Agriculture Taxation Data Program (ATDP)

Detailed information for 2015





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The Agriculture Taxation Data Program (ATDP) is designed to produce detailed estimates for the following variables: revenues and expenses of farms (preliminary; final); and farm and off-farm income of farm operators and farm families.

Data release - December 4, 2017 (First in a series of releases for this reference period.)


The Agriculture Taxation Data Program (ATDP) is an annual census of unincorporated and incorporated taxfiler records to estimate a range of financial agricultural variables. The financial variables collected by the ATDP include detailed revenues and expenses of farms and off-farm income of farm operators and farm families.

Data are used by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, other federal and provincial departments, and various agencies to monitor the financial health of the Canadian agricultural sector and serve as a tool for farm-level policy analysis. The Farm Income and Prices Unit, Agriculture Division and Statistics Canada, relies primarily upon ATDP financial data to establish expense estimates for the Agricultural economic statistics (AES) and Statistics Canada's National Accounts. The annual off-farm operator and family income estimates are used to: measure the relative importance of farm and off-farm operator (family) income at different aggregation levels; assess the economic welfare of Canadian farm operators and their families; and facilitate farm policy development. Every five year, the ATDP detailed revenue and expenses are input into the Census of Agriculture.

Reference period: Taxation year

Collection period: January to December (24 months)


  • Agriculture
  • Farm financial statistics
  • Farms and farm operators

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The target population consists of all unincorporated and incorporated farms in Canada. Since the 1993 taxation year, it has also encompassed all communal farming organizations in Canada.

For statistical purposes, the estimates presented cover both unincorporated farms and communal farming organizations with total farm operating revenues equal to or greater than $10,000 as well as incorporated farms with total farm operating revenues of $25,000 and over.

Instrument design

This methodology does not apply.


This is a sample survey.

Data sources

Data are extracted from administrative files.

Data are extracted from administrative files supplied to Administrative Data Division by Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

The Self-Employment File for Agriculture (SEFA) for T1s and the Corporation Tax Processing System (CORTAX) file for T2s, supplied by CRA contain the ATDP universe for the unincorporated and incorporated sectors respectively. The Statistical Universe File--T3, also from CRA, provides the universe for communal farming organizations.

The source of data of the unincorporated sector is currently comprised of three different types of tax filer returns: printed forms, electronic forms and joint AgriStability/AgriInvest (ASAI)-CRA tax returns.

Corporate farming data are supplied electronically by CRA from a file termed General Index of Financial Information (GIFI).

The T3 Trust Income Tax and Information Return is the source for communal farming organizations. During the tax-processing period for the communal farming organizations, CRA forwards copies of the tax returns with the supporting documentation to StatCan.

Data on off-farm income of farm operators are extracted from the Personal Master File. Data on off-farm income of farm families are extracted from the T1 Family File (T1FF) produced by Income Statistics Division. The T1 General--Income Tax and Benefit Return form serves as a source of off-farm income statistics: wages and salaries, net off-farm self-employment income, investment income, pension income, government social transfers and other off-farm income. Data from the Canada Child Tax Benefit File supplement data on off-farm income.

All data sets used by the Agriculture Taxation Data Program are received via Administrative Data Division from the Canada Revenue Agency.

Farm families are identified by linking two source files. One contains the Agriculture Taxation Data Program of individuals operating unincorporated farms. The other, the T1 Family File (T1FF), contains family units developed by Income Statistics Division. Records are linked and farm families are identified through the Social Insurance Number (SIN). Linkage results are used to produce aggregate estimates on total income of farm families.

Error detection

Data from tax sources are subjected to a series of customized editing and imputation procedures designed and updated annually by Statistics Canada.

Data enter into the ATDP tax processing system already edited and imputed by way of Statistics Canada's T1 and T2 tax processing systems which do an initial processing of the data received from the Canada Revenue Agency. Subsequent processing is conducted at the microdata level. Unincorporated farms are edited in order to convert negative General Index of Financial Information (GIFI) values into positive GIFI values and to be consistent with T2 processing. An agriculture industrial code (NAICS) is derived based on reported commodity data or ancillary information. Non-farming revenues and expenses are transferred to farming revenues and expenses. Deterministic and balancing edits are conducted after values are transferred to ensure consistency at the microdata level.

Analysts then manually review a set of the records determined by a number of criteria including magnitude. Editing rules are put in place to ensure that a record's internal consistency is maintained if the analyst makes changes to the values of the microdata record. The variables within the microdata record are grouped into 15 blocks (based on agricultural commodity), each with a corresponding block total. These block totals also contribute to one of two overall totals (overall revenue total and overall expense total). When manual changes are made to a block component without making the correct corresponding changes to the appropriate totals, the editing system prorates all of the components within the block to respect the block total. This is done to localize manual inconsistencies and prevent them from affecting the rest of the record.

An additional process took place for the 2015 ATDP data. A manual comparison between ATDP data and corresponding total revenue and expense responses from the 2016 Census of Agriculture (CEAG) was undertaken for a subset of records. When the CEAG values were considered to be more accurate, the ATDP financial variables were prorated to totals reported in the CEAG.


Units with partial non-response are imputed by a combination of donor imputation using Statistics Canada's generalized edit and imputation system Banff and manual imputation. Units with total non-response that are very important are sometimes manually imputed.


Total farm revenue and expense items are estimated by aggregating the individual revenue and expense items. Before aggregation, individual entities are multiplied by the partnership share in the case of unincorporated farms. The calculated revenue and expense items are summed by domain to produce the total revenue and expense items. A domain is defined as a region, a type of farm, a revenue class or a combination of these variables.

Only in-scope sampled records are included in the estimates. Data for non-farmers are excluded. Data for the three territories are also excluded.

Items in total operators' off-farm income are estimated using the same approach as in the case of farm items except that the value is not multiplied by the partnership share of the entity. However, the value of entities involved in more than one farm is divided by the number of occurrences. These procedures also take into account corporations that do not provide the social insurance number of shareholders on their tax return. The calculated off-farm income items are summed by domain to produce the total off-farm income items.

ATDP tax records are linked with a family file to produce total estimates for farm families. The family file is created by the Income Statistics Division within Statistics Canada. Income Statistics Division's family file (T1FF) combines individual taxation records in order to create groups modeled after Census families.

The ATDP target family population for off-farm family income statistics is designed to include only those families operating single unincorporated agricultural holdings (single-farm families). The ATDP family population is in effect a subsample of the regular ATDP population.

Family total income is derived from personal income tax returns of each family member. Off-farm income estimates are produced by adding the off-farm income components of family members. Each record corresponds to a family. The calculated off-farm income items are summed by domain to produce the total off-farm income items.

Quality evaluation

The results are evaluated through comparisons to other sources of farm financial information, such as the Agricultural Economic Statistics series and the Census of Agriculture to assess the quality of the data.

Aggregated data produced from the Personal Master File and estimates on income of all families produced by Income Statistics Division from the T1 Family File (T1FF) are also used to assess the quality of the series on off-farm income. Extra scrutiny is paid to the largest farms or top commodity contributors.

If there are discrepancies, the micro-level data records are analyzed to determine if differences are attributable to errors. Tools are used to analyze data at the provincial level, by farm type and revenue class including year-over-year change.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects that could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

For each of the tabulations produced, the estimated number of farms is rounded to the base 5 and the estimates of the other variables within that table are adjusted by a variable factor. The estimated number of farm families is rounded to the base 10. With regard to the estimated number of farm operators, it is rounded to the base 5 in the series of farm operators operating single unincorporated agricultural holdings and to the base 10 in the series of farm operators operating incorporated or unincorporated agricultural holdings. If the degree of detail required to answer user requests creates confidentiality concerns, the affected data or the entire table will be suppressed.

This method preserves the confidentiality of the data, without jeopardizing the quality of the actual estimates.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

This methodology type does not apply to this statistical program.

Data accuracy

Data coming from the Canada Revenue Agency is considered to be of high accuracy at the microdata level, however it may be incomplete.

While considerable effort is made to ensure high standards throughout all stages of processing, the resulting estimates are inevitably subject to a certain degree of error. These errors can be broken down into two major types: non-sampling and sampling.

Estimates produced by the ATDP are derived from a census of administrative data so they are not subject to sampling errors. However the ATDP may not receive tax records for all of the units in its population or the tax record may not be complete. Therefore the main source of non-sampling error comes from imputation. There are two kinds of imputation done for ATDP. Firstly, partial imputation takes place when a block total is reported but not the detailed components of the block. These details need to be imputed. Secondly, massive imputation takes place when no tax data is received by the ATDP tax processing system. In this case all variables in a record are imputed from a single donor.

Massive imputation uses no direct tax data for the unit in question so it has a greater impact on the accuracy of the overall ATDP estimates. The following table shows the massive imputation rates by province. The weighted rates are weighted by total farm revenue.

Province Massive Imputation Rate (Unweighted) Massive Imputation Rate (Weighted)
Newfoundland and Labrador 21.62% 4.11%
Prince Edward Island 21.55% 10.08%
Nova Scotia 26.75% 8.96%
New Brunswick 22.47% 17.34%
Quebec 23.34% 12.56%
Ontario 27.75% 18.41%
Manitoba 21.80% 18.58%
Saskatchewan 19.65% 18.32%
Alberta 22.98% 18.03%
British Columbia 32.48% 17.74%
Total 24.13% 17.21%

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