Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Horse buyer Ellis blames IRD for bleeding bloodstock sales

David Ellis, Karaka’s biggest buyer, blames IRD for bleeding bloodstock sales

By Suze Metherell

Feb. 5 (BusinessDesk) – David Ellis, the biggest spender at New Zealand’s premiere Karaka horse sales this year, says the tax department is stifling new investment in the bloodstock industry with its interpretation of depreciation rules.

The value of yearling sales at Karaka in South Auckland have fallen in each of the past six years, reaching $69.7 million last month, down from $111.2 million in 2008. That’s below the average $83.9 million in the past seven sales. The number of catalogued horses has fallen 12 percent in that time and actual lots bought are down 18 percent.

Ellis, principle of Waikato-based Te Akau Racing stables, spent $6.8 million on 43 horses at Karaka last month, almost $3 million more than the second-largest buyer.

He was behind an investor syndicate that last year lost a High Court case against the Inland Revenue Department over depreciation on a colt that disappointed as a potential breeder and ended up being gelded. Ellis told BusinessDesk that IRD needs to take some of the blame for the decline in sales because of a lack of clarity over tax on horses bought for breeding

“It is so uncertain on what you can and can’t do, and this is a big statement from Karaka’s biggest buyer,” Ellis said.

“We are desperate as an industry for government to clarify tax issues, for example Michael Cullen increased depreciation on blood stock to encourage investment,” he said. “But the legislation is so unclear no one knows what to do.”

Investment syndicates, such as in the Ellis case, typically purchase a horse with the intention of breeding but to establish pedigree and reputation they first put it on the racing circuit. Last year’s High Court ruling held that because the syndicate had no previous breeding record IRD could disallow any deductions until foals had been sired.

“Whether that’s fair or not, no one is able to write off the costs unless they have a pre-existing breeding business,” Andrew Babbage, a tax partner at Deloitte, told BusinessDesk. Those deductions weren’t available to one-off syndicates, which would potentially bring in new investors.

“If you’re an existing breeder and you purchase a horse the purchase is preparatory to a breeding business, and the continuing of the established breeding,” Babbage said.

This year’s top price paid was $800,000 for a Cambridge Stud colt with blood lines from Fastnet Rock and Katie Lee, less than half the top price last year of $1.97 million for a Curraghmore Stud colt from Fastnet Rock and Celebria. The record price paid at Karaka was $3.6 million in 2000 for Don Eduardo, sired by Zabeel via Diamond Lover.

The clearance rate this year rose to 78 percent and the median price paid was $45,000.

Ellis, whose Te Akau Racing also has stables in Singapore, said the global economic downturn had also contributed to the tightening in sales, as had a high kiwi dollar against the Australian dollar.

“Naturally the Australians did not spend with the same freedom as in the past, but even given that, sales were still successful – with some alarm bells centred on fresh investment in the industry,” he said.

“New Zealand industry still had good results, for example at VRC Oaks (at Melbourne’s Flemington Racecourse) Kirramosa won that race,” he said. “We’ve won international races in Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia. The industry still performs well but could perform a lot better if we clarified the tax issues.”

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Media: Julian Wilcox Leaves Māori TV

Māori Television has confirmed the resignation of Head of News and Production Julian Wilcox. Mr Maxwell acknowledged Mr Wilcox’s significant contribution to Māori Television since joining the organisation in 2004. More>>

ALSO:

Genetics: New Heat Tolerant Cow Developed

Hamilton, New Zealand-based Dairy Solutionz Ltd has led an expert genetics team to develop a new dairy cow breed conditioned to thrive in lower elevation tropical climates and achieve high milk production under heat stress. More>>

Fractals: Thousands More Business Cards Needed To Build Giant Sponge

New Zealand is taking part in a global event this weekend to build a Menger Sponge using 15 million business cards but local organisers say they are thousands of business cards short. More>>

Scoop Business: NZ Net Migration Rises To Annual Record In September

New Zealand’s annual net migration rose to a record in September, beating government forecasts, as the inflow was spurred by student arrivals from India and Kiwis returning home from Australia. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Fletcher To Close Its Christchurch Insulation Plant, Cut 29 Jobs

Fletcher Building, New Zealand’s largest listed company, will close its Christchurch insulation factory, as it consolidates its Tasman Insulations operations in a “highly competitive market”. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Novartis Adds Nine New Treatments Under Pharmac Deal

Novartis New Zealand, the local unit of the global pharmaceuticals firm, has added nine new treatments in a far-ranging agreement with government drug buying agency, Pharmac. More>>

ALSO:

Crown Accounts: English Wary On Tax Take, Could Threaten Surplus

Finance Minister Bill English is warning the tax take may come in below forecast in the current financial year, as figures released today confirm it was short by nearly $1 billion in the year to June 30 and English warned of the potential impact of slumping receipts from agricultural exports. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand

Mosh Social Media
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news