GST Start-up Assistance for Farmers

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Presentation of the 1999-2000 University of the Year Award and Launch of the Productive Partnerships Guide
August 26, 1999
National Accounts
September 1, 1999
Presentation of the 1999-2000 University of the Year Award and Launch of the Productive Partnerships Guide
August 26, 1999
National Accounts
September 1, 1999

GST Start-up Assistance for Farmers


GST Start-up Assistance for Farmers

The Government has committed $15.25 million from its $500 million start-up assistance

fund to help farmers make a successful transition to the GST.

The Government believes farming organisations are best placed to educate their members,

and others in their sectors, about changing farm business practices for The New Tax

System. The assistance announced today will enable major farm organisations to do such

things as run seminars, answer inquiries from farmers and provide other forms of practical


These funds will also enable the National Farmers Federation and major State-based

farming organisations to develop tax-reform materials for farmers in conjunction with the

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Australia (AFFA). This cooperative

development will reduce overheads and duplication.

This strategy has been developed with support from the major farming organisations.

Major farming groups have formed a Rural Tax Education Committee to finalise arrangements

for reaching all regions and meeting farmers’ tax reform needs. (The Committee will

be supported by the AFFA Secretariat for Rural GST Start-Up Assistance.)

This initiative has been strongly endorsed by the Chairman of the New Tax System

Advisory Board, Mr Chris Jordan. The Board monitors and provides advice to the Government

on the most appropriate means of informing and educating the business and community

sectors to ensure their preparedness for the introduction of The New Tax System.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is already conducting a campaign to tell farmers

how to comply with the GST. Under this new initiative, farmers will also know how the GST

will affect their business and what skills they will need to prepare for the new tax

system. The Board will work with the ATO and AFFA to ensure the Government’s

campaigns and those of farming organisations are complementary.

The Government has made available $500 million to assist small businesses, charities

and education bodies prepare for the GST. This assistance is being provided through:

  • An education and information program on business skills for The New

    Tax System ($40 million);

  • Assisting key industry and professional organisations (such as

    farming groups) to deliver information and assistance to their members ($130 million);

  • An ‘adviser education’ program to increase the number of

    people able to train others to provide advice on business skills and the GST ($7 million);


  • Direct assistance to individual enterprises to prepare for the GST

    ($320 million).

In addition to this $500 million for start-up assistance, I recently announced

that the Government would legislate to provide an immediate tax write-off for businesses

with a turnover of less than $10 million for GST-related plant or new software purchased

before 1 July 2000. This represents additional assistance of $175 million.

For further information on the GST start-up assistance for the farm sector contact Jim

Hagan, General Manager, GST Start-Up Assistance Office on (02) 6263 4405 or 0412 476 517.


29 August 1999