Assistance Available

Farm Co-operatives and Collaboration Pilot Program

Who? Australian Farmers, Fishers & Foresters. A farmer group must include at least two people or businesses. The program aims to support 2,000 farmers within 2 years of the program's pilot phase.|
When? Now, until June 30, 2018.
What?  The Australian Government has invested $14,934,000 (including GST) into Farming Together, the two-year Farm Co-operatives and Collaboration Pilot Program. Your great idea gets personalised feedback by a business expert. If your idea shows promise, it will be considered for Farming Together funding to help bring your idea to fruition. Funds can be used for product marketing, consultancy and research and development.
How? Check out the Farming Together website and complete the Self Assessment Tool.

Small Business Tax Break

Who? Small businesses with a turnover of less than $2m.
When? Now, until June 30, 2017.
What?  Businesses can buy any machinery or equipment related to their business if each item is valued at less than $20,000 and can claim the full amount to reduce your tax bill. There is no limit to number of items you can claim.
How? See some easy to read information from the Australian Financial Review.

Managing Farm Risk Program

Who? Refer to the Farm Risk Programme guidelines.
When? Now. Applications within 12 months of the first claimed costs being incurred.
What?  One-off rebates will be for half of the costs incurred by eligible farm businesses, up to a maximum of $2 500 (GST exclusive). The rebates are not for insurance policy premiums.
How? Refer to the Australian Government website.

Farm Household Allowance

Who? Farmers, or partner of a farmer, across Australia.
When? Ongoing.
What? Assistance for farming families experiencing financial hardship. The amount depends on circumstances and is usually a similar rate as the Newstart Allowance or Youth Allowance.
How? See the Department of Human Services website for eligibility information and how to claim assistance.

Farm Finance Concessional Loans Scheme

Who? Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Tasmania.
When? Currently closed.
What? Loan is received with a reduced/"concessional" interest rate (currently 4.34%) for a period of five years. During this time, interest-only repayments are required.
How? See the Department of Agriculture website for eligibility requirements and other information.

Fuel Tax Credits

Who? All states and territories.
When? Ongoing.
What? Fuel tax credits provide businesses with a credit for the fuel tax (excise or customs duty) that's included in the price of fuel used in machinery, plant, equipment and heavy vehicles.
How? See the Australian Taxation Office website for eligibility requirements.

Carbon Sink Forests

Who? All states and territories.
When? Ongoing.
What? Since 1 July 2007, you have been able to claim a deduction for expenditure you incur establishing trees in a carbon sink forest under Subdivision 40-J of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (ITAA 1997).
How? See the Australian Taxation Office website for eligibility requirements.

Conservation Tillage Refundable Tax Offset

Who? All states and territories.
When? Ongoing.
What? Primary producers may be entitled to a refundable tax offset of 15% of the cost of an eligible seeder.
How? See the Australian Taxation Office website for eligibility requirements.

Farm Management Deposits (FMD)

Who? All states and territories.
When? Ongoing
What? Risk-management tool that helps farmers deal with income variability, particularly as a result of climate and market changes and the affect of natural disasters. The scheme allows you to make farm management deposits (at least $1,000 and less than $400,000 at any one time) and claim a tax deduction for FMDs (in the income year you made them).
How? See the Australian Taxation Office website for eligibility requirements and relevant forms.

Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS)

Who? All states and territories.
When? Currently no funding grants open to regions and providers.
What? Grants to state and regional organisations to provide free rural financial counselling to farmers, fishing enterprise operators and small agriculture dependent rural business operators who are suffering financial hardship. 
How? See the Department of Agriculture website for updates on funding in the new financial year.

Pest and Weed Management Assistance

Who? Initial focus on NSW and Queensland.
When? Currently no funding grants. Coming soon!
What? State government will works with NRM groups and local shires to implement assistance measures to reduce grazing pressure from pest animal, reduce predation from pest animals like wild dogs through culling and exclusion and reduce weed incursions.
How? Check back at the Department of Agriculture website for more information to be released.

Farm Innovation Fund

Who? NSW
When? Open.
What? Loan packages to assist primary producers identify and address risks to their farming enterprise, improve permanent farm infrastructure and ensure long-term productivity and sustainable land use, aiding in meeting changes to seasonal conditions. Loan of up to 100% of the net, GST exclusive cost of the works to a maximum of $250,000. 
How? Refer to the NSW Rural Assistance Authority website for more information.

Natural Disaster Relief Scheme

Who? NSW
When? See website.
What? Assists primary producers and small business operators affected by flood/fire/storm damage or any other declared natural disaster. Loans to a maximum of $130,000 depending on need and grants for those following NSW East Coast Storms and Floods of up to $15,000. There is also transport and additional assistance available.
How? Refer to the NSW Rural Assistance Authority website for more information.

Sustainability Loan

Who? QLD
When? Ongoing.
What? Loans of up to $1.3m (Low interest rates are fixed for 1, 3 or 5 years) to cover capital costs to improve enterprise efficiencies (building fences, dams, storage facilities, improving irrigation, or establishing additional water points), supply chain initiatives, upgrading or diversifying operations. 
How? Refer to the QRAA website for more information.

First Start Loan

Who? QLD
When? Ongoing.
What? Finance of up to $2m (up to 20 years, low interest rates fixed for 1, 3 or 5 years) to assist in establishing primary production enterprise, whether that's buying first farm, becoming a partner in the family farm, upgrade your enterprise, leasing or share-farming.
How? Refer to the QRAA website for more information.

Food and Fibre Marketing Cooperatives Grants

Who? VIC
When? Closes 30 June, 2015.
What? Grants of up to a total of $50,000 will be made for approved activities to eligible cooperatives or collaborative marketing groups. The grants will be provided on a dollar per dollar cost-share basis, with remaining cash funds to be provided by the cooperative body. The maximum assistance available for each eligible activity is $15,000.
How? Refer to the Rural Finance website for more information.

Family Farm Exemption

Who? VIC
When? Ongoing.
What? Transfer of family farm used for primary production may be exempt from tax duty. 
How? Refer to the Victorian State Revenue office for more information.

Young Farmers Duty Exemption and Concession

Who? VIC
When? Ongoing.
What? Young farmers (under 35 years of age) buying their first farmland property are able to obtain a full stamp duty exemption on purchases worth up to $300,000. For the purchase of a single parcel of farmland valued between $300,000 and $400,000, a duty concession will also be available.
How? Refer to the Victorian State Revenue office for more information.

Personal Hardship Assistance Program

Who? VIC
When? Ongoing.
What? There are two categories of assistance — Emergency Relief Assistance and the Emergency Re-establishment Assistance — aimed at providing financial assistance to alleviate the personal hardship and distress suffered by eligible Victorians, as a result of an emergency.
How? Visit the DHS website for more information.

Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities

Who? NSW and QLD
When? Close 31 August.
What? Farmers will have the opportunity to nominate a deserving not-for-profit group to receive one of thirty $5,000 grants. The recipient organisation must be a not-for profit community based group that is undertaking projects and activities that offer clear public benefit.
How? Visit the FRRR website or Aussie Cotton Farmers for more information.

Coles Nurture Fund

Who? Across Australia.
When? Close February.
What? Helps small Australian food and grocery producers, farmers and manufacturers to innovate and grow their business by allocating $50 over five years in grants and interest free loans.
How? Visit the Coles website for more information.

SSAA Farmer Assist

Who? SSAA (Sporting Shooters' Association of Australia) members and Farmers across Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia (Tasmania coming soon)
When? Ongoing.
What? Online network to enable farmers get help with wildlife management by inviting members onto their properties.
How? Sign up and get more information at the SSAA Farmer Assist website.

Check out Grantfinder for Business, a search engine that can help you find grants for your business, in addition to this list below.

You can search for a wide variety of funding available that is not just reserved for farmers, but may still apply to your business — such as innovation, business development and expansion.

Check out L.I.F.E, where you can find the number of programs that Landcare Australia offers to the Landcare community through its corporate partnerships.

Contact your regional Landcare office for funding available in your area.

Visit the ATO's webpage dedicated to Primary Producers.

The site explains the provisions available to help you to manage uneven income flow (Tax averagingFarm management deposits scheme, special rules for Abnormal primary production income, and claims if your business runs at a loss).

The special rules applying to valuing livestock and deductions for certain types of assets and capital expenditure are also explained. See information on valuing livestock, depreciating assets, deductions and offsets for capital expenditure and water and carbon sequestration rights.

Have we missed something? Please let us know!

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