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Farm Management Grants

Farm Management Grants are now available to assist eligible primary producers or their relatives offset the costs of professional advice associated with succession planning. 

The Queensland Government, through the Queensland Rural Adjustment Authority (QRAA), have introduced the scheme in a bid to help tackle family business and succession planning.

Rebates of up to 50% of the amount paid for professional advice, to a maximum of $2,500 for each financial year of the scheme, are available. Costs eligible for the rebate include those for professional advice provided by solicitors.

Succession and estate planning is a complex process that requires good communication and planning.  Such planning in family farming businesses has its own additional complexities in juggling the needs and wants of the retiring generation, new farmers and their partners and siblings. Add to this often a long, multi-generational family history and family members at different ages, stages and involvement. Succession and estate planning in a family farming business requires careful and deliberate planning.

A succession plan could include any combination of the below documents, depending on individual circumstances:
•    A heads of agreement;
•    Amendments to constitutions and trust deeds;
•    Shareholder and partnership agreements;
•    Certain option and buy/sell agreements;
•    Property transfers and other forms of property agreements or dealings including leases, licensing, agistment and share farming agreements;
•    Binding financial agreements;
•    Wills , enduring powers of attorney  and binding death benefit nominations  to deal with any superannuation.

Now is a great time for primary producers and their families to take advantage of the Farm Management Grant and seek professional advice about succession planning and intergenerational transfer of farm businesses.  Each family member could be eligible to claim the grant (for example, Mum, Dad and 2 children could each obtain advice and receive $10,000 in grants per year between them).

 

Click here for more information on the QRAA or click here to apply online for reimbursement and even pre-approval of the grants.  Applications for the scheme close on 30 June 2019, or sooner if the funding allocation is reached.

These grants form part of the Queensland Government’s Rural Assistance Package, which was designed to assist rural producers across Queensland affected by debt and drought. A large part of the Package has been the removal of transfer duty on all familial property transfers of ‘business property’ (land used to carry on a primary production business and personal property used to carry on the business on the land).  

The transfer duty concession is available for the transfer of business property including land primarily used to carry on a primary production business where:
1.    The party directing the transfer (the transferor) is a defined relative of the transferee;
2.    The transferee is transferred the property in their personal capacity (or as trustee in limited cases);
3.    The business of primary production is carried on by the defined relative, either alone or with others; and,
4.    The transferee intends on carrying on the business of primary production, either alone or with others.

If the above requirements are satisfied, section 105 of the Duties Act provides that regardless of the consideration paid between the parties (for the purposes of calculating transfer duty liability), the dutiable value will be taken to be nil.

To find out how we can assist you with succession and estate planning in your farming business or to find out more information about the concession for transfers of family primary production businesses, contact us on 07 5443 9988 or [email protected].

Argon Law is a Sunshine Coast law firm based in Maroochydore.  We are commercial lawyers with many years of experience in succession and estate planning and are eager to assist you in any way we can.

Always ensure you seek professional advice for your specific circumstances.  The above is not advice and is intended to be general in nature only.

 

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