Taxation of Live Stock in Australia: A Critical Review of Tax Law and Policy
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This article was first published by Thomson Reuters in the Australian Tax Review and should be cited as Allen, C., Taxation of Live Stock in Australia: A Critical Review of Tax Law and Policy, 2020, 49, Aust Tax Rev, 49. For all subscription inquiries please phone, from Australia: 1300 304 195, from Overseas: +61 2 8587 7980 or online at www.thomsonreuters.com.au/catalogue. The official PDF version of this article can also be purchased separately from Thomson Reuters.
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One of the fundamental aims of any income tax system is to measure the net income earned by taxpayers during a given financial year. This can be difficult for primary production businesses involving live animals because animals are inherently different from other kinds of assets. Whereas previously Australia's tax system allowed primary producers to use either a market valuation of cost-based valuation to assess the value of their animals, Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth) introduced changes that brought live animals under the rules for ordinary training stock. This article offers a critique of the policies embodied in the Act and its approach to taxing animals in primary production. In [articular, it highlights the outdated prescribed values given to live stock acquired through natural increase (ie offspring) and biased tax concessions that apply to certain types of animals. These tax rules have not been reviewed in decades ad urgently need to be reassessed.
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