Farm Trends

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!

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July 15th, 2014

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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Portability Revisited

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June 3rd, 2014

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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Trusts Can Get You in Trouble

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April 10th, 2014

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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Leave a Legacy (#44)

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March 30th, 2014

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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180 Months Means 180 Months!

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October 24th, 2013

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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Good News – Certain Credits Offset AMT

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January 13th, 2013

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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Talk Brewing of Extending the Payroll Tax Cut

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November 20th, 2012

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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Don’t Forget The Small Employer Health Care Credit

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November 18th, 2012

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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Plan for 2012 Crop Insurance Proceeds

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July 18th, 2012

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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My Thoughts on Angus Cattle

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April 24th, 2012

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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