Farm Trends

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    July 15th, 2014


    Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!

    I was in Omaha yesterday with Dick Wittman and a local attorney doing a seminar for the Legacy Project on succession planning.  One member of the audience mentioned that he felt like we had poured 100,000 bushels of corn into a 20,000 bushel grain bin.  I know we covered a lot of material, but the […]

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    June 3rd, 2014


    Portability Revisited

    With the “permanent” changes in the estate tax laws from about 2 years ago, we now have a permanent provision called portability.  This allows for the unused portion of someone’s estate to be “ported” over to the surviving spouse to be used on their final estate tax return. Example: John Bean passes away worth $1 […]

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    April 10th, 2014


    Trusts Can Get You in Trouble

    In a Tax Court filing from last week (Estate of Elwood H. Olsen, TC Memo 2014-58), we find how much tax can be owed if taxpayers do not administer trusts correctly.  In the case, Mr. Olsen passed away in 2008 at the age of 92.  In 1994, Mr. Olsen and his wife Grace each formed […]

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    March 30th, 2014


    Leave a Legacy (#44)

    I had the privilege about two weeks ago to make a quick trip to the Kansas City area to do taping for Leave a Legacy.  Leave a Legacy is a Farm Journal Media presentation focused on succession planning for farmers and is headed by Kevin Spafford.  About three years ago, I had taped an inside episode […]

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    October 24th, 2013


    180 Months Means 180 Months!

    The US Tax Court on Monday, October 21, 2013 released another Case that I found interesting.  In Estate of Helen Trombetta vs. Commissioner, the Tax Court essentially ruled creating a grantor trust with retained interests having a term of 180 months, you better make sure you live for at least 181 months if you want to save […]

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    January 13th, 2013


    Good News – Certain Credits Offset AMT

    Part of the ongoing Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) mess over the last several years involved the allowance of certain nonrefundable individual tax credits such as the adoption credit, the child and dependent care credit, the lifetime learning credit and other similar credits to be allowed to reduce AMT.  In some years it was allowed whereas in […]

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    November 20th, 2012


    Talk Brewing of Extending the Payroll Tax Cut

    The Employee FICA tax rate for 2011 and 2012 had been cut from the normal 6.2% to 4.2%.  This provision was set to expire at the end of this year and then revert back to the normal rate beginning January 1, 2013. Allowing this cut to expire in 2013 seemed like a reasonable position several […]

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    November 18th, 2012


    Don’t Forget The Small Employer Health Care Credit

    We tend to talk more about the tax costs of Obama Care and forget about some of the tax savings that are available.  One of those savings is for employers that cover part or all of their health insurance premium costs.  This credit is allowed in full assuming less than 11 employees and average wages […]

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    July 18th, 2012


    Plan for 2012 Crop Insurance Proceeds

    Based on this year’s drought, we know that this will most likely be the largest amount of crop insurance claims ever processed.  With proper planning, you may be able to structure when to report these crop insurance proceeds to achieve the best tax advantage for this year. Crop insurance proceeds due to crop damage (not […]

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    April 24th, 2012


    My Thoughts on Angus Cattle

    On Monday, I spent most of my day in St. Joseph, Missouri and near White Cloud Kansas.  I visited our St. Joseph office in the morning and I had a great time meeting the staff and partners at a new office to me.  However, this visit really made me feel old since as I looked […]

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