Tax Reform Details to be Decided May Affect Agriculture

Dan Economy, Industry News Release

tax reformA senior member of the Senate Finance Committee is predicting some of the missing details affecting agriculture in the Senate GOP tax reform bill.

Former Senate Finance Chair Chuck Grassley says while many tax reform details are yet to be decided, some are starting to take shape. Grassley suggests tax writers already have a figure in mind, for ‘stepped-up basis’ or market value at death used to figure the taxable capital gain on an asset, assuming the estate tax is ended.

Or, Grassley says, the equivalent of the current estate tax exclusion for a couple, while the American Farm Bureau wants to retain the current unlimited exemption for stepped-up basis.

And many other tax details remain unanswered, including treatment of pass-through income, like-kind exchanges, and cash-accounting.

Grassley paints a similar picture for any rollback of the interest deduction for business expenses, also important for agriculture.

Grassley expects the Senate to clear a path for tax reform when it returns from its week-long Columbus holiday recess.

He argues that so much staff work has been done on a bill, that it should be possible to pass tax reform and have it on the president’s desk “by Thanksgiving.”

Others are more skeptical, pointing to differences within and between the parties.

From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.