Join live timber tax webinar today at 1:00 pm est!
Have you suffered property damage in recent fires, hurricanes, or storms? Want to learn about how to list the damages on your tax returns? Join Dr. Linda Wang, a National Timber Tax Specialist with USDA Forest Service in Washington D.C., for a live Webinar today to learn more about Timber Tax information for private forest landowners.
Timber or landscape trees destroyed by recent fires, hurricanes or other storms are “casualty losses” that may allow the property owners to take a deduction on their federal income tax returns. To help timber owners, as well as homeowners, who suffered timber or landscape tree damages with their tax reporting, this webinar will focus on the new tax law changes that Congress passed in 2017 that affect the casualty loss deductions starting in the 2018 tax year.
Click the link or button below to join the webinar, which takes place today, December 7th, 2018, at 1pm EST
Catastrophic loss legislation aids forest landowners
A forest landowners worst fear is to lose his or her trees to a catastrophic event, such as a fire or hurricane. Under the current ‘basis limitation rule,’ nearly 70% of timber farmers must eat the cost of their loss, losing their income for the year and waiting another 20 plus years until their trees mature enough to cut and sell.
Under current law, a timber farmer may deduct from his or her taxes the lesser of either the fair market value lost or the amount of their basis after a catastrophic event. However, to encourage people to farm trees, the tax code allows farmers to deduct their basis over 8 years in the tax code. If trees are lost after 8 years, then the basis has most likely been fully deducted and the tax code sees the basis as 0, meaning it is the lesser of the two deduction options disallowing timber farmers to deduct anything after a catastrophic event.
While most crops are eligible for crop insurance, timber is not eligible and private sector insurance is expensive and filled with gaps in coverage. This legislation eliminates the ‘basis limitation rule,’ allowing any individual or business who grows trees with the intent of sale, to deduct up to the fair market value lost, helping landowners to get back on their feet after a catastrophic event.
FLA member Joe Hopkins worked with his U.S. House of Representative to write and introduce legislation that eliminates the ‘basis limitation rule,’ allowing any individual or business who grows trees with the intent of sale, to deduct up to the fair market value lost, helping landowners to get back on their feet after a catastrophic event. Representative Buddy Carter (R-GA), has introduced H.R. 4962, the Forest Recovery Act after seeing firsthand the devastation natural disasters can cause to timberland and understanding the financial loss when such a catastrophic event occurs.
“I introduced this legislation because we have seen devastating fires and hurricanes in Southeast Georgia recently. I heard straight from timber farmers and introduced this legislation to ensure this industry, which is critical to rural economies, is able to recover after a catastrophic event,” stated Carter.
“Timber takes 20 to 80 years before it is able to be cut and sold,” noted Carter. “This makes it extremely difficult for timber farmers to recover after a catastrophic loss. Unfortunately, the current system provides no recourse for these farmers during times of catastrophic loss. This is pushing landowners away from timber farming, limiting available forest products, hurting rural economies, and fails to protect our environment.
Take action! Send a message to your U.S. House of Representative today, urging them to co-sponsor the Forest Recovery Act, H.R. 4962. Let them know how/why this legislation is important to the economic viability to families growing timber in providing assurances and stability in times of catastrophic losses due to natural disasters.
- Rep. Westerman, Bruce [R-AR-4]
- Rep. Abraham, Ralph Lee [R-LA-5]
- Rep. Scott, Austin [R-GA-8]
- Rep. Goodlatte, Bob [R-VA-6]
- Rep. Palazzo, Steven M. [R-MS-4]
- Rep. Bishop, Sanford D., Jr. [D-GA-2]
- Rep. Byrne, Bradley [R-AL-1]
- Rep. Hice, Jody B. [R-GA-10]