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Tax break for livestock producers in Western Canada

Up to 90% of sales can be deferred in some cases

By Diego Flammini,

Drought in British Columbia and Alberta and excessive moisture in Saskatchewan and Manitoba are the contributing factors to why livestock producers in Western Canada are eligible for tax relief.

The relief allows eligible producers in designated areas to forego taxes on the sale of their breeding livestock for one year in order to replenish their herd.

In order to be eligible for a deferral, the herd must have seen at least a 15% decrease. In cases of a 15% decline, 30% of sales can be tax-free. If the herd suffered a loss of more than 30%, then 90% of income from net sales can be tax-free. Livestock producers can request the deferral when filing their 2014 income taxes.

"Livestock producers in the West have been challenged with extreme weather conditions this year,” said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. “The tax relief offered by this program will provide producers with an additional tool to managing their forage shortfalls, allowing them to redirect money towards restocking next year's breeding herd.”

The tax deferrals are being offered through Canada’s Growing Forward 2 program. Scheduled to end in 2018, it’s a $3 billion investment into agricultural programs and services by federal, provincial, and territorial governments.

Canada’s livestock sector contributes about $13 billion to the country’s Gross Domestic Product and employs more than 220,000 people.

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