Four Score and Seven Years of Tax Reform

In early June, Tim and I had the opportunity to attend a two – day conference on farm income tax and estate planning out in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, which is approximately 30 miles west of Gettysburg.  At the forefront of tax law for 2018 will be the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  Or as it is becoming known, Tax Reform.  The first day of the conference touched on many areas of the reform package from the updated tax brackets, to the increased standard deduction and the changes to itemized deductions, and every tax preparers favorite, Section 199A.  There will be several questions revolving around tax reform in the upcoming months as we approach the end of 2018 and the start of tax season, but most detailed questions will revolve around Section 199A and the domestic production activities deduction.  Several provisions of the reform package expire after 2025, hence the meaning of mentioning seven years in the title of my blog.

The second day of the conference covered many subjects that will hit closer to home for many farmers.  As our farming population continues to age, topics like ownership transition, income tax deferral opportunities, trust and estate planning and farm income averaging are becoming more important for young farmers to understand.

Tim and I did have the opportunity to drive over to Gettysburg after day one of the conference.  Due to daylight running low, we did not have time to tour Military National Park, but we did get to take in many monuments and battlefields.  As we learned from the civil war, our country is always evolving, we just have to be patient as our tax code does the same.

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