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The livestock transaction levy – understanding your obligations

23 June 2023

By Keith Tolmie, National Compliance Director, Levies, Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

For livestock producers selling your stock through saleyards, meatworks or agents, payment of the transaction levy is generally an automatic process.

As you have probably noticed, saleyards, meatworks and agents pay the levy on your behalf by deducting it from your remittance. You have probably seen this deduction on your statements for livestock sold.

However, for producers selling between properties, levy payment follows a different process.

For livestock that are sold between producers, such as from cattle breeders, there is still an obligation to pay the transaction levy. In this case, it is the responsibility of the seller to pay the levy. As part of this process, the seller must lodge an annual return and make payment to the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

As described, for cattle breeders and traders selling between properties, it is their responsibility to lodge a return and pay the levy.

This extends to ‘walk in, walk out’ property sales that include livestock. There are a range of other scenarios around levy payment that are described on the Department’s website.

Non-compliance with paying the levy incurs a penalty of 2% per month, compounding.

This process is especially important to understand for producers who mostly sell stock through saleyards, for example, but occasionally sell stock directly to other property owners to help you avoid unknowingly not meeting your obligations to pay the levy.

The levy is collected by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and is used to fund agencies and activities including Meat & Livestock Australia, Animal Health Australia, and the National Residue Survey.

For a detailed summary of the livestock transaction levy, including a question and answer section, visit the Department’s website.