Tag Archive: Government Grants

Key Government Changes to assist Primary Producers

Posted on February 25, 2019
by Sarah Cross
The severe drought conditions affecting Australia have lead to various measures being introduced by the State and Federal Governments to assist those affected in the primary production industry.

From grants to subsidies, upfront tax deductions to discounted registrations and rates – if you are a primary producer, chances are there is a concession that you or your business is eligible to access.

This blog will touch on some of the concessions currently available to primary producers that we commonly see being accessed by our clients.

Firstly… What is a Primary Producer?

A primary producer is an individual, partnership, trust or company that operates a business that undertakes:

  • Plant or animal cultivation (or both)
  • Fishing or pearling (or both)
  • Tree farming or felling (or both)

We provide services for several primary production clients at BLG, the most common being dairy farmers.

Accelerated Depreciation

A primary producer is able to claim an immediate tax deduction for certain primary production assets including:

  • Facilities used to conserve or convey water (e.g. tanks, dams, bores, pumps, irrigation channels);
  • Fencing assets, including alterations and extensions (however does not include stockyards, pens or portable fences); and
  • Fodder storage assets (e.g. silos, grain storage sheds, hay sheds, grain bins).

Tax Averaging for Primary Producers

In the primary production industry, some years are good and some are bad. The tax averaging system was introduced to allow for those fluctuations by averaging your income over a maximum five year period to ensure that you don’t pay more tax over time than taxpayers on comparable, but steady, incomes.

NSW State Government Measures

The Emergency Drought Relief Package was announced on 30 July 2018 to support farmers impacted by the drought conditions. Some of the measures introduced include:

  • Drought Assistance Fund – one-off $50,000 interest free loan for eligible expenses. The loan term is seven years with no repayments required in the first two years.
  • Regional Investment Commission (RIC) Low interest loans – up to $2 million for those within the eligible area map defined by the RIC. Loan is interest free for five years, with a loan term of 10 years and is required to be refinanced at the end of the term with a commercial lender. Current interest rate is 3.58%
  • Drought Transport Subsidy – covering 50% of the full cost of transporting fodder, stock or water – maximum $5 per km and 1,500km per trip. Eligible for costs incurred from 1 January 2018 – 30 June 2019 capped at $40,000 per farm over the 18 month period.
  • Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme – rebate of 25% of the cost of purchase, delivery and if applicable, labour costs for installation of water infrastructure for animal welfare needs – maximum of $25,000 per farm – eligible purchases from 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2021.
  • Local Land Services rates for 2019 have been waived.
  • New registrations and renewal fees for eligible Class 1 agricultural vehicles have been waived from 30 July 2018.
  • Heavy vehicle registration costs waived from 1 July 2018 up to 30 June 2020.

Federal Government Measures

  • Farm household allowance (FHA) for a maximum of a four year period
  • Supplement lump sum payments of up to $12,000 per family/household if receiving the FHA – households can receive up to two lump sum payments if eligible.
  • $20,000 Instant asset write-off extended to 30 June 2019
  • Australian Taxation Office offering:
    • tailored payment plans with interest-free periods
    • more time to pay tax
    • waiving penalties or interest that may be incurred during drought

Accessing the above measures can help with your cash flow, and maximising the available concessions is an important consideration if you are in the primary production industry. As with all concessions, you need to meet certain eligibility criteria.

Governments introduce new measures and change current measures quite often, especially leading up to elections. To ensure you are up-to-date with the current measures and their criteria, get in touch with our team at BLG Business Advisers online or by calling (02) 4229 2211.

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Government Grants for your Business in 2019

Posted on February 18, 2019
by Glen Bower
Have you ever wondered whether your business might be eligible for government grants but have no idea where to start?

Below we have shortlisted five (5) of the top government funding programs on offer in 2019 including online links for further details for each program. Ranging from $2,000 to $1 million, these grants showcase a range of initiatives on offer from state and federal government agencies to eligible Australian businesses.

1.    Research and Development Tax Incentive (AusIndustry & Australian Tax Office)

The Research and Development (R&D) Tax Incentive is the largest single program nationally that assists businesses undertaking research and development activities. The program awards almost $3 billion annually to eligible Australian businesses through a tax offset that encourages innovation in even the smallest ventures.

Eligible companies with an aggregated turnover of less than $20 million per annum can claim a 43.5% refundable tax offset for R&D expenditure that amounts to $100 million or less. All other eligible companies can claim a 38.5% non-refundable tax offset (carry forward rules may apply for unused offset amounts). The rate of the R&D tax offset is reduced to the company tax rate for that portion of an eligible company’s R&D expenditure that exceeds $100 million for an income year.

Applications are ongoing but eligible companies must initially register their R&D activities within 10 months of the end of the applicable income year. The program is non-competitive which means that if your business is classified as eligible then you are entitled to the incentive.

Refer to the below online links for further information on the R&D Tax Incentive:

https://www.business.gov.au/assistance/research-and-development-tax-incentive

https://www.ato.gov.au/Business/Research-and-development-tax-incentive/

2. Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) Scheme (Austrade)

The Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) Scheme is a key Australian Government financial assistance program for aspiring and current exporters. For businesses that have spent $15,000 or more on export promotion, they can be reimbursed up to 50% of costs exceeding $5,000.

To be eligible, businesses must have promoted either the export of goods and services, inbound tourism, export of intellectual property and “know-how” or Australian events and conferences. To be eligible for the grant, businesses are required to have an annual turnover of $50 million of less in the grant year, and if eligible, can apply for the grant up to eight (8) times.

Refer to https://www.austrade.gov.au/Australian/Export/Export-Grants/About/what-is-emdg for further detail on the EMDG Scheme.

3. Small Business Grant (Revenue NSW)

The Small Business Grant is designed to encourage small businesses that are not liable for payroll tax to employ new full-time, part-time and casual workers. This grant can be accessed by eligible businesses that increase their number of full-time equivalent (FTE) employees (maintained over a 12 month period) and register for the grant within 60 days of the employee start date and prior to July 2019. Up to $2,000 per FTE employee can be accessed by eligible businesses in NSW.

Refer to https://www.revenue.nsw.gov.au/grants-schemes/small-business-grant for further details.

4. Bin Trim Rebates Program (NSW Environment Protection Authority)

The Bin Trim Rebates Program is a Business Recycling Program offering rebates of between $1,000 and $50,000 covering up to 50% of the capital cost of recycling equipment. Businesses with up to 400 FTE employees are eligible, as well as facility managers and small-scale recyclers responsible for managing the waste of small to medium-sized businesses. Examples of eligible equipment include cardboard and plastic balers, expanded polystyrene compactors, shredders and source separation bins.

Further details are available at https://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/working-together/grants/business-recycling/bin-trim-rebates-program.

5. Entrepreneurs’ Programme (AusIndustry)

The Entrepreneurs’ Programme is the Federal Government’s flagship program for business competitiveness and productivity. Separated into four (4) distinct streams, the program has a focus on commercialisation, innovation, business management and incubator support and is open to small and medium businesses, entrepreneurs and researchers.

Further detail is available at https://www.business.gov.au/assistance/entrepreneurs-programme.

When searching for funding programs keep in mind that you’ll generally need to meet certain criteria to be eligible to apply, and that quite often the majority of funding programs will require you to contribute or match dollar-for-dollar the amount of funding you are requesting. All programs outlined above are listed on the Australian Government’s official grant finder website at www.business.gov.au/assistance/search.

Speak with one of our experienced advisers for further details on grants for your business. Get in touch with BLG Business Advisers online or by calling (02) 4229 2211 to arrange an appointment.

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