits for consumers who have previously cancelled travel,” he said.