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Tax relief for New Zealand's farmers affected by Northland drought

Staff Writer | February 3, 2017
Revenue Minister Judith Collins welcomed tax measures announced by Inland Revenue to help farmers affected by the Northland drought.
Northland drought
Natural disaster   Inland Revenue
Inland Revenue will allow farmers to make late income equalisation deposits from the 2016 income tax year and to apply for early refunds. This allows farmers to average their taxable income over several years more easily.

Collins says that this would mean that farmers will be able to better plan their financial response to the drought conditions.

“This is a difficult time for many in the Northland region and those affected by the dry weather will have more urgent issues on their minds right now than tax.”

“Normal tax rules do not take into consideration extraordinary events like this drought so it’s important we provide some more flexibility to reflect the reality of the situation Northland farmers face,” Collins says.

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has officially classified the drought conditions in Northland as being a medium-scale adverse event.

“This is recognition of the extreme dry conditions farmers and growers are facing, and triggers additional Government support,” says Mr Guy.

“Extra funding will now be available if required to coordinate support through local organisations like the Rural Support Trusts. In extreme cases there will also be Rural Assistance Payments (RAPs) available to farmers in severe hardship.”

The announcement follows a request from local groups including the Northland Rural Support Trust and advice from the Ministry for Primary Industries who have been closely monitoring conditions.

“Once again this reinforces the importance of irrigation and water storage. Last year Crown Irrigation Investments announced $165,000 to scope irrigation scheme options in Northland, and in 2015 MPI contributed $75,000 towards a report examining the potential of irrigation here.”