Canada expands livestock tax deferral regions for 2024

Jun 17, 2024

Enhanced support for farmers facing climate challenges 

By Jean-Paul McDonald

The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, has announced an updated list of regions eligible for the 2024 Livestock Tax Deferral.  

This early announcement aims to help farmers affected by severe climate conditions such as drought and excess moisture, providing them with financial stability and planning benefits. 

The Livestock Tax Deferral provision is a strategic response to the challenges posed by unpredictable weather, allowing eligible livestock producers to defer income from the forced sale of breeding herds to the next tax year.  

This can offset the costs of reacquiring breeding animals, reducing the immediate tax burden. 

This year, improvements include the establishment of buffer zones around designated regions. These zones ensure that farms on the periphery, also affected by adverse conditions, can avail themselves of the deferral benefits.  

The Canadian government is committed to updating these regions based on ongoing weather, climate, and production data. 

The government has streamlined the process to identify eligible regions earlier in the growing season. This allows farmers to make informed decisions about their operations ahead of the critical summer months. 

To qualify for this deferral, a farmer must experience a reduction of at least 15% in their breeding herd. Also, regions must demonstrate a fodder shortfall of 50% or more due to drought or excessive moisture to be prescribed for the deferral. 

In times of consecutive challenging years, affected producers may defer sales income to the first year a region is no longer prescribed, providing a longer-term relief mechanism. 

Beyond the tax deferral, Canadian farmers have access to a suite of Business Risk Management (BRM) programs. These include AgriStability, AgriInsurance, and AgriInvest, which collectively offer a first line of defense against significant operational risks. 

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