Tax deferral area increased for livestock

More livestock producers are eligible for tax deferrals after the federal agriculture department expanded the eligible regions Oct. 31.

An initial list of eligible areas released Sept. 14 drew criticism from some sectors for excluding many regions that suffered from drought, potentially forcing cattle producers to sell breeding stock due to feed shortages.

The tax deferral allows producers to defer a portion of their 2018 sale proceeds from breeding stock until 2019.

“The cost of replacing the animals in 2019 will offset the deferred income, thereby reducing the tax burden associated with the original sale,” Agriculture Canada said in the announcement.

The wider area eligible for tax deferral includes almost all of Saskatchewan south of Saskatoon and a larger area of southern Alberta south of Edmonton.

An area on both sides of the Alberta-Saskatchewan border, southwest of Saskatoon and east of Red Deer remains outside the designated area.

Cattle producers across the country support a plan to lobby the federal government to create a permanent tax deferral system that would apply in times of disaster.

“We want it to be an ongoing program so we can sit down on our toolbox. We can talk to our accountants. We can talk to our bankers. We can decide what we’re going to do. That only makes sense,” Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association chair Rick Toney said in an interview after the proposal was first launched.

“Having a permanent program would also reduce stress on cattle producers, who are facing adversity and tough decisions.”

The new map of the areas eligible for tax deferral can be found at bit.ly/2DdO5ut.

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