Farm Tax Issues- What Tax Reform Means for Farmers

Originally Published in Farm & Dairy- December 6, 2018.

By: David L. Marrison, Coshocton County Ag & NR Extension Educator- marrison.2@osu.edu

The goal of last year’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was to simplify taxes.  While simplifications were made, I would argue that farm taxes have become more difficult.  There have been major changes to equipment depreciation, like kind exchanges, and a brand new Qualified Business Income deduction. 

I know many tax preparers are pulling their hair out trying to get a handle on all these changes.  My advice to farmers is to make sure to communicate with your tax preparer before the end of the year to see how these changes may impact your 2018 taxes.

Today, I would like to provide a brief overview of the changes which farmers will want to have on their radar.

Depreciation- Tax reform made some significant changes to how farmers depreciate their farm business property.  First, the depreciation recovery period for new farm equipment and machinery placed into service after December 31, 2017 has been shortened from seven to five years.  However, used farm equipment, grain bins, and fences will keep their current depreciation life of 7 years. 

The method to calculate depreciation is also changing as any property used in a farming business and placed in service after Dec. 31, 2017, will now use the 200 percent declining balance method versus the 150-percent declining balance method. However, farmers can elect out of the use of the 200 percent method. 

For farmers wishing to accelerate depreciation, Section 179 and Bonus Depreciation are still options which can be used.  Bonus depreciation has been moved back up to 100% from 40% and the limits on Section 179 expensing has been increased to $1 million dollars for 2018.  Using these accelerated depreciation methods can be tricky so make sure your tax accountant helps you determine if they should be used or not.

Like-Kind Exchanges– Another wrinkle which will impact farmers is the elimination of the Section 1031 like-kind exchange for personal property like farm equipment.  It does still allow for a like-kind of exchange of real property such as land.

Previously the gains or losses realized on the trade-in of farm equipment was generally deferred.  Bottom line is that the elimination of the like-kind exchange treatment for equipment means that farmers who trade in a piece of equipment will most likely now have a reportable tax event.

We would recommend that farmers consult with their tax professional before they buy equipment as it could have tax implications.  Your tax accountant can help you analyze the purchase and may be able to offset the gain by using accelerated depreciation on the new piece of equipment. Definitely more paperwork. 

Qualified Business Deduction– Farmers will also need to talk to their accountant about the new Section 199A Deduction or Qualified Business Income Deduction.  This new deduction was added due to the reduction in taxes for C-Corporations.  Previously C-Corporations could be taxed at a rate up to 35%.  The tax reform legislation set a flat rate of 21% for all C-Corporations. 

The reduced flat rate was only for C-Corporations so legislators had to account for other business entities like Sole-Proprietorships, Partnerships, S Corporations, and LLCs who could have still been subject to a maximum tax rate of 37%.

This led to the development of the Qualified Business Income (QBI) Deduction. This deduction allows for a deduction of up to 20% of qualified business income.  There are a lot of moving parts and limitations to this deduction so again it is imperative to talk to your tax accountant.  This is an additional wrinkle for farmers who sell their milk or grain to cooperatives as it will trigger an additional calculation. 

There is also a lot of discussion whether farm rental income qualifies for QBI which could impact landlords and their tax returns.  All this is clear as mud to most tax preparers and we are waiting for guidance from the IRS.  Bottom line is that farm taxes will be harder not easier to file. 

Help– OSU Extension is helping farmers and tax preparers understand these new tax changes.  Local Extension offices are hosting educational seminars and we will also be offering tax webinars for your convenience.  We encourage you to check out the Ohio Ag Manager Website at http:ohioagmanager.osu.edu for updates on these events.  In addition, our team will be writing more in-depth articles about each of these changes.

Upcoming OSU Extension Sponsored Tax Updates:

2018 Ag and Natural Resources Income Tax Issues Webinar

Monday, December 17, 2018

9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Webinar.   Can also be viewed at one of 6 regional sites: Auglaize, Clermont, Miami, Putnam, Wayne and Wyandot counties.

For tax professionals who represent farmers or for farmers looking for in-depth review of tax legislation changes.

Registration, which includes the workbook, is $150 if received or entered on-line by December 6. After December 6, registration is $200.

For more information contact Julie Strawser at 614-292-2433 or Strawser.35@osu.edu

Farmer & Farmland Owner Income Tax Webinar

Monday, January 7, 2019

10:00 – 12:00 noon

$35 per person

Register at go.osu.edu/FarmerTaxWebinar

For more information contact Julie Strawser at 614-292-2433 or Strawser.35@osu.edu

 Farm Tax Update:

Thursday, January 17, 2018 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Tuscarawas County Extension Office

Session is being held to help farmers understand the changes to farm taxes.

No registration fee.

Call 330-339-2337 for more information or to register

 

 

Farm Management Retreat Levels 1 and 2 Offered

by: Amanda Douridas & Amanda Bennett-OSU Extension Educators

Female farmers, whether farming on their own or in a partnership, realize the importance of the business side of farming. Annie’s Project provides education and a support network to enhance business skills of women involved in all aspects of agriculture.

Annie spent her lifetime learning to be an involved farm business partner with her husband. Annie’s life experiences inspired her daughter, a university Extension agent, to create a program for women living and working in the complex, dynamic agriculture business environment. Annie’s Project fosters problem solving, record keeping, and decision-making skills in farm women.

At an upcoming weekend retreat, women will receive training in five areas of agricultural risk management: financial, marketing, production, legal, and human resources. Most importantly women are able to network and develop relationships with other women in agriculture.

Level 2 will dive deeper into these risk areas with many working sessions allowing participants to work on specific plans for their farms.

Past participants have had this to say about the program:

“I changed my mind about how to approach communication with my in-laws as business partners.”

“I have gained tools to help improve management of our farm and insight on how to communicate the resources to other members of the farm.”

“I appreciated getting to meet others with a shared interest.”

“I encourage any woman to attend one of these great programs!”

The retreat will be Jan 11-13 at Western Buckeye Christian Camp, Kirkmont Center, Croft House 6946 County Road 10, Zanesfield, OH 43360. The cost is $130 per person and includes all lodging, materials and meals. The registration deadline is December 31. For questions about this retreat, please contact Amanda Douridas at Douridas.9@osu.edu or 937-484-1526.

Registration forms can be found at http://go.osu.edu/agevents.

Farm Tax Update to Be Held on December 10 in Coshocton, Ohio

OSU Extension in Coshocton County is pleased to be offering a Farm Tax Update on Monday, December 10, 2018 from 7:00 to 8:37 p.m. at the Coshocton County Services Building – Room 145 located at 724 South 7th Street in Coshocton, Ohio.

OSU Extension Educator David Marrison will share details on the “Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017” and its impact on farm taxes. It is not business as usual in the world of farm taxes. Learn more about the changes to farm machinery depreciation, like-kind exchanges, and more about the new Section 199A deduction for Qualified Business Income.

This program is free & open to the public! However, courtesy reservations are requested so program materials can be prepared. Call the Coshocton County Extension at 740-622-2265 to RSVP or for more information.

 

Small Farm & New Farm College Programs to be Held

By Tony Nye, Extension Educator

Are you a small farm landowner wondering what to do with your acreage? Are you interested in exploring options for land uses but not sure where to turn or how to begin? Have you considered adding an agricultural or horticultural enterprise but you just aren’t sure of what is required, from an equipment, labor, and/or management perspective? Are you looking for someplace to get some basic farm information? If you or someone you know answered yes to any of these questions, then the Ohio State University New and Small Farm College program may be just what you are looking for.

The Ohio State University New and Small Farm College is an 8 session short course that will be held one night a week. The 2019 Ohio New and Small Farm College program will be held in three locations across the state including:

Miami Valley CTC, West Building, Room 179, 6800 Hoke Road, Englewood, OH 45315. Classes will be held on Tuesdays beginning January 8 and concluding on February 26, 2019. Inclement weather makeup date will be March 5. Contact the Montgomery County Extension Office at 937-224-9654.

Vinton County area at the Community Building, 31935 State Route 93, McArthur, OH 45651. Classes will be held on Tuesdays beginning January 15 and concluding March 5, 2019. Inclement weather makeup will be March 12. For more information, contact Vinton County Extension at 740-596-5212.

Adams County area at the North Adams High School, 96 Green Devil Drive, Seaman, OH 45679. Classes will be held on Wednesdays beginning January 16 and concluding March 6, 2019. Inclement weather makeup date will be March 13.  For more information, contact Adams County Extension at 937-544-2339.

All colleges will start each evening at 6:00 PM with a light dinner with the nightly presentations beginning at 6:30 Pm and concluding at 9:00PM.

Topics that will be covered in the Small Farm College course include: Getting Started (goal setting, resource inventory, business planning), Appropriate Land Use -Walking The Farm, Where to Get Assistance, (identifying various agencies, organizations, and groups), Natural Resource Management including soils, ponds, woodlands and wildlife, Legal Issues, Insurance, Business Structure, Finances & Record Keeping, and Marketing Alternatives, Crop and Horticultural Production Options, Animal Production Options,

The cost of the course is $150 per person, $100 for an additional family member. Each participating family will receive a small farm college notebook full of the information presented in each class session plus additional materials. Registrations are now being accepted. For more details about the course and/or a registration form, contact Tony Nye, Small Farm Program Coordinator 937-382-0901 or email at nye.1@osu.edu.

 

Agronomy and Farm Management Podcast

by: Amanda Douridas and Elizabeth Hawkins

Stay on top of what is happening in the field and the farm office as Amanda Douridas and Elizabeth Hawkins interview experts in agronomy and farm management. Hosted by Ohio State University Extension, this podcast takes a bi-monthly dive into specific issues that impact agriculture, such as: weather, land value, policies, commodity outlooks, and more.

This podcast began in May 2018 and has a great library of podcasts to choose from. This winter, we will feature some of the Ask the Expert interviews that occurred during Farm Science Review on Farm Management topics. Catch up on the ones you missed during the show.

Subscribe through iTunes at http://go.osu.edu/iTunesAFM or Stitcher at http://go.osu.edu/StitcherAFM to have the newest episodes added to your playlist. Stay up to date with us on Facebook @AFMPodcast and Twitter @AFM_Podcast.

 

2019 Outlook Meetings to be held Across Ohio

by Amanda Douridas, Extension Educator

Ohio State University Extension is pleased to announce the 2019 Agricultural Outlook Meetings! In 2019 there will be seven locations in Ohio. Each location will have a presentation on Commodity Prices- Today’s YoYo. Additional topics vary by location and include U.S. Trade Policy: Where is it Headed, Examining the 2019 Ohio Farm Economy, Weather Outlook, Dairy Production Economics Update, Beef and Dairy Outlook, Consumer Trends, and Farm Tax Update.

Join the faculty from Ohio State University Extension and Ohio State Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Developmental Economics as they discuss the issues and trends affecting agriculture in Ohio. Each meeting is being hosted by a county OSU Extension Educator to provide a local personal contact for this meeting. A meal is provided with each meeting and included in the registration price. Questions can be directed to the local host contact.

The outlook meeting are scheduled for the following dates and locations:

Date: January 14, 2019 Time: 7:30 am – 10:30 am Speakers: Ben Brown, Barry Ward, Ian Sheldon, Zoe Plakias, Aaron Wilson Location: Emmett Chapel, 318 Tarlton Rd, Circleville, OH 43113 Cost: $10.00 RSVP: Call OSU Extension Pickaway County 740-474-7534 By: January 12th More information can be found at: http://pickaway.osu.edu

Date: January 17, 2019 Time: 8:00 am – noon Speakers: Barry Ward, Ben Brown, Ian Sheldon, Aaron Wilson Location: Der Dutchman, Plain City, 445 S Jefferson Ave. Cost: $15.00 RSVP: Call OSU Extension, Union County 937-644-8117 By: January 10th More information can be found at: http://union.osu.edu

Date: January 24, 2019 Time: 9:00 am – 12:00 noon Speakers: Barry Ward, Ben Brown, David Marrison Location: St Mary’s Hall 46 East Main St. Wakeman, OH 44889 Cost: No Charge; $20.00 if past deadline RSVP: Call OSU Extension, Huron County 419-668-8219 By: January 22nd More information can be found at: http://huron.osu.edu

Date: January 28, 2019 Time: 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm Speakers: Ian Sheldon, Ben Brown, Aaron Wilson Location: Jewell Community Center Cost: $10.00 (after deadline $20.00) RSVP: OSU Extension, Defiance County 419-782-4771 By: January 22nd More information can be found at: http://defiance.osu.edu

Date: January 30, 2019 Time: 9:30 am – 3:30 pm Speakers: Ian Sheldon, Ben Brown, Barry Ward, Dianne Shoemaker, David Marrison, Kenneth Burdine Location: Fisher Auditorium Cost: $15.00 RSVP: Call OSU Extension, Wayne County 330-264-8722 By: January 24th More information can be found at: http://wayne.osu.edu

Date: February 13, 2019 Time: 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm Speakers: Barry Ward, Ben Brown, Ian Sheldon Location: Wayside Chapel, 2341 Kerstetter Rd.,  Bucyrus OH 44820 Cost: $15.00 RSVP: Call OSU Extension, Crawford County 419-562-8731 or email hartschuh.11@osu.edu By: February 5th More information can be found at: http://crawford.osu.edu

Date: March 22, 2019 Time: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm Speakers: Barry Ward, Ben Brown, David Marrison, Ian Sheldon Location: Chamber Ag Day / Ag Outlook meeting, Darke County Romers 118 E Main St., Greenville Registration Flyer: http://go.osu.edu/2019darkeagoutlook Cost: $20 RSVP: Darke County Extension office at 937-548-5215 By: March 16th More information can be found at: http://darke.osu.edu

 

Ag Lender Seminars feature Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Economist

By Wm. Bruce Clevenger, Amanda Douridas & Rory Lewandowski, Extension Educators

The 2018 OSU Extension Agricultural Lender Seminars will feature keynote speaker, Courtney Cowley, Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Omaha, Nebraska.  Cowley will speak to each of the three regionally offered Ag Lender seminars scheduled in October 2018.  She will share her research and the role of the Federal Reserve Bank with her topic “Outlook for the U.S. Economy with Implications for the Ag Sector.”  Cortney Cowley is an economist in the Regional Affairs Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Her current research focuses on agricultural finance, commodity markets, farm management, and natural resource economics and policy. Cowley’s responsibilities also include writing for the Tenth District Survey of Agricultural Credit Conditions and the Federal Reserve System’s Agricultural Finance Databook.    Cowley joined the Bank in 2015 after completing her Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics at Oklahoma State University. She also holds a B.S. degree in Biosystems Engineering from Oklahoma State and a M.S. degree in Civil Engineering from Colorado State University.

Additional speakers at each location include: Farm Policy & Commodity Outlook – Ben Brown, OSU CFAES, Farm Mgmt. Program Mgr.; Ohio Farm Economy & Production Economics – Barry Ward, OSU Extension, CFAES, Production Business Management; Dairy Production Economics – Dianne Shoemaker, OSU Extension, CFAES, Field Specialist; Hops, Barley & Ohio’s Specialty Crops – Brad Bergefurd, OSU Extension, CFAES, Extension Educator & Horticulture Specialist.

The three Ag Lender Seminars will be as follows:

Tuesday, October 16

Champaign Co. Community Center Auditorium

1512 South US Highway 68

Urbana, OH  43078

 

Wednesday, October 17

Putnam Co. Educational Service Center

Assembly Hall

124 Putnam Parkway

Ottawa, OH 45875

 

Thursday, October 18

Buckeye Agricultural Museum

877 West Old Lincoln Way

Wooster, OH 4469

Seminar programs begin promptly at 9:15 a.m. and conclude by 3:15 pm.  Registration information is available at: https://u.osu.edu/aglenderseminars/  or by contacting Bruce Clevenger, OSU Extension Educator, Defiance County at 419-782-4771 or clevenger.10@osu.edu.

OSU Extension conducts the seminars from input from Ag Lenders, County Extension Educators and Extension Specialists.  The seminars are designed to provide information that Ag Lenders will use directly with their customers, indirectly within the lending industry, and as professional development for current issues and trends in production agriculture.  OSU Extension has been offering Ag Lenders seminars for nearly 30 years.

 

 

Hops Production & Management Workshop Planned

by Chris Zoller, Extension Educator

 Are you looking for a way to diversify your farm income?  If so, raising Hops may be of interest.  The number of craft breweries has grown substantially in Ohio and many breweries are interested in sourcing locally grown hops.

The Tuscarawas County office of Ohio State University Extension will host a Hop Production & Management workshop on October 25th.  The workshop will begin at 5pm at the Mike McCoy Farm with a tour of the hop yard.  Discussion will continue at 7 pm at the Bolivar Fire Department.  Presenters include Brad Bergefurd, Horticulture/Hops Specialist, Ohio State University Extension; Andrew Marburger, Lockport Brewery; and Mike McCoy, Hops grower.

There is no cost to attend, but pre-registration is requested no later than October 18.  Reservations can be made by calling 330-339-2337.

Annie’s Project Course- Empowering Women in Agriculture

by: Jacqueline Kowalski & Robin Christensen, Extension Educators

 

 

OSU Extension in Summit and Portage Counties are teaming up to offer Annie’s Project from October 9th– November 13th, 2018. Annie’s project is a six-week program designed to address risk management education for farm women. Its objective is to educate women entrepreneurs so that they are more prepared to make farm management decisions. While a large number of farm women own and operate farms, others play a major role in the decision-making process of farm operations for farm families. Annie’s Project provides in-depth sessions on topics that are important for decision-making of the family farm. The program topics covered include human resources, legal risks, financial risks, marketing risks, and production costs and risks. Sessions are designed to be very interactive between the presenters and the participants. Information presented is tailored to meet the needs of participants in their own geographical areas.

Annie was a woman who grew up in a small rural community with the life-long goal of being involved in production agriculture. She spent her lifetime learning how to be an involved business partner with her husband, and together they reached their goals and achieved success. Annie’s daughter, Ruth Hambleton, a former Extension Educator for the University of Illinois, founded Annie’s Project in 2000 in honor of her mother. Annie’s Project is designed to take Annie’s life experiences and share them with other women in agriculture who are living and working in this complex, dynamic business environment. Additional details on Annie’s life can be found https://www.anniesproject.org/

The 6-week training will begin on Tuesday October 9th at 6:00pm, with dinner starting at 5:30pm. Registration is due October 5th, 2018. Classes will rotate between the Summit and Portage County Extension offices in Stow and Ravenna. The course fee is $100.

Please contact Robin Christensen with questions or for an application at 330-296-6432 or e-mail at Christensen.227@osu.edu

 

OSU Extension Income Tax Schools Focus on New Tax Law

by: Barry Ward and Julie Strawser, OSU Income Tax Schools

How to deal with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act—the new tax law for both individuals and businesses–is among the topics to be discussed during the upcoming Income Tax School workshop series offered throughout November and December.

The annual series helps tax preparers learn about federal tax law changes and updates for this year, as well as learn more about issues they may encounter when filing individual and small business 2018 tax returns.

The tax schools are intermediate-level courses that focus on interpreting tax regulations and changes in tax laws to help tax preparers, accountants, financial planners and attorneys advise their clients, he said. The schools offer continuing education credit for accountants, enrolled agents, attorneys, annual filing season preparers and certified financial planners.

This is an important year for tax education as the new tax law creates some challenges for tax practitioners to prepare themselves for the next filing season. Our instructors have great deal of experience and training and the accompanying workbook will be a top reference to prepare tax practitioners to best serve their clients during this transition to the new tax law.

The workbook offers over 700 pages of reference material including reference tables and examples that will be valuable to practitioners. Sample chapters of the reference workbook can be found at:

http://taxworkbook.com/about-the-tax-workbook/

The tax school will also feature a separate, two-hour ethics webinar that will broadcast Dec. 12 at 1 p.m. and again on Dec. 14 at 10 a.m. The webinar is approved by the IRS and will be available to tax school participants enrolled in the two-day tax school at no extra charge.

The registration fee for each workshop is $375, with a $50 late fee if not registered two weeks prior to the school. The fee includes all materials, lunches and refreshments. The deadline to enroll is 14 days prior to the date of each school. Participants can also choose to attend just day one of the workshop for $250. Additionally, the 2019 RIA Federal Tax Handbook and the Wolters Kluwer Master Tax Guide are both available for participants to purchase for a discounted fee of $40 each. Registration information and the online registration portal can be found at:

http://go.osu.edu/taxschools

The tax schools run from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the following dates and locations:

  • Oct. 31- Nov. 1 — Ole Zim’s Wagonshed, 1387 State Route 590, Gibsonburg.
  • Nov. 5-6 – Sheraton Suites, 1989 Front St., Cuyahoga Falls.
  • Nov. 7-8 — Ashland University Convocation Center, 820 Claremont Ave., Ashland
  • Nov. 13-14 — Presidential Banquet Center, 4548 Presidential Way, Kettering.
  • Nov. 15-16 — Old Barn Out Back, 3175 W. Elm St., Lima.
  • Nov. 26-27 — Der Dutchman Restaurant, 445 S. Jefferson Rt. 42, Plain City.
  • Nov. 28-29 — Ross County Service Center, 475 Western Ave., Chillicothe.
  • Dec. 3-4 — Ohio University, Zanesville Branch Campus Center, 1425 Newark Road, Zanesville.
  • Dec. 5-6 — The Ohio State University, Fawcett Center, 2400 Olentangy River Road, Columbus.

A daylong webinar on Ag Tax Issues will be broadcast Dec. 17 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Tax practitioners representing farmers or rural landowners, as well as farmers or farmland owners preparing their own taxes, will benefit from the five-hour webinar. The focus will be key regulations of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act related specifically to those income tax returns.

Participants can choose between attending a host location or participating at home or in the office. Host locations will provide a facilitator, refreshments and lunch. Participants are encouraged to bring a computer to engage in the real-time Q&A. Participants who choose not to attend a host location, will have a web address emailed prior to the webinar.

Registration, which includes the Ag Tax Issues workbook, is $150. Register by mail or on-line at http://go.osu.edu/AgIssuesReg

More information on the workshops, including how to register, can be found at go.osu.edu/taxschools. Participants may contact Ward at 614-688-3959, ward.8@osu.edu or Julie Strawser at 614-292-2433, strawser.35@osu.edu for more information.