Friday, March 5, 2021
June National Farm Tax and Estate/Business Planning Conference
On June 7-8 at the Shawnee State Park Lodge and Conference Center near West Portsmouth, Ohio, Washburn Law School will hold the first of two summer 2021 national conferences focusing on farm income tax and farmer estate/business planning. The second event will be August 2-3 in Missoula, Montana. These are great conferences for attorneys, CPAs and other tax practitioners, agribusiness professionals, farmers, and others interested in learning more about the legal and tax issues associated with income tax planning and management and estate and business planning for those engaged in the trade or business of farming.
The June 7-8 Ohio conference – it’s the topic of today’s post.
Day 1 Agenda
On Monday, June 7, our focus will be on farm income tax issues. Joining me for the day is Paul Neiffer, a Principal (Agribusiness) with CliftonLarsonAllen, LLP. Paul and I have worked together on the seminar circuit for a number of years and enjoy teaching together to farm tax audiences. Many of you know of Paul via his Farm CPA Today blog.
I will begin Day 1 with an update on what’s been happening in the courts and IRS/Treasury that has implications for those engaged in farming. Paul will then address the lingering issues with the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the varied client situations and questions that arose during the 2020 tax season. The morning session will then continue with coverage of various miscellaneous topics – NOL rules; like-kind exchanges; amending partnership returns; oil and gas taxation basics. Paul will then conclude the morning with a discussion of the final I.R.C. §199A regulations.
After the luncheon, Matthew Bohlmann, the IRS-CI Senior Analyst National Coordinator for the Identity Theft program under Cyber Crimes-Headquarters, will explain how to protect your practice and your clients against cyber threats and tax fraud, and steps that your offices can take to protect client data. After Matt’s session, Paul and I will address various tax and entity structuring issues relevant to maximizing federal farm program payments for farmers. Then, I will take a dive into the tax legislation and policy arena to assess what has happened and what might happen in the near future that impacts tax planning.
Day 2 Agenda
On Tuesday, June 8, we change our focus to the estate and business planning side of things. 2021 is a big year for potential change in this area of the law, with huge implications for farm and ranch clients (and others). What is going to happen with the level of the estate tax exemption? What about the present interest annual exclusion? Will corporate tax rates change? Will the QBID be eliminated? What’s the IRS doing with the partnership audit rules? Should a client’s business organizational form be changed? The answers to all of these questions are up in the air right now. But each one of them is critically important.
I will begin Day 2 with an overview of caselaw and IRS administrative and regulatory developments. Following my update session, Dr. William Snell from the University of Kentucky Ag Econ Department will provide his insights into the current status of the farm economy. It is always a good idea to be in tune with the economic environment that clients function in. That helps anticipate legal and tax issues that might arise and provides planning opportunities that otherwise might be missed. After the morning break, I will touch on some selected issues with respect to the special use valuation election that can be made on a farmer/rancher’s estate tax return. This is a very complex provision of the Code, and it may be back in “vogue” again if the federal estate tax exemption is reduced from its current level. To round out the morning, I will discuss corporate reorganizations. Of course, this topic is being driven by the possibility of changes in the law that could impact how the farming or ranching operation should be structured. A major focus will be on divisive reorganizations.
After the luncheon, Robert Moore, an attorney practicing near Columbus, Ohio will continue the discussion of the use of business entities in farm succession planning. Mr. Moore has a focus on estate and business planning for farmers in his practice. He will address several strategies for succession planning and how to keep the family in the farm for subsequent generations. Following the afternoon break I will go through the issues facing farmers in financial distress and provide some insight into strategies for managing tax and legal issues that are inherent in such situations.
The concluding session of Day 2 will be an hour of ethics by Prof. Shawn Leisinger from the law school. This session will an interactive session with attendees involving ethical issues surrounding clients with end-of-life decisions that need to be made by the client and family members. This is a very important topic that practitioners often have to deal with and some rather thorny ethical issues must be dealt with.
If you can’t make the conference in-person, both days will be live simulcast over the web. You will be able to interact with the speakers by asking questions and hearing responses.
The conference will be held at the Shawnee State Park Lodge and Conference Center in southern Ohio near West Portsmouth Ohio. The location is almost equally distanced from Lexington, KY, Columbus, OH and Cincinnati, OH. If you will be flying in, flights into any of those airports would be your best choice.
A room block has been established for the weekend before the conference and through the conference.
The fee for the conference varies depending on whether you are claiming continuing education credit. If not, the registration rate is lower. We welcome farmers, ranchers and others that don’t need continuing education credit to attend along with those that will be claiming professional education credit.
As of today, we are thankful for the sponsorship of the Wright and Moore Law Company of Delaware, OH, and AgriLegacy. You may learn more about the Wright and Moore Law Company here: https://www.ohiofarmlaw.com/ and AgriLegacy here: https://agrilegacy.com/ If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please contact me.
You can learn more about the conference and register here: https://washburnlaw.edu/employers/cle/farmandranchtaxjune.html
On August 2-3 we will conduct the second of the two summer conferences in Missoula, MT. The program agenda there will be slightly different, and I will do a separate post on that conference next week. That conference will also be simulcast over the web for those unable to attend in person.
I hope to see you at one of the conferences this summer or, if not, I hope that you are able to attend online. This content and discussion will be valuable to your practice and/or farming or ranching operation.