The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) has called on the federal government to extend an initiative for small businesses to instantly write-off assets worth up to $20,000.
In a new campaign to #SaveTheWriteOff, the VFF has joined the National Farmers (NFF) and other industry groups, in encouraging farmers to write to Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison, outlining how the incentive program has helped them.
“The program has allowed farmers to invest in machinery and other equipment, which has radically transformed their businesses,” VFF president David Jochinke said.
“The agriculture sector has been given a big boost as a result.”
Echuca cropper Glenn Murrells urged fellow primary producers to tell the government about their experiences, saying it only took five seconds on their smart phone to sign up.
He said inaction was a vote to lose a valuable tax tool. “We have bought items that have been under $20,000, and you get to write it off, straight away.
“It comes off your taxable income, it’s an immediate tax deduction, instead of depreciating it over five years,” Mr Murrells said.
“I know it’s pretty well received, in the farming community. I’ve used it for a trailer and all sorts of bits and pieces.”
Mr Murrells said it also brought the price of some equipment down, below $20,000.
Mr Jochinke said it was vital to extend the program in perpetuity, to help continue growth in rural industries.
“That’s the commitment we’re seeking from the Federal Government in next month’s budget.”
“So we need anyone who has benefitted from the program to step up and let the Treasurer know that this is a worthwhile program and it needs to stay in place.”
The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) last month predicted agricultural production would soar to $63.8 billion in 2017-18.
Mr Jochinke said the forecast provided surety for the government to maintain the program, instead of return to the previous $1,000 asset write-off.
“Extending the program will give farm businesses a chance to seize new export opportunities through the federal government’s free trade agreements with Korea, Indonesia and India,” he said.
“We can’t return to the original $1,000 write-off because that is a sure way to stifle growth in the agriculture sector.
“Why why would you want to do that when the industry is set for growth?”
Mr Jochinke said farmers could log onto www.farmers.org.au/savethewriteoff and leave their story.
People are also encouraged to share the webpage through social media.