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In a media release issued on 12 February 2014, the Assistant Treasurer, Senator Arthur Sinodinos, 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," Senator Sinodinos said. '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 closing date for submissions is Friday 28 February 2014.

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