Tax Break for Farmers

The Federal Government has brought forward the start date for new farm tax breaks, effective immediately.

On budget night, the government announced that farmers would be able to deduct the full cost of water facilities and fencing in the year in which they were purchased, and depreciate the cost of fodder storage assets over three years. However, in the budget papers, those tax breaks were not due to start until the 2016-17 year, meaning farmers wouldn't see the benefits until their 2017 tax returns.

Farmers said that needed to change, and Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce said he had
spoken with Treasurer Joe Hockey about bringing that forward. In a joint statement released on Wednesday, Mr Hockey and Mr Joyce announced that those changes would now be brought forward and made available immediately. "Australian farmers can now claim a tax deduction on all capital expenditure on water facilities, fodder storage assets and fencing incurred since the 2015 Budget was handed down at 7:30pm on 12 May," the statement said.

"Following broad consultation, stakeholders told us they wanted to get on with building fences, dams and fodder storage as soon as possible. "Our decision to bring forward the start date of accelerated depreciation for all farmers, regardless of the size of their farm, allows them to prepare for drought and invest in the productivity of their farms immediately."

The Opposition's agriculture spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon welcomed the decision to make the tax breaks available immediately, saying that "promising farmers suffering their third year of drought assistance in two years' time was an insult to them and their families."

Beyond the water, fodder and fencing concessions, the government says farmers will also benefit from wider small business tax breaks in the budget, including immediate tax writeoffs for business purchases of items each worth up to $20,000.

Article from the ABC Website -

Media release -

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