2019 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 Tuesday, August 13 and Wednesday, August 14, 2019 at Steamboat Grand Hotel in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. 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
In-person attendance is limited to 100 individuals.
(see "Information for Online Attendees" in the sidebar).

Register and Pay Online

NOTE: All times shown below are Mountain Time (MT); e.g., 8:00 a.m. MT = 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time = 9:00 a.m. Central 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. 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. McEowen is also heard weekly on RFD-TV.
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. 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.

Photograph: Stan Miller.Stan Miller is one of three partners in ILP + McChain Miller Nissman, an international estate planning law firm based in Little Rock, Arkansas and St Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. He is a founder and principal of WealthCounsel, LLC, a leading provider of education and document drafting software to attorneys nationwide and also of WealthCounsel Advisors Forum, LLC, a national membership organization created for the purpose of improving the quality of interdisciplinary planning between attorneys, financial advisors, and CPAs. Miller advises clients with respect to a wide range of issues relating to wills and trusts, estate planning, trust administration, corporate and partnership matters, charitable giving, private foundations, supporting organizations, life insurance and taxation. He is author of the recently published Your American Legacy: Powerful Strategies that Instill Lasting Values for Generations
Learn more about Stan Miller.

Photograph: Timothy O'Sullivan.Timothy P. O'Sullivan, '75 is a Senior Partner with Foulston Siefkin LLP in Wichita, Kansas. He has a broad range of experience in developing and implementing both simple and complex estate planning techniques. Mr. O’Sullivan represents clients primarily in connection with their estate and tax planning and the administration of trusts and estates. A substantial portion of his practice involves advising clients on strategies and provisions which enhance the preservation of family harmony in the estate planning process. Mr. O'Sullivan was selected by his peers for inclusion in the Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers® list and The Best Lawyers in America© in the areas of Elder Law and Trusts and Estates.
Learn more about Tim O'Sullivan.

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Tuesday, August 13, 2019

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

8:00-9:30 a.m. — The I.R.C. §199A Experience From the 2018 Filing Season (McEowen and Neiffer)

This session will take a look back at the use of I.R.C. §199A, the qualified business income deduction (QBID), on 2018 returns. What are the client situations where it is useful? In what situations is the client not qualified to use the QBID? How are rents treated? How does the W-2 wages/qualified property formula work for “high income” taxpayers? What are the pros and cons of using the rental real estate safe harbor? What income tax and business organizational planning options can be utilized to optimize the use of the QBID? This is a deep dive into I.R.C. §199A.

9:30-9:50 a.m. Break

9:50 a.m.-Noon — Selected Topics in Ag Taxation (McEowen and Neiffer)

This session will address current developments of relevance to agricultural taxation. The application of many of the new provisions contained in the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" on farmers and ranchers will be examined along with issues that arose during the 2018 filing season and issues that remain unresolved. Practical examples of the rule changes on ag clients will be provided, and new/modified tax planning moves will be examined. The session will also provide an update of significant recent court cases and IRS rulings applicable to farm and ranch clients as well as a discussion of any recently enacted or proposed tax legislation. Other topics discussed during this session include: the distinction between a capital lease and an operating lease and why the distinction matters; tax issues associated with the use of Bitcoin; the post-death sale of crops and livestock; tax issues on repossession of farmland; life estate/remainder arrangements and income tax basis; other miscellaneous topics.

Noon-1:00 p.m. — Luncheon (provided)

1:00-1:45 p.m. — Recent Cases and Rulings (McEowen)

This session provides an update and analysis of recent agricultural taxation cases from the courts and rulings from the IRS. What the cases and rulings mean for ag clients will be analyzed and practical applications will be made. The session will also address any recently proposed or enacted legislation and how it will impact ag taxpayers.

1:45-2:45 p.m. — Depreciation Topics (Neiffer)

The TCJA brought new rules for depreciation and modified how the rules apply to agricultural taxpayers. This session will explore planning opportunities associated with enhanced I.R.C. §179 and 100 percent first-year bonus depreciation and how to integrate the depreciation provisions with overall tax planning techniques. How can a cost segregation study be used to help optimize depreciation? What costs associated with items purchased for resale can be deducted? Depletion of natural resources and depletion associated with oil and gas operations.

2:45-3:05 p.m. — Break

3:05-3:45 p.m. — The Passive Loss Rules (McEowen)

The passive loss rules can have a significant impact on farm and ranch taxpayers. This session provides and overview of the rules, and digs deeper on the material participation rules and the ability to group activities to avoid the restrictions. Also covered is the real estate professional rule and how rental activities can avoid being presumed to be passive.

3:45-4:15 p.m. — The 2018 Farm Bill (Neiffer)

The Congress passed a new Farm Bill in late 2018. The President signed the legislation into law giving producers new provisions to learn and apply to their farms and ranches. Is the best approach to elect ARC or PLC? What are the factors to consider? What other provisions of the Farm Bill influence tax planning? This session will help attendees understand how the 2018 Farm Bill influences planning, both tax and non-tax.

4:15-4:45 p.m. — Ag Disasters and Casualties (McEowen)

2018 has seen numerous weather-related disasters across the United States that have impacted agricultural producers. What tax provisions apply to assist producers in dealing with the loss of crops, livestock, buildings and other assets? How do the new loss rules to ag casualties? How should livestock indemnity program payments be reported? This session will provide answers to these questions and provide guidance on how to help farm and ranch taxpayers make the best of bad situations.

4:45 p.m. — Adjourn

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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

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

8:00-9:00 a.m. — Recent Developments in Ag Estate and Business Planning (McEowen)

This session covers the key court rulings and developments from the Treasury and IRS impacting decedents’ estates and trusts and the succession of farm or ranch businesses. In addition, the transfer tax changes made by the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" will be discussed and their impact on estate/business planning for clients explained.

9:00-10:00 a.m. — Resting in Pieces: Why Family Disharmony is a Frequent Casualty of Most Estate Plans (O'Sullivan)

Agricultural families, as much as any segment of the population, traditionally have had a strong focus on family harmony and personal values. Yet, most attorneys historically have not focused to any significant extent on incorporating these elements in the estate plans of their clients. The result has been a much too high frequency of family disharmony following the disability or death of their clients when issues arise concerning a client's health care or the management and disposition of the client's estate, most particularly upon the disability or death of the surviving spouse. Such disharmony can not only permanently damage family harmony between or among children but can prove quite costly as well by significantly increasing attendant attorney fees and other administrative costs. This session will address the important elements that need to be incorporated in estate plans to greatly reduce such risk and its attendant costs. Of particular focus will be the disposition of farm and other assets at death among family members, the choice of the appropriate fiduciary of the trust or estate, family friendly methods of resolving differences and the appropriate circumstances in which to counsel children regarding their parents' estate plans.

10:00-10:20 a.m. — Break

10:20-11:10 a.m. — Tax and Legal Issues Associated With Trusts (McEowen)

Trusts play an important role in estate planning for farm and ranch clients. What's the best type of trust for a client and why does it matter? How is the charitable deduction affected when the donation to a charity is from a trust? Does the U.S. Supreme Courts Wayfair decision allowing a state to impose sales and/or use tax on a seller without a physical presence in the state mean that a state can tax trust income or distributions a beneficiary receives without a presence in the state? How are various tax provisions impacted when a trust is the taxpayer? How does the new QBI deduction applies to trusts and estates? These questions and more will be addressed.

11:10 a.m.-Noon — Charitable Giving Tax Planning Under the TCJA (McEowen)

The TCJA changed the landscape that can influence charitable giving for clients. What's been the impact on charities? What are the ways to structure gifts to maximize the tax benefits? How does a donor-advised fund work and is it a good approach for a client? These are some of the issues that will be discussed in this session.

Noon-1:00 p.m. — Luncheon (provided)

1:00-2:00 p.m. — Estate and Business Planning in Second (and Subsequent) Marriage Situations (McEowen)

A married couple's estate planning goals and objectives often dovetail – benefit the surviving spouse for life with the remaining property at the death of the surviving spouse passing to the children. But, estate planning when a second marriage (either as a result of death or divorce) is involved becomes more complex – especially when each spouse has children from the prior marriage. The estate planning techniques of first marriage situations often don't work when a second marriage is involved. This session explores the potential problem areas, including the need to redraft wills and trusts, retitle assets, modify beneficiary designations and restructure entities.

2:00-2:30 p.m. — Common Estate and Business Planning Mistakes (McEowen)

This session takes a brief look at what farm and ranch families often do wrong when it comes to planning for the future, particularly when the goal is to keep the farming or ranching operation in the family into subsequent generations. How can these mistakes be avoided? What are the easy problems to fix? What issues require more attention and work? How to help clients avoid the common mistakes is the goal of this session.

2:30-2:50 p.m. — Break

2:50-3:50 p.m. — Estate and Resource Planning for a Disability and Long-Term Care in Farm Families (O'Sullivan)

One of the most neglected aspects of estate plan in agricultural families is resource planning for the very high risk of long-term care for one or both spouses. There is an approximate 60% chance that at least one spouse will at some time need long-term care and an approximate 20% chance that at least one spouse will need such care for more than three years. Only a small percentage of farm families have long-term care insurance adequate to provide for such a costly event and such families often also lack the liquidity to meet that need. Fortunately, with proper estate planning, federal and state Medicaid eligibility rules often can be availed of to provide such resources without requiring agricultural assets to be first utilized for such care, as well as to greatly reduce the risk of "estate recovery" by the state against the estate of the surviving spouse with respect to Medicaid benefits paid to one or both spouses. Not only are most agricultural estate plans ill-equipped to address these issues, but they often arise when one or both spouses is under a mental disability or deceased, thereby limiting the estate planning options that would otherwise have been previously available to address them. Tim will address these Medicaid eligibility rules and discuss the important estate planning documents and their internal provisions that need to be executed and incorporated, respectively, while both spouses possess the requisite capacity if an agricultural estate plan is to comprehensively guard against the adverse financial import of a long-term disability of one or both spouses.

3:50-4:45 p.m. — The Next Hundred Years: Will the Family Farm Survive? How Can We Help Make Sure It Does? (Miller)

The family farm is uniquely connected to the history and values that define who we are as Americans. The collective desire to preserve the institution of the family farm is reflected in extensive legislation adopted at both the state and federal levels. Despite that, the family farm is disappearing. The threats driving that trend are numerous: the skill needed to deploy new technologies in production; the cost of capital to scale; the uncertainty of farm program payments; the increase in the cost of farm equipment as well as other costs of production; income tax policies that incentivize practices that increase risk; the increase in the price of farmland; increasing environmental regulation; the uncertainty and lack of control over commodity prices; the uncertainty of weather patterns and the threat of climate change; the uncertainty of immigration policy; uncertainty in the future of state and federal estate tax law. The risks of farming are massive. To survive, farming has to move from a way of life to a business that is managed professionally using modern business principles. Many farmers are overwhelmed by and are unable to deal with these challenges. The rate of suicide among farmers is higher than in almost any other profession. In this final session, we make the case that the challenges facing family farms today can be successfully managed and that the family farm can not only survive, but thrive for multiple generations. The techniques that make this possible require the help of trained professionals who understand the tools and strategies that can mitigate the very significant risks that farm and ranch clients face daily. We will explore the very important role we can play in protecting and preserving this uniquely valuable American institution.

4:45 p.m. — Adjourn

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In-person attendance is limited to 100 individuals.

Dates / Location
Photograph: Steamboat Grand Hotel

Tuesday, August 13, 2019 and
Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Location (in-person attendees):
Steamboat Grand Hotel
2300 Mt. Werner Circle
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Get Directions and Maps

See below for lodging information.

Registration Fee

Paid Through Wednesday, July 31, 2019
» $405 both full days
» $275 Tuesday only
» $275 Wednesday only

Paid August 1, 2019 or After
» $455 both full days
» $300 Tuesday only
» $300 Wednesday 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 Friday, August 9, 2019.

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 you may not receive hard copy materials 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.

Continuing Education Credit

Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Credit

  • PENDING-- Kansas: 16 hours (total for both days) (Traditional and Online).
  • Other jurisdictions: all other attorney attendees will receive documentation and be responsible for submitting for credit in their home state.

CPE for IRS Practice credit

  • 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, which is an IRS Approved Education Provider. YOU MUST PROVIDE YOUR CORRECT PTIN NUMBER FOR CREDIT TO BE REPORTED. The program is approved for EAs and OTRPs for 11 hours of Federal Tax Law and 6 hours of Federal Tax Update, for a total of 17 hours over both days. Day 1 is 8 hours of CPE (4 hours of tax law and 4 hours of tax update); day 2 is 9 hours of CPE (7 hours of tax law and 2 hours of tax update).

CPE for NON- IRS Practice (CPA's and Accountants) credit

  • NOTE: Kansas CPAs may only receive credit for attendance in person. This webinar is not NASBA approved, so does not qualify/provide CPA credit for online attendance.
  • Online attendees in states other than Kansas will receive documentation and shall be responsible for confirming that credit will be granted in their home state and applying for that credit, if so. See the IRS CPE standards for types of hours provided in the program.
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 "Live programming" definition; 12 CLE credit hours may be earned through online attendance each compliance period. See Rule 802(k) and Rule 803(a) (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 any limitations.

Lodging and Dining

Attendees are responsible for making their own lodging arrangements. Continental breakfast, and lunch, are provided as part of the registration fee. Dinner is on-your-own.

Use this link to reserve a room or call the Steamboat Grand directly at (877) 269-2628. Rates are valid 8/10/2019-8/16/2019.

There is a charge for parking. See "Parking" in Hotel Policies".

Lists of other hotels, motels, and specialty lodging are on the Steamboat Springs Chamber website.


If you cannot attend the seminar, you may send a substitute. If you cancel your registration before midnight on Thursday, August 8, 2019, 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 Grant Griffin, Steamboat Grand Group Reservation Coordinator, at (970) 871-5524 or GGriffin@steamboat.com.

Questions regarding registration or the program can be directed to Donna Vilander at Washburn Law at (785) 670-1105 or donna.vilander@washburn.edu.

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Video on Demand

Video from this program will be available at vimeo.com beginning approximately September 1, 2019 for $300.

Contact Us

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