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Timber tax course available this fall
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Foresters and landowners can learn about tax issues ranging from deducting expenses to taking reforestation credits during upcoming short courses offered across the state this fall.
Debbie Gaddis, forestry tax specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, will teach the six-hour sessions for Webster, Forrest, Lamar, Yalobusha, Jackson, Jasper, Smith, Newton and Adams counties. Foresters and landowners from other counties are invited to attend at the most convenient location.
"Many forest landowners do not know the special tax provisions that relate to forestry and therefore pay more in taxes than is necessary," Gaddis said. "Learning about state and federal rules before making harvest and reforestation decisions and then applying them correctly is the most effective way to recover reforestation costs."
The course will address timber sales and other topics. Gaddis said landowners can make sure their timber sale can be treated as a capital gain by understanding the rules and selling timber in the prescribed fashion.
"Avoiding the Alternative Minimum Tax should be the goal of any landowner making a timber sale," Gaddis said. "The AMT is being applied to more and more middle-class citizens. It can be triggered by a large capital gain, but it can be avoided by using different selling practices."
Gaddis said the Internal Revenue Service is expected to release a new "Form T: Forest Activities Schedule" by the end of October. Participants in the workshop will become familiar with this little-known, but valuable, form.
"It's unfortunate that most landowners, tax preparers and even IRS agents know very little about this form because it is a great guide for establishing good timber records, and the IRS is starting to enforce its use," Gaddis said.
The first Timber Tax Fundamentals Short Course will be in Eupora on Oct. 18. Other courses will be Nov. 1 in Hattiesburg, Nov. 4 and 11 (evenings) in Coffeeville, Nov. 6 in Pascagoula, Nov. 13 in Bay Springs and Nov. 20 in Natchez.
The cost of the course is $35. Sign up for courses by contacting the local Extension office. Foresters can receive Continuing Forestry Education credits for the course. Continuing Professional Education credits for accountants have been applied for.