Conservation Tillage Refundable Tax Offset

​​On 17 July 2014, the Senate passed legislation to repeal the Carbon Tax.

As part of the repeal, the Government has repealed the Conservation Tillage Refundable Tax Offset as of 1 July 2014. Following the repeal, the department can no longer issue Research Participation Certificates.

Should you require further information about the repeal of the Carbon Tax, please visit the Department of the Environment website.

Overview

Primary producers who purchased new conservation seeding equipment and received a Research Participation Certificate can apply to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) for a 15 per cent refundable tax offset.

The Conservation Tillage Refundable Tax Offset (RTO) initiative was part of the Carbon Farming Futures program and was designed to encourage conservation tillage practices in Australian agriculture.

The RTO is jointly administered by the ATO and the department. The ATO is responsible for all matters relating to eligibility and the issuing of the offset through the taxation system. The ATO provides information about the Conservation Tillage Refundable Tax Offset on its website. The department is only responsible for administering and issuing of Research Participation Certificates.

Following the repeal of the RTO legislation, the department can no longer issue Research Participation Certificates.

Tax implications

Primary producers who hold a Research Participation Certificate for the 2013-14 income year are still eligible to apply for the RTO in their 2013-14 tax returns.

Primary producers are advised to seek tax advice before applying for the RTO—the department cannot provide tax advice.

What do I need to do to claim the offset?

  1. Hold a Research Participation Certificate
  2. Claim the offset in your 2013-14 tax return

1. The Research Participation Certificate

The department cannot issue a certificate for an income year once the end of the income year has passed. The Research Participation Certificate application form must have been completed and submitted by the primary producer who has purchased the eligible equipment during the income year for which the Refundable Tax Offset is being claimed (i.e. on or before 30 June).

The Department of Agriculture can no longer issue Research Participation Certificates following the repeal of the Conservation Tillage Refundable Tax Offset legislation.

2. Claim the offset in your tax return

The RTO can only be claimed as part of the 2013–14 tax return if a Research Participation Certificate was already issued on or before 30 June 2014.

Primary producers will need to retain on their files:

  • evidence of the purchase, which clearly identifies the type of equipment that has been purchased (as with claims for other deductions and offsets)
  • the Research Participation Certificate.

The Department of Agriculture is not responsible for assessing tax claims and issuing the offset. Information about claiming the RTO is available on the ATO website.

Additional conditions

The information collected in the Research Participation Certificate application form will be used to create a data set that may be used for further agricultural research. By applying for a Research Participation Certificate, applicants agreed that they may be approached by the department regarding additional research activities at a later time. However, a claim for the Refundable Tax Offset (RTO) is not conditional on being involved in any additional research activities. If applicants choose not to be involved in additional research activities they will not be required to pay back the amount received through the RTO.

More information

The RTO is jointly administered by the Australian Tax​ation Office and the Department of Agriculture.

The ATO is responsible for all matters relating to eligibility and the issuing of the offset through the taxation system. The ATO provides information on its website and can also be contacted by phone.

The Department of Agriculture is only responsible for the issuing of Research Participation Certificates. For further information on the certificate and conservation tillage survey, please call the department on 1800 108 760 or email Refundable Tax Offset.

Privacy Statement

Information collected by the department through the RTO application process in accordance with the ITAA will be used to assess applications and create a data set that may be used for further agricultural research, policy and for other incidental or related purposes. Although applying for the RTO is not conditional on being involved in any additional research activities, the department may also use contact details supplied by applicants to approach them regarding participation in such activities. The Secretary of the department is required under section 385–205 of the ITAA to provide the Commissioner of Taxation with a written notice of the issue of a Research Participation Certificate specifying the income year, date of issue, name and ABN of the entity and such other matters (if any) as the Secretary considers should be reported to the Commissioner, and a copy of the certificate. The department may also provide the ATO with a copy of an application, information contained in an application or other information provided to the department by an applicant or a person who has been issued with a Research Participation Certificate. The department will store personal information collected by it in compliance with its obligations under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth). Applicants may access or correct personal information either by emailing Refundable Tax Offset or sending a letter to the following address:

Conservation Tillage Refundable Tax Offset
Adaptation Policy Branch
Department of Agriculture
GPO Box 858 Canberra ACT 2601