Alta. barley checkoff tax credit down slightly

Barley growers in Alberta who kept their 2011 checkoff dollars in the provincial barley commission’s research kitty can expect a slightly lower tax credit.

The Alberta Barley Commission on Thursday announced the portion of its $1-per-tonne checkoff eligible for the federal Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR+ED) tax credit in the 2011 tax year is 22 per cent.

That’s down from 27 per cent in the 2010 tax year and 23 per cent in 2009.

For example, if an Alberta barley grower paid $100 in Alberta Barley Commission checkoffs in 2011 and did not seek a refund, $22 of that amount would be eligible for the SR+ED credit.

The SR+ED-eligible amount translates to a tax credit at a rate of 20 per cent for individuals, or 35 per cent for Canadian-controlled private corporations, so the same barley grower would get a tax credit of $4.40 if filing as an individual, or $7 if filing as a corporation.

To qualify for the tax credit, individual producers must file a T2038 (IND); farm corporations must file form T2SCH31.

"Better focus"

Management of the 17,000-member Alberta commission on Thursday also announced its checkoff collections will now be handled by Levy Central, a service of the Agriculture Council of Saskatchewan that collects levies for nine other Prairie crop commodity organizations.

"Levy Central has an established relationship with grain companies and industry players, a solid reputation in the agriculture industry and a firm understanding of the checkoff processes," Lisa Skierka, the barley commission’s general manager, said in a release.

"Moving to Levy Central will free up staff resources to focus on other issues related to slippage, such as checkoff compliance, as well as campaigns to encourage farmers to sell their barley to licensed dealers."

The move is also expected to allow the commission to invest more of those checkoff dollars in its research and market development priorities, she said.

"Improved check-off processes will also allow us to better focus on meeting the demands of the new open marketing system."

The ACS took over operations of Levy Central from the Saskatchewan Canola Development Commission in February 2010.

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