The FLTC Tax Report

News from the Forest Landowners Tax Council

FLTC has new internet & e-mail addresses.

The following, from the Forest Landowners Tax Council, updates us on current federal tax events and legislation affecting non-industrial private forest landowners.

New Benefit of FLTC Membership:  FLTC members who are CPA’s, who participate at a certain dues level, and who give written permission will be listed on the up-coming (January 2003) members-only webpage at the FLTC site. This helps our members find timber-savvy accounting services.  Get in touch to learn more about this great opportunity. 

ElectionWhether one is a Republican, Democrat, or of another party, the results of the recent Congressional elections portend great things for those of us who are interested in tax reform.  As the election drew to a close, pundits agreed that one of the primary initiatives of the White House – if not THE primary initiative – will be tax reform.  And, although there is also a lot of talk about legislation that needs a super-majority coupled the tribulations of filibuster, we should all be reminded that tax legislation – by act of congress – is “exempted” from filibuster!  It certainly appears that we are on the verge of some success. Circumstances favor us. We have opportunity.  But, it will still take hard work to make things happen…..Here’s to hard work! 

IRC Section 631(b):  Because the Administration will apparently seek tax reform in the first session of the 108th Congress, we have requested that President Bush include the provisions of our Internal Revenue Code Section 631(b)-correcting bills in his tax reform package.

The bullets below are items of information about our work to correct IRC Sec. 631(b) to allow most forest landowners to get capital gains treatment on income from “lump-sum” sales of timber. Note that the legislation has no affect on forest management.  It simply relates to after-harvest income tax law. –

*  In the 107th Congress, our provisions passed the House in the 107th Congress as part of HR 586.

*  Since ours is a small bill, we’re told that it needs to be attached to a “larger” piece of legislation to be considered by the busy congress.  So we worked with the Senate Finance Committee to include our language in the Small Business & Farm Economic Recovery Act.  But, although the correcting provisions were in Committee Max Baucus’s version (as well as Ranking Member Chuck Grassley’s) it never came to the full Committee for consideration.

*  The American Land Alliance – as a conservation organization known to the Finance Committee – wrote a letter of endorsement this fall.

*  The Joint Committee on Taxation finds our provisions have “negligible” effect on the U.S. Treasury – an effective score of zero, the JCT has also added our language to its Tax Simplification list (the only timber item on the list).

*  The IRS would like to see the change, according to a memorandum that we have distributed.

*  This legislation really has no opposition.

FLTC would like to thank everyone who helped with this effort in the 107th Congress – especially Rep. Mac Collins and Sen. Jeff Sessions.  We would also like to thank the readers of this column for their help and ask once again for your help toward encouraging President Bush to include this “JCT-approved,” non-controversial language in his 2003 Tax Reform package.  That inclusion could go a long way toward getting this legislation passed.  To learn more about S. 567, call FLTC at 703-549-0747 or go to “www.fltc.net” and click the ‘Hot Issue’ button.

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The Forest Landowners Tax Council is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to providing an effective and unified voice for non-industrial, private forest landowners on federal tax issues.  Membership is open nationwide. Visit their website atwww.fltc.net, or contact them at e-mail: Director.FLTC.net, tel:  703-549-0747, fax:  703-549-1579.

 

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Please clip this and send your membership dues and/or donations to: Forest Landowners Tax Council, P.O. Box 636, Washington, D.C. 20044-0636, or Fax: 703-549-1579, or E-mail:  Director@FLTC.net