Industry Advisory

AgriStability Industry Advisories are posted periodically to provide information of changes, enhancements and new features to the AgriStability Program.

Posted: August 15, 2019 

In this issue: 

Deadline to file AgriStability program forms

The deadline to submit 2018 AgriStability program forms without penalty is September 30, 2019.

Why submit? 

Submitting program forms is part of the annual process for producers enrolled in AgriStability. The information provided determines whether the producer qualifies for a payment. It also ensures the farm’s reference margin, which payments are based upon, is up to date.

Completing your AgriStability program forms each year helps build a financial profile. This financial profile provides you with more accurate coverage in the future. If a producer does not file annually, there are gaps in the information needed to build the reference margin. This will cause delays when processing future program forms.   

How to submit?

Individual producers (sole proprietors) must submit their income and expense (tax) information, provided on the T1163 form, to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). CRA then shares this information with SCIC. An individual’s supplemental information (inventories, receivables/deferrals, payables, and purchased inputs) are submitted directly to SCIC. Corporations and Co-operatives submit all AgriStability program forms directly to SCIC.

Program forms can be submitted by fax, mail or email, dropped off in person at any of the 21 SCIC customer service offices across the province.

Using AgConnect

AgriStability participants can choose to use the secure web-based application, AgConnect, to submit their program forms online. Information submitted through AgConnect enters SCIC’s system directly, allowing files to be processed quicker.

Using AgConnect will help you to:

  • access your AgriStability information in one place – available online 24/7
  • eliminate the paperwork and tracking multiple files
  • easily file your forms online
  • view important historical information about your account
  • send supporting documents electronically

To begin using AgConnect, contact the SCIC AgriStability Call Centre at 1-866-270-8450.                                                                                                                                                                            

Click here to learn more about AgConnect.

Since AgriStability uses the same numbers provided to accountant or form preparer, a producer can enter those numbers online with AgConnect to streamline form submission. Plus, AgConnect stores data each year. If a producer filed online last year, their previous information is at their fingertips.

What if the September 30 deadline is missed?

Any 2018 program forms received after September 30, 2019, may be subject to a penalty fee. AgriStability benefits will be reduced by $500 per month; however, if no benefit is calculated, there is no penalty applied. Program forms with penalty must be submitted by December 31, 2019.

Partnerships: All parties must submit their information

SCIC cannot process a file until all partners in the operation have submitted their program forms. Each individual or entity in a partnership must submit separate program forms reporting 100 per cent of the partnership’s income, expenses, accounts payable, accounts receivable, inventory, deferrals and purchased inputs. Each partner must identify their percentage share of the partnership. SCIC calculates each partner’s share of any benefit based on their percentage of the operation.

Filing your farming income (or loss)

To be eligible for AgriStability program benefits, all participants must submit their farming income (or loss) information to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). This information is collected on the income tax return submitted to the CRA. To be eligible for 2018 program benefits, producers need to submit their 2018 farming income (or loss) information to the CRA by December 31, 2019.

Requesting your AgriStability Preparation Report

If the AgriStability participant was in Crop Insurance last season, they can easily access last year’s acreage and crop production information for their farm. Simply contact the AgriStability Call Centre at 1-866-270-8450 and ask for an AgriStability Preparation Report. With this in hand, =the producer can complete their AgriStability program forms.

Calling after business hours

We know producers would rather spend their daylight hours in the field. If they are doing paperwork after-hours, they may not be getting the answers they need to their AgriStability questions. That’s why SCIC made it easy to get in touch with its AgriStability team. Call 1-866-270-8450 and leave a voicemail. The AgriStability Call Centre will call back during regular business hours (Monday to Friday, 8:00am – 5:00pm).

Interim Benefits

Producers may be experiencing challenges due to weather or market conditions. Producers enrolled in the 2019 AgriStability program year may consider applying for an interim benefit. Interim benefits provide an option to receive a portion of AgriStability benefits early, to help support losses and cover costs before completing the fiscal year. The interim benefit is based on the estimated margin decline or loss for the year compared to the farm’s reference margin. The decline must be at least 30 per cent below the reference margin in order to access a payment. The interim benefit is then issued at 50 per cent of the estimated final benefit.

Producers that receive an interim benefit payment must submit all final program forms by the required deadlines. To learn if you are eligible, please contact the AgriStability Call Centre at 1-866-270-8450.

Now accepting 2019 final program forms

SCIC is now accepting final AgriStability program forms for the 2019 Program Year. Farming and ranching operations with a non-calendar year end can complete and submit their final program forms at any time.

New to AgriStability?

The decision to extend the AgriStability Enrolment deadline to July 2, 2019, resulted in a number of producers joining the program for the first time or returning after being out of the program for a number of years.. For producers who are brand new to AgriStability or are returning after being out of the program for four or more years, the historical information needed to participate has been simplified. Historical information is required to create the reference margin. In these situations, the producer has the option of using three years of historical information (2018, 2017, and 2016) rather than the traditional five years to build the reference margin. The information required includes income, expenses, inventories, accounts payable, receivables/deferrals and purchased inputs. This information is required before a producer’s 2019 program year benefits can be calculated.

Packages requesting the historical information have been delivered to those who are new to the program. If you need assistance completing the historical information, please contact the AgriStability Call Centre at 1-866-270-8450 or visit your local SCIC customer service office. Staff are available to help review and explain the information required to build your reference margins. For producers who want to learn more about historical program information, sessions are planned for the fall/winter. Watch for details about these sessions.

Reporting Crop Share/Joint Venture Arrangements

When reporting crop share arrangements, unless it is a joint venture, the tenant should be reporting the full amount of the income and the expenses. The portion or share of the crop given to the landlord is considered a rental expense and recorded as a non-allowable expense. If it is a joint venture, the tenant and the landlord would each report their income and expense information based on their percentage share of eligible production.

Livestock Grazing

AgriStability provides flexibility for producers needing to access additional pasture for their livestock. To be an allowable expense for the AgriStability Program, accessing additional pasture needs to be conducted through a “custom grazing” arrangement. To qualify as a “custom grazing” arrangement, the producer would have to show the custom grazing operator (producer or community pasture) assumed responsibility for the livestock while they were grazing, along with reporting the fees charged for grazing ($/head cost or $/head/day arrangement). The expense should be reasonable for the cost of the feed consumed. SCIC may request a copy of the contractual agreement to verify the expenses.

 

Contact Us

We're Here For You

AgriStability Program experts are available across the province to help producers, accountants or form preparers.

Contact a Program Advisor or the AgriStability Call Centre at 1-866-270-8450 or by email to: agristability@scic.ca.

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