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ASIC offers bushfire victims help with fees

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Customers affected by this month’s bushfires in NSW and Queensland are being offered assistance with various company-related fees they may owe.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) says it may agree to alternative payment options or the waiving of late fees for customers, including small businesses. This will be assessed on a case by case basis, according to each specific circumstance.

ASIC recognises some people may have been unable to provide necessary company documents, or pay their annual review fee, on specified dates due to fires in their area. They may have accrued late lodgement or late payment fees as a result.

“In some circumstances, we’ll be able to waive these late fees,” an ASIC spokesman told insuranceNEWS.com.au. “Ordinarily, providing information late would incur a late lodgement fee, but under bushfire relief we might be able to review and waive it.”

Fees can be incurred for failure to notify ASIC of updates to company details within 28 days. Company officeholders are responsible for making sure their company lodges their documents on time.

Where customers are facing hardship or severe disruption as a result of the bushfires, ASIC may provide alternative payment options or help companies to obtain ASIC documents and information from its registers.

“ASIC is committed to easing the burden and offering whatever assistance we can to support individuals and businesses in the communities affected by these tragedies,” ASIC Commissioner John Price said.