Media Release

​Have your say on Farm Management Deposit improvements

4 December 2015

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce has welcomed progress on another Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper measure—consultations are underway on improvements to the popular Farm Management Deposits (FMDs) scheme.

Minister Joyce encouraged people on the front line providing advice to farmers to take a look at the proposed legislative changes and provide their valuable input.

“Being a bush accountant by trade myself, I want to hear from other bush accountants and the people who will actually use the scheme what they think about the proposed legislative changes” Minister Joyce said.

“The Ag White Paper is all about delivering concrete, practical support so farmers can build the nation’s wealth.

“My colleague, the Treasurer, Scott Morrison, wants a fairer tax system and we want to help farming families manage their volatile agricultural incomes.

“That’s what FMDs are designed to do and they need to be kept up to date to meet the needs of a modern farming business.

“The changes I announced in the White Paper are a doubling of the FMD deposit limit for each primary producer from $400,000 to $800,000, enabling FMD accounts to be used as a farm business loan offset and introducing early access for farmers to withdraw deposits in severe drought.

“Under these changes, FMDs could be used to offset farm business loans held by individuals or partnerships from 1 July 2016.

“Farmers in drought will also be able to access their FMDs within 12 months while retaining the taxation benefits.

“As of June this year, Australia’s farmers had deposited more money than ever before in FMDs—over $4.6 billion—we want to make sure that this scheme remains useful and relevant now and into the future.”

The Treasury has released the draft legislation for comment. Have your say on changes to FMDs by 15 December, 2015: