Tax changes & your farm: What’s being done & what can you do?

September 13, 2017

Alberta Canola is a member of the Canadian Canola Growers Association (CCGA) and we are working with CCGA to ensure the concerns of Alberta’s canola growers are being heard.

Canadian Canola Growers Association update as posted on the CCGA Website Hub

​​​​The federal government is proposing tax changes that will impact small business corporations, including farms. While farmers don’t have a lot of time to think about tax changes during harvest, it is important that they are aware of what is being proposed and how it may impact their family’s future.

What we know

The Department of Finance has proposed a series of modifications to the Income Tax Act with the stated goal of changing current tax provisions that can result in “high-income individuals gaining tax advantages” not otherwise available to Canadians. Three major changes being proposed could significantly impact farmers. These include adjustments to:

  • income sprinkling (commonly known as income splitting),
  • passive investment income, and
  • use of the capital gains exemption.

Of particular concern are the impacts that the proposals could have on succession planning, exiting the farming business, and farmer ‘retirement’.

What we are working on

It is absolutely critical that agriculture has a full understanding of the proposed changes and the potential impacts they could have on farm operations. And that’s why the Canadian Canola Growers Association is working with other agriculture groups to assess the effects. Work is already underway, but with the issues being complex and highly technical in nature, there simply is not enough time to complete a comprehensive assessment by the October 2nd consultation deadline.

A 75-day consultation period launched mid-summer, just prior to the biggest operation on the farm – harvest – is simply not adequate. We are asking the government to extend the deadline and have a fair and balanced discussion on how to achieve the government’s objectives without unfairly targeting farms and farmers.

What you can do

1.       Talk to your advisor.  It has been suggested that many of the proposed changes will take effect in 2018. Talk to your accountant or financial advisor to gain an understanding of the impact on your farm business.

2.       Contact your Member of Parliament (MP). Talk with your MP (phone or email are quickest) and let them know that you need more time to understand the proposals and their impact on your family’s future. A longer consultation period is essential.

To find contact information for your MP, click here.  Enter your postal code in the search criteria box to access telephone, email and mailing details for your MP’s local office. If you send an email, copy the Minister of Agriculture ([email protected]) and the Minister of Finance ([email protected]).

3.       Check in with CCGA for updates.  Look for further information to come from CCGA and other farm associations about these changes in the coming weeks and how farmers can continue to make their voice heard.

Thanks to the Canadian Canola Growers Association for generously sharing this content.

Visit the CCGA website for more agricultural news, videos and podcasts

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