More time to repay CAIS overpayments

The Government of Canada has once again extended the interest-free period for Canadian Agricultural Income Stabilization (CAIS) program and AgriStability program overpayments. Interest will not be charged on overpayments until January 1, 2010.

More than 6,900 farms still owe money for CAIS overpayments and 200 owe for AgriStability overpayments. Overpayments usually result when interim payments or Targeted Advance Payments are too high, and have to be clawed back. If you don’t want to be in the ugly position of having to pay back money to the government, you can request smaller interim or advance payments just to be sure. Another strategy is to get as much as you can up front, and rely on repayment extensions so you can keep the money interest-free for years before having to pay it back.

Michelle Snyder, communications strategist with Growing Forward, says farmers who have overpayments are eligible for program payments in following years, but generally, overpayments are deducted from eligible payments before they are sent out. “So, if you have an AgriStability overpayment for 2007, we will deduct that amount from your 2008 payment (if any),” she says. “The interest deferral helps by stabilizing the amount that is owing as it does not accrue interest.”

Note, this announcement applies in provinces where the federal government delivers the programs. (British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador and Yukon.)

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