Ag tax management still key
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Gerald Uglem has been coming to the annual Income Tax Management for Ag Producers program for years. Increasingly complicated tax laws have led the veteran Northwood, N.D., farmer to enlist the help of a tax practitioner, but...
GRAND FORKS, N.D. - Gerald Uglem has been coming to the annual Income Tax Management for Ag Producers program for years. Increasingly complicated tax laws have led the veteran Northwood, N.D., farmer to enlist the help of a tax practitioner, but Uglem still plays an active role in preparing his own taxes.
“So, this program helps me learn about what’s changed,” he said. “There’s always something new.”
Uglem was among more than 100 people statewide who attended the 26th annual program Nov. 28 in Grand Forks, N.D. Sponsored by the North Dakota State University Extension Service and the Internal Revenue Service, it was held at interactive sites in Bismarck State College, North Dakota School for the Deaf in Devils Lake, Dickinson State University, the Grand Forks County Office Building, the Jamestown Law Enforcement Center, the North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton, and the NDSU Research Extension centers in Minot and Langdon.
It featured presentations by Ann Makres with the IRS, Judy Gilbertson with AgCountry Farm Credit Services in Jamestown, N.D., Rhonda Mahlum with Mahlum Goodhart in Mandan, N.D., Jess Nehl with Eide Bailly in Bismarck, N.D., and Brent Roeder with Eide Bailly in Fargo, N.D.
When the program began 26 years ago, it attracted primarily ag producers. Now, a majority of attendees are tax practitioners, though many farmers and ranchers attend, too, organizers say.
Among the many topics examined during the three-hour program, which included several question-and-answer periods: succession planning, depreciation rules, farm income averaging and net operating losses.
Perhaps the key big-picture message of this year’s program is that tax planning remains important for ag producers, even when times are tough economically and they have little, if any, taxable income
Strategies such as accelerating income by taking advances on grain sales or prepaying expenses such as seed, chemical and fertilizer, said Gilbertson of AgCountry Farm Credit Services.
Health insurance - with health insurance subsidies affected for farmers with fluctuating incomes - also should be considered, according to information at the program.
Examples, guidance A few specific examples of what was covered Nov. 28.
The four IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers in North Dakota - one each in Bismarck, Grand Forks, Fargo and Minot - now offer assistance by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, call 844-545-5640.
The IRS is proposing to eliminate some or all of the discounts family farms can take when they transfer the farmland or operations.
Two complex loopholes in Social Security benefits have been closed. File and suspend, which benefited a worker at full retirement age and his/her spouse, is no longer allowed. Nor is the restricted application, which allowed married individuals to receive spousal benefits at full retirement age, while letting their own retirement grow by delaying it.
Tax practitioners need to be increasingly of identify theft. “Be aware. Be careful. Protect your clients, “ said Makres with the IRS.
The annual program can’t answer all the questions that ag producers and their tax practitioners have, but it provides some useful guidance said Willie Huot, the Grand Forks County extension agent who led the Grand Forks location.
“Year-end business decisions and retirement planning is so important, and we want this program to help with that,” he said.