12 February 2014

Amendments to the Farm Management Deposits Scheme

The Assistant Treasurer, Senator the Hon Arthur Sinodinos AO, today announced that the Government will amend the Farm Management Deposit (FMD) scheme to exclude FMDs from the operation of the unclaimed money provision in the Banking Act 1959.

“These amendments are designed to improve the operation of the FMD scheme and are consistent with the Government’s commitment to assisting farmers,” stated Senator Sinodinos.

“This change recognises that FMDs are inherently long-term and dormant in nature and will prevent farmers’ FMDs from being inadvertently transferred to the Commonwealth.”

This treatment will apply from the date of Royal Assent of the amending legislation.

Senator Sinodinos has also today released for public consultation exposure draft legislation and accompanying explanatory material that gives effect to the proposal and to the Government’s decision to:

  • increase the off-farm income threshold from $65,000 to $100,000, allowing farmers to earn more income from non-primary production sources in an income year before being prevented from making new FMDs; and
  • facilitate the consolidation of FMDs, by eliminating tax consequences arising when multiple FMDs are consolidated into a single deposit.

The exposure draft and accompanying explanatory material can be found on the Treasury website.

Submissions close on 28 February 2014.