November 12, 2003
Program turns camera's eye on farm tax rules
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. Keeping up with volatile commodity prices, crop pests and the latest high-tech machinery is enough to consume a farmer's time, even without adding taxes to the mix.
So that farmers aren't caught off guard by recent tax changes, the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service is sponsoring "Income Tax Planning and Management for Farmers in 2003." The free workshop will be available from 7-9 p.m. EST on Dec. 9 to about 20 county Extension offices statewide via closed-circuit television.
George Patrick, a Purdue agricultural economist and tax specialist, and David Frette, a Washington, Ind., certified public accountant, are the featured speakers.
"This program is intended primarily for agricultural producers," Patrick said. "We'll give farmers a brief update on tax changes that affect them, such as the expanded additional first-year depreciation and the big expansion of Section 179 expensing."
The larger first-year depreciation enacted by Congress places many farmers in the position of choosing to pay federal income tax or putting it off until later. For example, if a farmer spends $20,000 on new equipment they could claim $10,000 of that amount as a deduction for the year of purchase.
A related tax change is in Section 179 of the U.S. tax code. Federal lawmakers boosted from $25,000 to $100,000 the amount in business purchases a farmer or businessperson can write off the same year, within certain income limitations.
During the tax workshop Patrick and Frette also will discuss the tax implications of government payments.
"We'll talk about some of the cost-sharing payments that farmers may have gotten under federal conservation programs, how they handle other government program payments, grain marketing arrangements and other topics of interest," Patrick said.
Farmers attending the workshop will receive tax help materials. In addition, county Extension offices receiving the closed-circuit program will be set up to allow farmers to ask questions of Patrick and Frette by telephone, e-mail or fax.
County Extension offices hosting the workshop are still being determined. For the location nearest you, in late November call Purdue's toll-free Extension hotline at (888) 398-4636 and ask for extension 44191.
The program is being aired via the Indiana Higher Education Telecommunication System network.
Writer: Steve Leer, (765) 494-8415, firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: George Patrick, (765) 494-4241, email@example.com
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