Farmers generally try to get their taxes in order before the end of the year. This season they may need to consider MFP and Prevented Plantings payments and how to best make charitable contributions.
The tax implications of the MFP payments are that the money is taxable in the year it is received. One-half of the MFP payment has already been or will be delivered shortly. It is expected 25% will be delivered in a second check in November. And if needed the third check, another 25% of the total, is likely to come in January. The first two checks are taxable in 2019, and the final portion would be taxable in 2020.
Another payment farmers may not be used to dealing with involves the Prevented Planting portion of crop insurance says Bob Rhea, "Those payments are either taxable when received, or under certain circumstances, could be delayed until 2020 the year after the disaster occurred. So, they should visit with their tax professional as they determine, especially as we near year end, whether those should be taken as 2019 income or used under the election to be treated as 2020 income."
Rhea presented during this fall's ILLINOIS Farm Tax School Seminars. He reminded the tax preparers in attendance that farmers also have a unique way to make charitable contributions, "IRS has prescribed some specific steps to validate a contribution with grain. One of those is that the grain must be delivered to the charity. The charity must be the owner of the grain in inventory, and the producer should notify the charity that he has provide x-number of bushels in their name at a certain location. The charity then, from that point, takes the risk and makes the sale and handles the cash proceeds from there."
In simple terms the producer delivers grain in the name of the charity to the grain elevator, notifies the charity, and the charity then makes the sale.