The government has a number of different packages in place to help farmers during these uncertain times.
Instant Asset write-off increased
On the 12th of March 2020 the government announced a stimulus package for Australian businesses to keep the economy moving forwards. The package includes several elements to help businesses invest in their success during these challenging times.
At its core, $700 million from this stimulus package is dedicated to increasing the instant asset write-off threshold from $30,000 to $150,000. This has also been expanded to include businesses with an aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50 million).
Assets that can be immediately written off in the stimulus package include items like a concrete tank for a builder, a tractor for a farming business, and a truck for a delivery business. These measures are designed to support over 3.5 million businesses – over 99% of all the businesses in Australia.
Find out more about instant asset write-offs here.
Government-supported tax advantage
On May 12th 2015, Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey announced $70 million for farmers to encourage drought preparedness. The Government will provide an immediate tax deduction for water facilities and allow farmers to depreciate over three years capital expenditure on fodder storage assets. This was originally commencing on July 1 2016.
At the National Press Club in Canberra on May 27, Hon Barnaby Joyce, Minister for Agriculture, and the Hon Bruce Billson, Minister for Small Business confirmed the program would now be in effect from May 12 2015.
What does this mean for you?
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.
NSW GOVERNMENT Rural Assistance Authority (RAA)
For more than 30 years, the RAA has helped farm businesses and rural communities become more resilient, self-reliant and sustainable. The RAA works within the NSW Department of Primary Industries to provide funding and financial assistance to farmers.
Farm Innovation Fund
The Farm Innovation Fund is part of the NSW Government's Drought Strategy and is a long term, low-interest rate loan for NSW farmers for permanent on-farm infrastructure. The Farm Innovation Fund helps farmers to improve farm productivity, manage adverse seasonal conditions, and ensure long term sustainability.
The NSW Government has committed $1 billion to the Farm Innovation Fund under the Emergency Drought Relief Package 2019-20.
From 1 July 2019, farmers can borrow up to a maximum of $1 million per project, with a total of $1,000,000 outstanding at any one time to build on-farm infrastructure, including stock containment areas. In addition, interest charges on Farm Innovation Fund loans for the 2019-20 financial year will be waived.
Find out more and apply here.
Grants for bushfire-affected farmers
The Rural Assistance Authority is also offering a special bushfire disaster grant for eligible primary producers in impacted local government areas (LGAs). Grants of up to $75,000 are available.
Find out if you are eligible here.
Drought Assistance Fund
The NSW Government is offering $50,000 interest-free loans to primary producers to implement systems and management practices that enhance the sustainability of their farm business. The loan term is seven years with no repayments required in the first two years. The loan funds:
- The transport of stock, fodder and water.
- Genetic banking of breeding herds.
- Installation of on-farm fodder and water infrastructure.
- Activities that promote profitability and resilience as a result of the on-farm investment.
Learn more about this fund here.
Emergency Drought Transport Subsidy
The Emergency Drought Relief Package 2019-20 includes $106 million for Drought Transport Subsidies.
The subsidy can be applied to the cost of transporting: fodder, water to a property for stock or domestic use, stock to and from agistment, stock to sale or slaughter. For applications received from 1 July 2019, the subsidy also includes transporting of farm chemicals, fertiliser and seed to farms.
Find out more about this subsidy and see if you're eligible here.
Low interest loans
Are you needing a loan for your next shed? You may be eligible for a low interest loan through the Rural Assistance Authority.
New South Wales
The Farm Innovation Fund is an incentive-based initiative to assist farmers within New South Wales to identify and address risks to their farming enterprises, improve permanent farm infrastructure, ensure long term productivity and sustainable land use plus aiding in meeting changes to seasonal conditions.
Funding by way of a loan is available to meet the cost of carrying out permanent capital works that will have a significant beneficial impact on the land, long term profitability of the enterprise and address adverse seasonal conditions.
For more information please visit the New South Wales Rural Assistance Authority website.
The Sustainability Loan provides Queensland farmers with finance up to $1,300,000 to cover capital costs to achieve a more productive and sustainable primary production enterprise. Make your land work better for you by building fences, dams, storage facilities, improving irrigation, or establishing additional water points. Implement on-farm value adding or supply chain initiatives to ensure your enterprise continues to be successful for years to come.
For more information please visit the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority website.
Did you know that you could get finance from a bank for your shed? While you would still need to pay for anything that's permanent i.e. concrete slabs and piers, you may be eligible for a chattel mortgage for something classed as a demountable building like a shed.
For advice on this type of finance for a shed, it's best to talk to your bank to confirm your eligibility.