Ask the Taxman

All Column Articles

  • If high rent/poor yields or too much equipment is dragging down the rest of the farm, maybe now is the time to clean house, advises DTN Tax Columnist Rod Mauszycki. (DTN/Progressive Farmer file photo by Jim Patrico)
    by Rod Mauszycki , DTN Tax Columnist

    With farm income projected to be 45% lower in 2019 than its peak in 2013, have you lowered your business and personal expenses by 45%?

  • A vehicle must be used 50% or more in a qualified business in order to deduct part of the vehicle purchase price from taxes. (Photo by Getty Images/iStockphoto)
    by Rod Mauszycki , DTN Tax Columnist

    Some business owners have downsized their vehicles only to discover they can't fully depreciate/expense the purchase. Here are the rules under tax law for depreciating a vehicle used for business purposes.

  • Employees that work from home lose certain deductions this year, but in a majority of cases, the increased standard deduction and lower rates more than make up for the difference. (DTN File Photo)
    by Rod Mauszycki , DTN Tax Columnist

    The new tax law eliminated a number of deductions for employees who work from home, and there are a number of ways employers can compensate for that loss.

  • You can still claim a tax benefit from gifting commodities to a charity even if the value doesn't exceed the standard deduction. (DTN File Photo)

    By doubling the standard deduction in tax reform legislation, Congress made it tougher to benefit from charitable donations. However, commodity gifting as well as cash and stock donations still have their place in your tax plan.

  • Employers use different tax forms to pay different types of workers. A 1099 is used for independent contractors, while a 943/W-2 is used for employees. (DTN photo illustration by Nick Scalise)

    It's almost time for employers to begin preparing year-end paperwork, and it's a good time to reconsider if your work should be categorized as an employee or independent contractor. The difference depends on three main variables: behavioral control...

  • As harvest presses on, and the year comes to close, many farmers turn their thoughts to the future and whether it's time to retire. While federal estate tax laws have changed, there are still many reasons to assemble a succession plan. (DTN Photo by Jim Patrico)

    Creating a succession plan and preparing for retirement not only helps farmers save on taxes, but it also sets their families up for success.

  • Proposed rules on Section 199A offer farmers a way to maximize tax deductions while avoiding some self-employment tax. But for non-operating landowners, there are important factors to consider. (Progressive Farmer photo by Tom Gralish)

    The IRS' guidance on Section 199A allows farming operations to aggregate land and operating business income, maximizing tax deductions while avoiding some self-employment tax. But for non-operating landlords, there are important factors to consider.

  • With the depressed market for equipment, many people are exploring leasing machinery. However, the new tax law puts a wrinkle into leasing equipment. (DTN photo by Elaine Shein)

    With the low commodity prices and tax law changes, farmers as well as lenders are asking whether to purchase or lease equipment.

  • Farmers browse a planter at a farm machinery show. The new tax law will change the way farmers look at writing off major equipment purchases. (DTN file photo by Jim Patrico)

    The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act significantly changed how agribusiness looks at depreciation. Bonus deprecation was one of the few items in the new law that applies retroactively. Under the new law, annual depreciation limits on passenger autos also increase...

  • With farmland, a conservation easement requires permanently restricting future use via a recorded easement to only farming. Andy Biebl gives an example of what to consider if the land is along a shoreline. (DTN photo by Elaine Shein)

    A Maryland farm family learned a harsh lesson on how a farmer can be defined differently for different provisions in tax court.

  • Unsold grain can be donated to a charity, but farmers should be aware of the best way to do it to avoid taxes. (DTN file photo)

    Here are some of the things to consider if you want to avoid tripping over the rules on what to do when donating assets to charity.

  • A hog producer conducting a series of tests involving new feed supplements to improve pig weight gain and health is just one example of a farming activity that might qualify for a research and development tax credit under Section 41 of the tax code. (DTN file photo)

    If you're conducting scientific testing on your livestock or seed production operation using a process of experimentation to develop new or improved performance or reliability, you might qualify for a research and development tax credit under Section 41 of...