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Valuing livestock

Last updated 8 February 2006

Stock on hand

You can choose to value livestock on hand at the end of the income year at cost, market selling value or replacement value. An additional option is available for certain horse breeding stock. You may change the basis of valuation year by year and different valuation bases may be adopted for individual livestock.

At 1 July 2002, the value of livestock on hand should be the same as the value of your closing stock at 30 June 2002 that you used for your 2001-02 tax return.

Oyster farmers

Oyster farmers are required to account for oysters on hand as trading stock. This includes oysters held on sticks or in trays, or harvested and held ready for sale.

If you are farming oysters for human consumption using the traditional stick farming method and have not previously accounted for your stock on hand, you may be eligible for a trading stock concession for 2001-02 only. This concession allows you to value your stock on hand at the beginning of 2001-02 based on the number of sticks you used to capture stock-$1.00 for wooden sticks or two-metre plastic slats, and $0.50 for one-metre plastic slats. This concession applies to your stock on hand that had not been harvested at the beginning of 2001-02. For more information, see Oyster farmers: calculating the value of trading stock.

If you are eligible for this concession but did not use it in your 2001-02 tax return, you may request an amendment of your 2001-02 assessment. The normal trading stock rules apply for 2002-03 and later income years.

Stock killed for rations or exchanged for goods and services

In these circumstances, you are treated as if you had disposed of the stock at its cost.

Natural increase

Natural increases of stock during the year can be valued at cost, market selling value or replacement value.

Cost is whichever of the following you elect:

  • actual cost of the animal, or
  • cost prescribed by the regulations (cattle, horses and deer $20; pigs $12; emus $8; goats and sheep $4; poultry 35 cents).

If your business involves breeding exotic animals-for example, ostriches or alpacas-phone the ATO to confirm the appropriate cost. You must value a horse acquired by natural increase and included in livestock on hand at a cost not less than the insemination service fee attributable to acquiring the horse.

If you are eligible and elect to enter the STS, you only need to account for changes in the value of your trading stock (including livestock) if the value of all your stock on hand at the start of the income year and a reasonable estimate of the value of all your stock on hand at the end of the income year varies by more than $5,000.