NewsMontana AG Network


Montana Ag Network: Year-end tax advice for farmers and ranchers

Posted at 9:32 AM, Dec 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-26 13:53:19-05

From lower commodity and livestock markets to weather challenges, 2019 has been a very challenging year for a lot of farmers and ranchers. And with just a few days left in the year, agricultural tax experts like Wipfli’s Curt Barnekoff are encouraging producers to visit with their certified public accounts and for good reason.

“We're encouraging people to get in, get their records up to date, figure out where they're at and come talk to their CPA about what moves might be good to even out the income,” said Barnekoff. “Maybe even minimize the loss and pull some income back into 2019 if they can.”

He also offers this tax advice for those producers who need or want to make equipment or facility updates.

“Fast depreciation is available for pretty much any asset that’s bought and put into service on a farm or ranch,” said Barnekoff. “Those options are great. They're available with great flexibility. Also, there's a lot of flexibility in deciding when you pay expenses or when you collect your income. If you want to put it in this year or next year, there's huge flexibility that way. So, we're working with people that way, as we always do.”

He says the new tax bill that was passed in 2017 really has helped farmers and ranchers, especially during these challenging times here of late.

“You know, we have a few new deductions, some lower tax rates and different structures,” said Barnekoff. “I'd say what happened in 2017 with the tax bill, it’s been good for farmers and ranchers. And we're really pleased to have more tools in our toolbox to help everybody.”

Farmers and ranchers are encouraged to visit with their own tax experts as every agricultural operation is different.