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Tax Reform Prospects for 2017

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Posted on: Jan 16th 2017

Source: American Farm Bureau

Clements: Farm Bureau members at AFBF’s 2017 Annual Convention are hopeful to see tax reform from the new Congress and the incoming administration. Both Congress and President-elect Trump have said they want to reform the U.S. tax code. AFBF tax specialist Pat Wolff says farmers have a lot to gain or lose by tax reform.

Wolff: Some of the priorities for farmers are getting the rates down, but in a way that doesn’t result in a tax increase. Now that sounds funny, but if you eliminate deductions in order to get the rates down, you may not come out ahead. So, we want a lower rate. Farmers want to keep the exemptions that are important to them and in the end have a net tax cut.

Clements: She explains the opportunities to provide positive change in the tax code for farmers and ranchers.

Wolff: There’s a lot of support for eliminating the estate tax. Both the Republicans in Congress and the president-elect are for that, so that’s an opportunity we haven’t had in a long time. There’s also widespread support for changing the way farmers can deduct their business expenses. The idea is that if you allow the deduction when you make the purchase, you increase cash flow and can grow businesses, so that’s another priority for agriculture.

Clements:While there is widespread support for tax reform, she says the process to make the reforms will take time.

Wolff: You’d think to listen to the news that tax reform is going to be instantaneous when we have a new president at the end of January, but this is going to be a long drug out, knock down fight. It looks like it will take through the summer, and it’s important for farmers and ranchers to let their representatives know what’s important so that the tax cuts that come help them.

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