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Capital gains inclusion rate changes will increase family farm taxes by 30 per cent

Family-run grain farm operations will be the biggest losers when it comes to proposed tax changes.

The Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) have concluded weeks of research and consultations with tax accountants on the capital gains inclusion rate.

With the increase set to take effect on Jun. 25, GGC executive director Kyle Larkin said the group is asking the federal government to exempt intergenerational transfers and allow them to be taxed at the original capital gains inclusion rate.

The research said the average grain farm in Canada, most of which are family owned and operated, will see the increase. According to GGC, an 800-acre farm purchased in 1996 in Ontario would incur nearly $1.2 million in additional taxes if sold today, while a 4,000-acre farm in Saskatchewan would face an increase of just over $900,000.

With roughly 40 per cent of farmers nearing retirement over the next decade, Larkin said the tax increase introduces substantial uncertainty in retirement planning.

“Our research shows that an average grain farm in Canada, most of which are family owned, will see a tax increase of 30 per cent due to the two-thirds capital gains inclusion rate,” Larkin said. “This hike targets farmers’ retirement plans, complicates intergenerational transfers, and threatens the long-term viability of family farms across the country.”

In farming communities, there is a common saying that farmers are “cash poor, asset rich.” Farmers regularly invest in their operations, by expanding their acreage, upgrading grain bins, and purchasing the newest and most innovative equipment, such as tractors or combines, according to Larkin.

“A 30 per cent increase in taxes on the family farm also dramatically increases the cost of farms, pricing out many families. This puts the family farm at risk, as the only ones that will be able to afford to pay millions of extra dollars will either be corporate farms or development companies,” he said.

Canada is experiencing a decline in family-owned farms, with a two per cent decrease between 2016 and 2021, according to most recent data from Statistics Canada.

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