Farm and Ranch Income Tax/Estate and Business Planning Seminar/Webinar

Washburn University School of Law presents the two-day seminar "Farm and Ranch Income Tax/Estate and Business Planning Seminar" on Thursday, July 13 and Friday, July 14, 2017 at Sheridan College in Sheridan, Wyoming. This program is appropriate for agribusiness professionals, attorneys, certified public accountants, enrolled agents, and tax practitioners

This program may be attended either in person or online
(see "Information for Online Attendees" in the sidebar).

NOTE: All times shown below are Mountain Time (MT); e.g., 8:00 a.m. MT = 9:00 a.m. Central Time = 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time = 7:00 a.m. Pacific Time.

About the Presenters

Photograph: Roger McEowen.Roger McEowen, J.D., Kansas Farm Bureau Professor of Agricultural Law and Taxation at Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kansas. He is a member of the Iowa and Kansas Bar Associations and is licensed to practice in Nebraska. Mr. McEowen publishes the online Washburn Agricultural Law and Tax Report (WALTR) which focuses on legal and tax issues that agricultural producers, agricultural businesses, and rural landowners face and he maintains the Agricultural Law and Taxation Blog. He is also widely published in law reviews and agricultural law publications and conducts agricultural tax and law seminars across the country. Previously, Mr. McEowen was the Leonard Dolezal Professor in Agricultural Law, and director of the Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation at Iowa State University through 2015. Learn more about Roger McEowen.

Photograph: Paul Neiffer.Paul Neiffer, CPA, is a principal in the Agribusiness Group at CliftonLarsonAllen. Based in Yakima, Washington, he specializes in income taxation and accounting services related to farmers and processors. Mr. Neiffer actively consults with farm families on succession planning issues and opportunities, and helps farmers understand the proper use of accounting systems to more profitably run their business. He authors a monthly column for Top Producer magazine and maintains the Farm CPA Today blog. Learn more about Paul Neiffer.


Thursday, July 13, 2017 - Farm Income Tax

7:30-8:00 a.m. — Check-in and Continental Breakfast

8:00-9:30 a.m. — Recent Developments in Ag Taxation

This session will address current developments of relevance. Any new tax legislation of relevance to the agricultural sector will be addressed as will tax-related provisions of any new health care legislation that has an impact on farm and ranch clients. The session will also discuss how tax reform will affect clients, and will include a discussion of recent caselaw and IRS developments of significance.

9:30-9:40 a.m. Break

9:40-10:10 a.m. — Depreciation Strategies — The Use of I.R.C. §179 and Bonus

How does the de minimis safe harbor of the repair regulations factor in? How should I.R.C. §179 be utilized in the context of single and multi-member LLCs, and how should it be balanced among multiple entities and work in connection with bonus depreciation?

10:10-10:50 a.m. — Farm Income Averaging

This session will provide guidance on what income qualifies for farm income averaging; should taxpayers elect income averaging even if it does not reduce current year tax?; how much income should be elected?; what should the tax preparer be looking for when determining whether an income averaging election makes sense for a farm client?

10:50-11:00 a.m. — Break

11:00-11:30 a.m. — Financial Distress and Tax-Related Issues

This session covers various tax issues associated with clients in financial distress. Addressed will be the Form 982 attributes, insolvency, bankruptcy tax issues, and tax issues associated with the sale of farm/ranch assets.

11:30-Noon — Income Tax Deferral Opportunities

Farmers and ranchers have several income tax deferral planning strategies available. This session goes over the rules and planning opportunities involving deferred payment contracts, the crop insurance deferral election, the rules surrounding the excess sale of livestock due to weather-related conditions, and the election to capitalize fertilizer costs.

Noon-1:00 p.m. — Luncheon (provided)

1:00-1:45 p.m. — The IRS Attack on Cash Accounting

This session looks at recent attempts by the IRS to deny the cash method of accounting to farming and ranching operations. Discussion will include a recently announced IRS pilot program; the Agro-Jal Farms case on pre-paid expenses and repair regulations; the Wasco case on the capitalization of pre-productive period expenses; the Backemeyer case involving pre-paid expenses and death before the pre-paid inputs can be used.

1:45-2:30 p.m. — Repair/Capitalization Regulations — An Update and Review

This session will provide an update on how the repairs and capitalization regulations apply to farm tax returns; when a Form 3115 is required; whether farmers should make the de minimis election; and how to treat purchases greater than the de minimis amounts.

2:30-2:40 p.m. — Break

2:40-3:30 p.m. — Tax Planning Strategies for Farmers and Ranchers

This session will cover the relative pros and cons of various entity structures; corporate-provided meals and lodging; succession of ownership; commodity gifting; charitable remainder trusts; tax treatment of meals and lodging; self-employment tax and rental arrangements and C corporation accumulated earnings tax.

3:30-3:40 p.m. — Break

3:40-4:45 p.m. — Potpourri of Agricultural Tax Issues

This session covers a range of tax issues of importance to practitioners with agricultural clients. Issues addressed include: IC DISC and the Domestic Production Activities Deduction; USDA grants – taxability and availability of exclusions; Cooperatives – patronage dividends/redemption of non-qualified notices and allocation requirement; handling farm losses; oil and gas tax issues (handling of income and expense); Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act – U.S. reporting and tax implications of making payments to non-U.S. individuals and entities, including Forms W-8BEN and W-8BEN-E; Commodity transactions (hedging vs. speculation; terminology); Special rules for farmers-self-employment tax; passive activity rules; handling the on-farm personal residence and rental issues.

4:45 p.m. — Adjourn

Friday, July 14, 2017 - Farm Estate and Business Planning

7:30-8:00 a.m. — Check-in and Continental Breakfast

8:00-9:15 a.m. — Estate and Business Planning Cases, Rulings and Legislative Update

This session covers the key court rulings and developments from the Treasury and IRS impacting decedents' estates and trusts and succession of farm or ranch businesses. Legislative developments in the Congress, if any, concerning the transfer tax system will also be addressed. Specific issues addressed will include recent developments concerning the portability election, valuation issues including alternate and special use valuation, and family limited partnerships.

9:15-9:50 a.m. — The Use of Charitable Trusts in the Estate and Business Planning Process

Charitable trusts can be an important part of an estate plan for many clients. This session explains how to evaluate whether a charitable trust might be a useful estate planning tool for a client. In particular, the discussion will address the use of charitable remainder trusts for raised grain and equipment, and the tax and fiduciary management issues associated with the use of charitable lead trusts.

9:50-10:00 a.m. — Break

10:00-10:50 a.m. — The Impact of the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) on Estate Planning

ATRA requires a change in the approach to estate planning for many clients' estate plans. In some respects, planning is more complicated. This session will explain the importance of preserving a client's applicable exclusion; maintaining and maximizing stepped-up basis at death; how to optimally utilize portability of the deceased spouse's unused exclusion amount; and the keys to income tax planning for a decedent's estate, including techniques to manage income tax basis.

10:50-11:00 a.m. — Break

11:00-11:30 a.m. — 2014 Farm Bill and FSA Planning

This session examines the provisions of the 2014 Farm Bill that have an impact on tax and entity planning for farmers participating in federal farm programs. The discussion includes how to structure the farming operation to maximize farm program payments and various FSA administrative issues.

11:30-Noon — Tax Issues Associated With the Sale of a Decedent's Residence

When a decedent's personal residence is sold, numerous tax issues are presented. This session examines basis rules, how to handle repair expenses incurred before sale, selling expenses, and the tax issues associated with whether the residence is utilized post-death for the personal use of a beneficiary or for investment.

Noon-1:00 p.m. — Luncheon (provided)

1:00-2:00 p.m. — The "Structure" Question and Self-Employment Tax

This session explores the various way to structure the farming or ranching operation as it impacts self-employment tax. In particular, the use of a limited liability company will be examined as a tool to reduce the self-employment tax burden.

2:00-2:30 p.m. — Long-Term Care Planning Strategies

This session covers the key concepts involved in long-term care planning. Addressed will be Medicare; strategies for the private payment of long-term care expenses; private long-term care insurance; Medicaid planning concepts and asset transfer rule; and the use of trusts as part of long-term care planning.

2:30-2:40 p.m. — Break

2:40-3:20 — Estate Planning in Light of Uncertainty

The present legislative uncertainty surrounding the transfer tax system and whether or not the federal estate tax will be repealed raises interesting planning questions. This session takes a look at possible scenarios and what planners can do to ensure clients' estates are prepared as best as possible for what might transpire.

3:20-3:50 p.m. — Planning Techniques Designed to Aid Farm Operational and Succession Planning

This session explores various strategies designed to aid the farm family in reducing the transfer cost of succession planning. Included in the discussion will be the tax and non-tax factors involved with giving a key employee a "profits interest" in the family business, the use of defective grantor trusts, and installment sales.

3:50-4:00 p.m. — Break

4:00-4:45 p.m. — Portability Planning and the Reporting of Gifts on the Gift Tax Return

In this session, the strategies involving the portability election are examined in various scenarios involving sample estates. In addition, we will examine the reasons for reporting charitable gifts on the gift tax return even if penalties are of no concern.

4:45 p.m. — Adjourn

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Join the Seminar!

Please note: This seminar is being streamed online using Adobe Connect, a Flash-based product. Some institutions/agencies block Flash-based products on their network.

To attend the seminar online:

  • Click the 'Join the Seminar!' link above (begins at 8:00 a.m. Mountain Daylight Time both days).
  • Note: You will be able to join the CLE approximately 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start time.
  • Select "Enter as a Guest".
  • In the "Name" box type your firstname, lastname, and bar number.
  • Click "Enter room" and follow any on-screen instructions.
  • You will be placed in the seminar session.
  • Verify that your sound in not muted.

Registration for this program is now closed.
We look forward to seeing you on Thursday and Friday.

Dates / Location

Thursday, July 13, 2017 and
Friday, July 14, 2017

Location (in-person attendees):
Sheridan College
Edward A. Whitney Academic Center, Room W153
(WB on the campus map)
Sheridan, Wyoming
Get Directions and Maps

Attendees are free to park anywhere on campus, except for special permit parking (which is posted with signage). Lot A, as shown on the map, is closest to Whitney Academic Center.

Registration Fee

Paid Through Thursday, July 6, 2017
» $405 both full days
» $275 Thursday only
» $275 Friday only

Paid After July 6, 2017
» $455 both full days
» $300 Thursday only
» $300 Friday only
See registration form.
See Washburn W-9 (taxpayer ID)

Program fee includes materials in electronic form.

Registration Deadline:
Registrations will be accepted until all seats are full. Attendees must pay the registration fee prior to start of the program.

Program Materials in Hard Copy

All attendees will receive access to the program materials in electronic form. The link to the electronic materials will be sent via email no later than Tuesday, July 11, 2017.

Attendees (in person and online) who would like hard copy of the materials may purchase them for an additional $95 as indicated on the registration form.

In person attendees: if purchased, hard copy materials will be handed out at the seminar.

Online attendees: if purchased, hard copy materials will be mailed as soon as they are available. Please note that hard copy materials may not be received until after the seminar.

Non-Attendees can purchase program materials:
» $95: Hard copy
» $50: Electronic format (PDF)
» $125: Hard copy and electronic

Hard copy materials will be mailed to non-attendees as soon as they are available but may not be received until after the seminar. A download link for electronic materials will be sent after payment is received.

Information for Online Attendees

This seminar will be streamed using Adobe Connect, a Flash-based product. Some institutions/agencies block Flash-based products on their network. There is no charge to use Adobe Connect. Return to this page on the day(s) of the seminar and click the link that appears on the page; the link will also be sent to online attendees via email.

Online attendance at this program falls under the Kansas Continuing Legal Education Commission's Nontraditional Programming Limitation. Nontraditional programming is limited to a maximum of 5 hours of credit per compliance period.
See Rule 806 (l) (196 KB PDF; requires Adobe Acrobat Reader) at the Kansas CLE Commission website for more information. Nontraditional programming limitations may vary in other jurisdictions; it is the responsibility of the attendee seeking credit to verify limitations.

Continuing Education Credit

Accredited by the Kansas Continuing Legal Education Commission:

  • Thursday, July 13: 8.0 hours
  • Friday, July 14: 8.0 hours
  • Online: 6 hours total between the two days

CLE credit in other jurisdictions: all other attorney attendees will receive documentation and be responsible for submitting for credit in their home state.

Continuing education credit for Enrolled Agents (EAs) and Other Tax Return Preparers (OTRPs) will be reported to the IRS by the Kansas State University Department of Agricultural Economics, an IRS Approved Education Provider. The program is approved for EAs and OTRPs for 11 hours of Federal Tax Law and 5 hours of Federal Tax Update.

Lodging and Dining

Attendees are responsible for making their own lodging arrangements. Lists of hotels, motels, and specialty lodging, as well as restaurants, are on the Sheridan, Wyoming website and the Sheridan Media website.


If you cannot attend the seminar, you may send a substitute. If you cancel your registration before midnight on Monday, July 10, 2017, your registration fee will be refunded. After that date, non-attending registrants will receive the course materials in electronic form and be subject to a $50 cancellation fee.

The sponsors reserve the right to cancel this seminar and return all fees.

Assistance for Special Needs and Other Questions

If you require special services or auxiliary aids to assist you while attending the event, please contact Jana Clements at Sheridan College at (307) 674-6446 ext. 2841 or

Questions regarding registration or the program can be directed to Donna Vilander at Washburn Law at (785) 670-1105 or

Video on Demand

Video from this program will be available at beginning approximately August 1, 2017 for $300.

Washburn University School of Law
Continuing Legal Education
1700 SW College Ave.
Topeka, KS 66621
(785) 670-1105