Many cattle producers in west central and southwest Saskatchewan are once again facing extreme drought conditions, and the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS) is calling on the federal government to introduce a tax-deferral option for those producers who have no choice but to liquidate a portion of their herd.
Scott Owens, vice president of APAS, says this wouldn’t solve any of the current problems, but would at least help soften the blow of making those tough decisions.
“If you have to cull your entire breeding herd, that raises your income substantially and without the tax, livestock tax deferral, you’re taxed at likely over 50 per cent on the income you earn by selling your herd. So what we’re asking for is for a livestock tax deferral, which would allow cattle producers to defer that income into subsequent years so that the tax burden can be spread out over two or three years, as opposed to shouldering the entire tax burden in this, this current year of 2022,” says Owens.
This isn’t the first year this type of ask has been put forward, and the federal government has done this in the past; however, Owens says this time, they’re asking for the deferral for the entire province of Saskatchewan. It’s possible, if approved, the government will only include those areas who reported severe conditions, such as west central and the southwest.
Time is of the essence, Owen says, as producers are looking at making these hard decisions now and they need to know whether or not they have some tax options at their disposal when making these critical decisions.