Alberta grain farmers are asking the federal government to rethink a tax change proposal they say could have significant negative consequences for their industry.
In last week’s federal budget, the Trudeau Liberals unveiled a proposal to do away with the deferred payment program on sales for barley, wheat, oats, flaxseed, canola, and rye. The program, which has been in place for decades, allows farmers to defer a portion of their income into the following year in order to balance their farm revenue and avoid an unusually hefty tax bill.
“Some years we’ll have a great crop, the next year we’ll have a hailstorm and get wiped out. Our production can vary quite a bit,” said Kevin Auch, chair of the Alberta Wheat Commission. “So deferring a portion of our income from grain sales in a good year is just a tool we can use. It’s not like tax evasion — we can only do it for one year. But it just allows us to level things out a little bit.”
In the budget document, the federal government says the tax deferral system for grain crop sales is a holdover from the days of the single-desk Canadian Wheat Board. It states that now that the CWB has been commercialized and grain delivery is the responsibility of private business, the deferral system is out of step from the general rule for other taxpayers, who must claim the amount of a security or other evidence of indebtedness as income in the year in which it is…
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