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Maura Bennett Producers Advised to Get Tax Help
by Maura Bennett, click here for bio

Program: Colorado Ag Today
Date: February 21, 2019

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As Colorado’s farmers and ranchers file or work on their 2018 tax returns experts say it not too early to start getting prepared for next year’s federal income tax returns.

Guido van der Hoeven of North Carolina State University tells the USDA that he advises farmers and ranchers to stay in contact with their tax preparers and accountants all year long.

And Colorado farmers and ranchers have even more reasons to stay in touch with their tax professionals because of potential changes coming in tax laws.

Last year, the Colorado Office of the State Auditor released it first evaluation of the state’s tax expenditure and deductions and exclusions. It is reviewing all of the state’s tax expenditures on a five-year schedule to assess their effectiveness and whether they are meeting their intended purpose.

According to the Pew Charitable Trust, a study done to assist the state included background information and analyses of 15 tax expenditures, including a few related to agriculture. Some of the programs under review included the Agricultural Lease Deduction, Crop Hail Insurance Premium Tax Exemption, and the Farm Close-Out Sales Tax Exemption.

None of these programs is widely used. According to an analysis some of the programs may be duplicated on the federal level. Farmers and ranchers might not be aware of other programs. For example, The Agricultural Lease Deduction has been available since 2016 but researchers say only 27 percent of Colorado producers were aware it existed.

Similar evaluations have led to changes in other states to help stem revenue losses.

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