NEWSLETTER

Relief for Drought-Stricken Farmers and Ranchers

December 1, 2020
By: HintonBurdick

Farmers and ranchers who were forced to sell livestock due to drought may have an additional year to replace the livestock and defer tax on any gains from the forced sales. The relief generally applies to capital gains realized by eligible farmers and ranchers on sales of livestock held for draft, dairy or breeding purposes. Sales of other livestock, such as those raised for slaughter or held for sporting purposes, or poultry, are not eligible.

Here are seven facts about this to help farmers understand how the deferral works and if they are eligible.

1. The one-year extension gives eligible farmers and ranchers until the end of the tax year after the first drought-free year to replace the sold livestock.

2. To qualify for relief, the farm or ranch must be in an applicable region. This is a county or other jurisdiction designated as eligible for federal assistance plus counties contiguous to it.

3. This extension is granted to farms and ranches located in the applicable region that qualify for the four-year replacement period if any county that is included in the applicable region is listed as suffering exceptional, extreme or severe drought conditions as determined by the National Drought Mitigation Center. All or part of 46 states, plus the District of Columbia and four U.S. territories are listed in the notice.

4. The relief applies to farmers who were affected by drought that happened between September 1, 2019, and August 31, 2020.

5. This relief generally applies to capital gains realized by eligible farmers and ranchers on sales of livestock held for draft, dairy or breeding purposes. Sales of other livestock, such as those raised for slaughter or held for sporting purposes, or poultry are not eligible.

6. To qualify, the sales must be solely due to drought, flooding or other severe weather causing the region to be designated as eligible for federal assistance.

7. Farmers generally must replace the livestock within a four-year period, instead of the usual two-year period. As a result, qualified farmers and ranchers whose drought-sale replacement period was scheduled to expire at the end of this tax year, December 31, 2020, in most cases, now have until the end of their next tax year. Furthermore, because the normal drought sale replacement period is four years, this extension immediately impacts drought sales that occurred during 2016. But because of previous drought-related extensions affecting some of these areas, the replacement periods for some drought sales before 2016 are also affected.

For additional details or more information on reporting drought sales and other farm-related tax issues, please call.

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