Ask the Taxman

All Column Articles

  • 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 significantly.

  • 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)
    by Andy Biebl , DTN Tax Columnist

    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)
    by Andy Biebl , DTN Tax Columnist

    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)
    by Andy Biebl , DTN Tax Columnist

    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 the tax code.

  • If enactment of federal tax reform does occur, it seems more likely the changes will be effective in 2018 rather than retroactively in 2017, says DTN Tax Columnist Andy Biebl. (DTN file photo)
    by Andy Biebl , DTN Tax Columnist

    Whether the Republicans can accomplish federal tax reform is still an open question. As the process plays out in Congress, DTN Tax Columnist Andy Biebl offers some points to consider if passage looks likely.

  • Never assume anything from the IRS is correct, says DTN Tax Columnist Andy Biebl. He advises people to see their tax professional if any assessment is sent their way by the IRS. (DTN file photo by Nick Scalise)
    by Andy Biebl , DTN Tax Columnist

    DTN Tax Columnist Andy Biebl shares some recent experiences that have lessons for taxpayers and also gives his thoughts on upcoming tax legislation.

  • Under the cash method of accounting, income is only taxed when converted to cash. (DTN file photo)
    by Andy Biebl , DTN Tax Columnist

    Congress has given some unique privileges in the tax code to farmers. The most important is undoubtedly the ability to use the cash method of accounting.