Linda's Tax Tips

Photo by David Whiteman

I understand the challenges and frustrations you face as a woodland owner. Tax rules vary considerably based on your property's classification (personal, investment, or business). Tax rules are constantly changing and knowledgeable CPAs can be hard to find. This means you need to be tax savvy. There are numerous resources you can tap for information including the US Forest Service Taxation website as well as your state forest agency staff, extension personnel, a consulting forester, and your local landowner association members.

Here are some key considerations:

  1. What is your property's tax classification? "Federal Income Tax on Timber: A Quick Guide for Woodland Owners" is a good starting point.
  2. Keep accurate financial and management records. Forestry and extension personnel as well as a CPA can offer guidance on tax documentation and the records you need to maintain.
  3. If your future plans include a timber harvest, you want to ensure your hard-earned dollars from the timber sale qualify for a favorable capital gain rate. To learn more, I recommend:
    - "Tax Tips for Forest Landowners"
    - The timber tax webinar is free and explains the newest timber tax laws critical to timber tax return filing.
       Details will be posted on the US Forest Service taxation website.
    - "Forest Owners Guide to the Federal Income Tax" is a detailed tax handbook
    - National Timber Tax website has comprehensive information on timber tax laws
      and rules.
  4. Plan for the future. "Estate Planning for Forest Landowners: What Will Become of Your Timberland"

Contact Linda Wang ([email protected]), National Timber Tax Specialist, US Forest Service for tax information and questions.