Keeping up with federal income tax laws that change every year, especially those that apply to timber, can be challenging. Plus, the new year is always a perfect time for reviewing property tax valuations. Answers and help are available from a number of sources.
At Bird Forestry, guiding forestland owners toward the best answers for tax questions is an integral part of helping set and reach land management goals.
The ultimate online source of forestland tax information is the National Timber Tax Website. This is the reference website utilized by landowners, accountants, and foresters.
Other sources include the Texas A&M Forest Service website that offers Forest Taxation: Timber Taxation frequently asked questions where answers along with directions on additional information can be found.
Additional tips and direction can be obtained by contacting your state forestry association like the Texas Forestry Association and the Louisiana Forestry Association.
One noted change for the 2018 tax year according to the U.S. Forest Service includes federal income tax provisions that apply to timber property types. Tax treatments vary significantly for different types of properties whether personal-use property, investment property, or business property. Another U.S. Forest Service bulletin outlining 2018 tax year changes on timber and landscape tree loss due to casualties such as hurricane, fire, earthquake, tornado, or hail or ice storms is also found on their site.
While these are good sources for a start in the right direction, prudent forestland ownership requires knowledge and management beyond planting, harvesting, environmental issues, and natural disaster risks. Knowledge is essential not only for setting your land management goals and objectives but also affords confidence when selecting a tax preparation specialist suited to your specific needs.
Meeting IRS requirements, while minimizing your tax bill, is an essential element in reaching forestland management goals.