Words to the Wise on Filing Federal Taxes for Your Farm Business, Part I

Words to the Wise on Filing Federal Taxes for Your Farm Business, Part I

As a farmer or rancher, you lead a busy life—waking up before the crack of dawn, overseeing your farming enterprise or tending to your livestock—the last thing you want is to add tax season stress to your plate. Farmers are just as busy as any small business during tax season because an ag operation is a small business (when owned by a sole proprietor).

In this series of columns, I’ll address some important considerations for your business that will ease the process of filing your taxes. These words to the wise should not replace a trusted tax advisor, but are meant to help light the path on your way to addressing your ag operation’s unique business circumstances.

TIP ONE: Keep Appropriate and Sufficient Records
If you did not have a good record-keeping system in place for 2013, then filing federal taxes will be all the more time consuming. As a grower or rancher, your time is at a premium, so it’s essential to have an efficient record-keeping practice in place to make the filing process run more smoothly. Your record-keeping system should help you keep track of your income, expenses, deductible expenses and other items reported on your tax forms.

In next month’s column, I’ll address how transactions are typically recorded as well as the length of time relevant documents should be kept on record.

CREDITS

column by STEVEN E. CRISMAN

Bio: Steven Crisman is the managing partner of Cross, Fernandez & Riley, LLP’s (C/F/R) Winter Haven office and leads their Agriculture Practice Group. He primarily serves the agriculture, manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution industries. He has specific experience with citrus growers, cattle ranchers, citrus and other horticultural nurseries, citrus harvesters and other support industries as well as watermelon, blueberry and other growers. In addition, Steve provides comprehensive tax and estate planning, attestation and business succession planning services.