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Agricultural News

Oklahoma Cattlemen Call on the IRS to Back Off Estate Tax Changes Permanently

Wed, 02 Nov 2016 19:47:55 CDT

Oklahoma Cattlemen Call on the IRS to Back Off Estate Tax Changes Permanently The Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association submitted comments on Wednesday, November 2nd to the Internal Revenue Service regarding the valuation of interest in family-owned businesses for estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer for tax purposes.

The OCA is a volunteer based organization with membership from family cattle farmers and ranchers, many of whom are multi-generational. Because of this, OCA stands in strong opposition to the proposed rule and requests this rule be withdrawn. This proposed rule will have devastating impacts on Oklahoma family farms and ranches. Further, we believe this issuance far exceeds the statutory authority of the Department of Treasury thus it should be withdrawn.

OCA submitted the following comments:
"First and most atrocious regarding this proposed rule, it directly targets family businesses. Publically traded companies and unrelated owner businesses are not affected by this proposed rule. Oklahoma farms and ranches are the epitome of family business models. The vast majority of OCA members are multigenerational family businesses with the chief goal to pass their farm/ranch to the next generation.

"Elimination of the valuation discounts for marketability and lack of control will create a greater tax burden during the transfer of minority interests to the next generation.   Further, this proposed rule significantly increases estate and gift taxes by 30 percent or more on family-owned businesses, resulting in fewer Oklahoma family farms and ranches surviving from one generation to the next.

"The estate tax is already a major hurdle to be dealt with in order to keep a family owned farm/ranch viable and operating during a transfer between generations. Farmers and ranchers by our very nature are asset heavy and cash light. Because of this, liquidation of assets is required in many instances in order to make a farm/ranch transfer from one generation to the next. Liquidation of assets typically reduces cash flow and more often than not creates debt. Policies, such as this proposed rule, that significantly increase the family business transfer tax burden will significantly decrease the number of family farms and ranches.

"Finally, many Oklahoma farms and ranches have spent time and resources planning for the generational transfer of their family business. Indeed, OCA along with the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Foundation has facilitated educational opportunities for cattle farmers and ranchers to learn how to transfer their business to their children and grand-children. This proposed rule will upend many of those plans.

"In conclusion and to reiterate, OCA respectfully and strongly urges that that proposed rule be permanently withdrawn."



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