Tax Question on Stewardship

Larry Caldwell larryc at teleport.com
Sat Jan 31 16:32:40 EST 1998


In article <6anm3p$u68$1 at lynx.unm.edu>, lwhite at unm.edu (Laura White) wrote:

> A couple of years ago I purchased a cow pasture (33 acres) as an
> investment.  At the time I was thinking I would hold the land and work
> with it later after retirement, maybe build a house.  Then I really
> started getting into it.  Now handtools,  trailer, truck, chainsaw,
> etc later  I wondering if there is a way for me to deduct my annual
> expenses for stewardship.
 
> I am not making any money on this land, so it is not a business.  So
> far I am cutting overgrowth and prunning the remaining trees.  This
> year I will plant 100 trees.  My goal is forrest stewardship and not
> tree farming.  Any advice?

Your best bet is to contact a good accountant in your area to plan your
tax structure, then hire them to do your tax return.  Forestry is a long
term investment, so as long as you are managing it like a business the
feds will generally let you deduct your expenses.  However, not everything
is a valid business expense.  If you use the truck for other things, 
you will have to keep mileage records to show what the actual farm
expenses are.  

Regarding your goals, that's your affair and nobody else's.  You might
consider that we don't own the earth, we just rent it.  If you don't
take the profit of your labors, somebody else will after you're gone.

-- Larry




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