With the Heritage Bank Farm Management Account, Australian primary producers are able to tuck away extra funds during prosperous seasons to help cover them when the crops are not so good. This could even help you to save money on taxes if you are able to reduce your taxable income for that year by the amount of money you deposit. This is a specialised banking product that first requires you to meet specific legislative requirements before it can be activated.
What are the features of the Heritage Bank Farm Management account?
The life of a primary producer can be financially precarious as they depend on income that is affected by uncontrollable events. The Farm Management helps to maintain financial stability, but you should compare the features provided between various financial institutions first to ensure that the one you pick is providing you with the most benefit:
- Monthly account fees. You are not charged a monthly account keeping fee with the Farm Management from Heritage Bank.
- Interest rates. You are given two options with the Farm Management. The first one acts as a term deposit, locking your savings of between $50,000 and $800,000 away for either one or two years. With this option you are earning a competitive interest rate which is paid to you quarterly, annually or at maturity. The interest rate will decrease slightly if you choose to receive the interest payments quarterly.
- At call interest rates. You can also choose to receive a lower interest rate yet maintain total access to the funds with the at call option. Competitive interest rates are tiered so that you earn more on balances that exceed $50,000 and the payments are made to you quarterly.
- Availability. This account is only allowable for an individual or business that meets the eligibility requirements of being a primary producer or primary production business as defined by tax laws.
- Operating balance. You must have at least $50,000 in the account for it to remain active, but the balance may not exceed $800,000.
- Linked account. You will need to have another account with Heritage Bank that is in your name only.
- Making deposits. Only the primary producer is permitted to make deposits into the account and it must be at least $50,000, but cannot be a sum which will cause the balance to exceed $800,000. You can either deposit a cheque or money order at a Heritage Bank branch or by mail or you can visit the branch and arrange for the amount to be transferred to the Farm Management from another account you hold with the credit union.
- Making withdrawals. You can only make withdrawals from the Farm Management by using a written request that is either brought personally to a branch or mailed to your facility. Withdrawals must be at least $1,000 and cannot leave the account with a balance of less than $50,000.
- Competitive interest rate
- No account keeping fees
- Some tax-saving benefits
- Minimum opening balance $1,000
How do I apply for the Heritage Bank Farm Management?
Apply for the Farm Management account online if Heritage Bank is providing you with what you need to keep your farming business thriving. Before beginning there are certain eligibility requirements that you will have to meet in order to be considered for this account:
- Minimum age. You are not required to meet any age requirement, but you will need to meet the criteria for an Australian primary producer before being able to open this account.
- Residency requirements. The Farm Management is only available to Australian citizens and permanent residents who conduct their farming business within Australia.
- Depository requirements. An opening deposit of at least $1,000 is required for the account to be activated.
You should also have with you certain documentation that will help you in filling out the required fields on the application:
- Tax file number. You will be asked to provide either your tax file number (TFN) or Australian Business Number (ABN) on the application. This is not mandatory, but if not provided any interest earned and withdrawals made may be subject to the withholding tax rate along with the Medicare levy.
- Identification. Your driver’s licence or passport can be used to help verify your identity when applying online.
After having completed the application form you must either turn it into a Heritage Bank branch or mail it to their Banking Operations Department in Toowoomba. They in turn will review the details and contact you with the information you need to continue saving for those times when your agriculture business is waning.