Smart farming benefits everyone
Take the time to claim a refund of the excise duty
May 31 sees the end of a livestock pastoral farming season which presented a few challenges to say the least.
Three drought years out of the last five seasons does have an effect on our urban and rural community, but the law of averages indicates we are due for a good one soon.
I reiterate, one dollar spent in town by rural folk goes round five times.
Sheep and beef farmers tend to have their financial years April 1 to March 31 while for most dairy farms’ it’s June 1 to May 31. Towards the end of each financial year their respective accountants send out end of year reconciliation reminders of what information is required.
I would like to remind farmers who do not legitimately claim a refund of the excise duty and ACC levy on their farm-use petrol to consider doing so.
MR70 forms are readily available to download from nzta.govt.nz.
Before sending off financial year-end documents to your accountant, make a copy of the on-farm fuel delivery invoices.
It is quite easy to file one annual return that requires four claims over a 12 month year as they are broken up into quarter periods, ending March, June, September and December.
It appears many farmers do not claim but it is well worth the little effort to do so.
Employers of PAYE farm employees would have now presented wage and tax deduction and other pertinent information document for the fiscal tax year ended March 31, 2013, to their employees or should have done so by now.
I strongly suggest that all PAYE farm employees get someone they trust to access Inland Revenue Department calculators ird.govt.nz to see where they are at with the IETC (Independent Earner Tax Credit).
If the tax calculation shows a refund, then consider filing a tax return.
The National Agricultural Fieldays is yet again fully subscribed by exhibitors.
Fieldays attracts many rural folk to that iconic event but I pass on a concern about the electronic chip no pin type of eftpos cards.
I am told that they are apparently easy to a scam, even though they are in your wallet in a crowd.
A television commercial indicated to me there is an $80 per transaction limit with this kind of card.
My recommendation would be to accept a few more seconds of time with a swipe card and pin eftpos.
Recent news reports have highlighted foreign nationals’ successful credit/ debit card scams on automatic teller machines in New Zealand, to which banks have urged people to observe and report any difference with a ATM, especially where you insert your card.
Read your transaction statements regularly. Banks are trying to be as efficient as they can, to make it easier and easier for you to make electronic cash transactions.
It is your responsibility for the security associated with electronic card money management.
My colleague, chairman of Te Aroha District Federated Farmers Andrew McGiven, has these views on education and farming:
As an industry we are only as strong as our weakest link, so this is where I believe that education plays its part in assisting all of us in making better decisions both as individuals and as an industry.
PrimaryITO (formally AgITO) in conjunction with Dairy NZ and Wintec have just launched a National Diploma Advocacy Network, designed to encourage farmers to improve their knowledge of finance, resource and staff management, budgeting and all the other stuff that most of us do when running a business.
It is particularly designed for those who are just stepping out in self employment, such as contract milking or lower order sharemilkers, but is also applicable for the older farmer who would like to improve and enhance their knowledge.
PrimaryITO wants 1000 trainees a year to graduate from the diploma programme by 2020, at present they only get about 80.
Just think about the impact 1000 financiallyastute farm managers and sharemilkers will have on our industry. Think of some of the stress they could avoid if they go into negotiations with their eyes wide open with regards to obtaining finance, taxation requirements and the like.
Life would certainly be a lot easier for both these (sometimes) new entrants to the farming sector and their employers/land owners. If we can reduce the number of business failures and people leaving the industry due to financial constraints/ hardship then surely we would have an industry that is truly resilient.
So if you get the opportunity to hear one of these advocates talk about how the diploma worked for them and/or changed their approach to business and farming, please have a listen and see if it can do the same for you. As an industry we need smarter and more business savvy people out there to make us stronger as a whole.