Tax provisions for land care are often justified as corrections for externalities. It is argued in this paper that land care provisions can be justified independently of an externality correction objective, since land care provisions can be viewed as a partial correction of the failure of the depreciation provisions in the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 to recognise that items other than plant and articles devalue through use. This argument only applies to depreciation over the effective life of the asset and not to the provision of accelerated depreciation. There may be a role for Pigouvian subsidies in the case of land degradation to address the externality problem, and some degree of accelerated depreciation may be viewed as an approximation of such. It is argued that direct subsidies may be preferred to either the current or redesigned income tax provisions.


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