Nationwide News: Farm equipment, depreciation and the new tax law

The following information is provided by Nationwide, the No. 1 farm and ranch insurer in the United States.

Buy, lease or hold the old? Some changes in tax law will impact decisions you as a farm operator make over the next several years. These decisions may center around farm equipment, livestock and other assets that depreciate.

A new law revised the rules around depreciation and will allow full and immediate expensing for purchases over the next several years. The new law, however, ended like-kind exchanges (the replacing of a depreciating asset without paying the taxes on the new item), and that can affect the way you approach your personal property, such as equipment and livestock and the taxation of these assets.

The nitty gritty: The rule on expensing and bonus depreciation was changed to permit full expensing of most newly purchased depreciable property used in a farming operation through 2022. Arguably one of the largest changes to depreciation is the expansion of Internal Revenue Code section 179 to allow used equipment to receive the same treatment as if it were “new.”

Questions to ask yourself:

•    What type of depreciation makes sense for my operation?
•    Should I consider using a mixture of bonus depreciation and straight-line depreciation?
•    What are the tax implications if I have highly depreciated equipment that I need to sell?

What it means for you: From a tax standpoint, farmers will now need to think more strategically when buying and selling farm equipment and other farm items. They may consider alternative methods like using a charitable remainder trust to sell a property to avoid paying tax on the sale.

When thinking about using a charitable remainder trust or other business planning strategies it’s important to enlist the help of qualified professionals who don’t have a stake in the final decisions. Qualified professionals may include your banker, your accountant, your personal attorney or a financial or estate planner.

If you would like to help in finding a qualified professional to speak with, contact the Nationwide Land As Your Legacy team at [email protected] or toll-free at 1-855-529-2729.

Neither Nationwide, nor its employees, its agents, brokers or registered representatives gives legal or tax advice.
Nationwide, the Nationwide N and Eagle, Nationwide is on your side and Land As Your Legacy are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. © 2018 Nationwide LAM-2930AO (04/18)