• The Farmers Accountant

The federal election is looming, are you aware of what the government is planning?

The budget is hot topic!

I wanted to give you a summary of the items in the budget of note.

Business Items

1. Instant Asset Write-off changes. There are three changes here:

  • The instant asset write off threshold will be increasing from $25K to $30K per asset

  • The increased write off will be available for small and medium sized businesses (with turnovers of up to $50m)

  • The $30K threshold will be available from budget night to 30 June 2020  (NB, The $20K threshold was changed to $25K on 29 Jan 2019 and was changed to $30K on 2 April).

2. The Government has announced that it will support the expansion of the data collected through Single Touch Payroll (STP) by the ATO.  Many of you are small businesses and will not have started STP as yet, however the Government are already expanding the use of this information and the use of this data by Commonwealth Agencies.

  • 3. Strengthening the Australian Business Number system.  Currently, ABN holders are able to retain their ABN regardless of whether they are meeting their tax lodgement deadlines.  However this is about to change from 1 July 2021.  ABN holders will be required to:

  • Lodge their income tax returns if they have an income tax return obligation;

  • Confirm the accuracy of their details on the Australian Business Register annually from 1 July 2022

If a business no longer has an ABN, the downside is that legally customers are required to withhold 47% of the funds due to that business.  The customer then pays it to the ATO on behalf of the business (with no ABN) in lieu of tax outstanding.

Superannuation Items

1. Removing the work test for those aged 65 and 66 years. The Government will now allow voluntary superannuation contributions to be made by those aged 65 and 66 years without meeting the work test from 1 July 2020.  Previously the work test had to be met once someone was aged 65 years of age for any contributions to be made into superannuation.  Once 1 July 2020 comes, this age will rise to 67 years of age.  (This will also apply for spouse contributions.)

2. There will be access to the 3 year “bring forward” rule for people aged 65 and 66.

Other Items

1. Luxury Car Tax Refunds. The Government will provide further relief to farmers and tourism operators by amending the luxury car tax refund arrangements.  Currently primary producers and tourism operators may be eligible for a partial refund of the luxury car tax paid on eligible four wheel or all wheel drive cars, up to a maximum of $3,000.  After 30 June 2019,  if you purchase an eligible vehicle over $66,331, there will be luxury car tax refundable for amounts up to $10,000.

2. Concessional treatment for forced sale of livestock under the Farm Household Allowance (FHA) Program.  Over two years from 18/19, farmers receiving FHA will be able to exempt income from the forced sale of livestock when that income is invested in a Farm Management Deposit. The intention here is to ensure the FHA recipients who are de-stocking retain access to income support while making long term financial plans.

3. Addressing Sham Contracting. A dedicated Sham Contracting Unit will be set up to address sham contracting behaviour entered into by some employers. For those employers who are paying workers as contractors principally for their labour, this measure is designed to catch out those arrangements. 

The message here is – Beware of paying workers (ie labour) under a contracting arrangement.


Drought Transport Subsidy Increased

The rural assistance authority announced on the 13th February 2019 that the transport subsidy has been increased.  The increase is from $30,000 to $40,000 to each eligible farm business over 18 months from 1 January 2018 to 30 June 2019.   Payments can be made on receipt of eligible tax invoices which demonstrate transport occurring between 1 January 2018 and 30 June 2019. All applications must be received by the 30th June 2019 and all tax invoices for this scheme are to be received before the 30th September2019.

For more information on this, please go to the website:

Drought Assistance


On Farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate

The Australian and NSW Governments are offering a rebate to drought affected farmers who invest in urgently-needed on-farm water infrastructure that addresses animal welfare needs and improves resilience to drought. Farmers will be able to access a 25% rebate on new purchases and installation costs of water infrastructure projects on-farm across NSW to help them in the current drought and be better prepared for future dry conditions.

The On-Farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate scheme can be applied to new purchases and installation of pipes, water storages and water pumps, de-silting dams, and associated power supplies such as generators.   Farmers will be eligible to apply through the NSW government for the rebates which will also cover eligible work undertaken since 1 July 2018.

For more information on this, please go to the website:

Rebate Scheme


Single Touch Payroll Workshop

From July 1st, small business is required to report with Single Touch Payroll (STP).  Businesses with 1 to 19 employees will need to report to the ATO using STP (from July 1st 2019).

A workshop will be held in Nyngan on 14th May 2019 (6pm) to help you prepare for this deadline. Workshops are also customised to suit the software that you work with. 

To book, contact Andy Banks on 1300 232 249 or mobile 0418 413 764 or email