Seminar Tackles New Laws Impacting Agriculture


By Aimee Burnett

Burley, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) With new federal tax laws in place, there are some changes farmers and ranchers need to be aware of.

Accounting firm Cooper Norman held a seminar in Burley to discuss a variety of issues within the agriculture industry.

From the Field to Financials ...that was the theme of the agriculture seminar.

"Our firm specializes in agriculture, row crop farmers, dairy, just about anything to do with Ag," said Clint Tavenner, Cooper Norman, Chair of Agriculture Committee.

Accounting firm Cooper Norman started holding these seminars three years ago to keep producers up to date on what's happening in the financial and tax worlds.

Some of the bigger changes occurred with the introduction of the new tax laws.

"We've been extending this law, one year at a time or maybe two years at a time with always that threat that now we call the fiscal cliff of taxes going up for everybody almost,” said Clint Adams, CPA, Cooper Norman.

A welcome addition to the new tax laws will allow farmers and ranchers to expense more than they initially thought.

"In the current year one of the things that was extended was the ability to expense equipment purchases up to almost half a million dollars," said Adams.

The extension was set retroactively back to last year.

Another big topic of discussion is health care law.

How it will impact business owners.

What it comes down to is how many employees you have and whether you provide insurance.

"Employers with more than fifty employees are responsible for providing a minimum level of insurance to their employees, and if they're not doing that then they're going to be hit with a tax or penalty of $2,000 per employee," said Adams.

With inflation that number will continue to increase in subsequent years.

Cooper Norman representatives recommends you talk with your insurance provider and your CPA because it takes experts to fully navigate the new laws.

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