Letting Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Expire Would Hurt Family Farms

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is a comprehensive tax cut package enacted in 2017. Dustin Sherer, director of government affairs for the American Farm Bureau, says it’s important legislation for farmers and ranchers.

He says, “It lowered taxes for most individuals as well as most businesses of every size and type, including farms and ranches. The legislation is important for farmers and ranchers because 98 percent of their operations are organized as pass-throughs, and there were specific provisions included in the bill that benefit pass-through businesses, including the broader brackets and lower rates, the enhanced estate tax exemption, and the 199A qualified business income deduction that drives more rate parity between the top rates that small businesses pay and the 21 percent corporate rate.”

A new Economic Research Service report shows that if the provisions expire, tax bills will increase for farmers and ranchers.

Sherer says, “If nothing is done to extend them beyond 2025, farmers will face well over a nine-billion-dollar tax increase in 2026 between increased income tax liability and the increased estate tax liability. According to that report, the expiration of 199A alone would see certain farms’ tax liability increased by up to 20 percent.”

Sherer says knowledge about your own personal tax liabilities is key when advocating for reauthorization of these provisions. He says, “Arm yourself with information. Do some research or talk to your CPA to understand how these various provisions of the tax code are benefiting your operation and how your operation is utilizing the savings from the provisions enacted by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. And once you do that, talk to your elected officials. Tell them your personal story and tell them what the consequences would be if these options went away. Educating elected officials with personal stories is the best advocacy there is.”