INDIANA TIMBER, TAX WEB SITE
Point your browser to the address above for a comprehensive and interactive website on 'Timber Tax Management.' This website is being developed in joint cooperation between Purdue University and the Southern Forest Experiment Station, U.S. Forest Service. The goal of the website is to help timberland owners research and answer timber tax specific questions. Once your at the home page there are four main categories from which to choose: Tax Strategies, Specific Transactions, New Developments, and a Search/Browse section.
By following the Tax Strategies link you will find information on "Structuring Timber Activities," including a discussion on the different ownership classifications and business entities, their structural requirements and important considerations when making the decision. Also included here is a section on "Spreading Timber Income" and the ways this can be accomplished. If you want to know if your timber transaction qualifies for capital gains treatment your in the right spot. Through a series of questions the section on "Qualifying for Capital Gains Treatment' will help you determine if your specific timber transaction qualifies for capital gains treatment.
The Specific Transaction section is designed to answer specific questions based on your ownership classification (Hobby/Personal use, Investment, or Business). Because the tax laws apply differently to different ownership types the first thing you are asked is to pick an ownership classification. If you are uncertain on how to classify your ownership click "Not Sure" link. From there you will be asked a series of questions on your post, present, and future activities which will help to determine the most likely ownership classification for your situation. Once you have chosen an ownership classification all the information that is presented is specific to the classification you choose. Included are discussions on the sale of timber, cut products and other assets; reforestation; determining your basis; the acquisition of timberland; deduction of expenses; and casualty losses. You will also find several on-line forms throughout this section that can be used to help you calculate certain transactions such as an installment sale.
Click on the New Developments link to learn about the most recent changes to the Internal Revenue Code and other legislative or administrative changes that may have a direct impact on your timber-land ownership. Also included here will be information about the most recent changes and additions to the website.
If you are looking for general information on a topic or just want to browse and see what you find, click on the Search/Browse link. This will take you to the table of contents and a search engine. Once there you will find a variety of information from how to research tax questions, recovering expenses, how to treat casualty losses, and how to determine your basis. In fact there is an on-line form that you can fill out and submit which will calculate the basis of your assets for you. If you are not sure where to start looking don't worry, you can conduct a keyword search.
You will also notice several topics listed on the left side of the home page. Here you will find links to a variety of information from timber tax specific court cases and revenue rulings to federal and state tax forms. In fact all of the forms, IRS publications, revenue rulings, and court cases referenced in the site can be found here. There is also a link to Other Tax Sites, where you will find links to, state and federal agencies, information about cost-share programs, university extension sites, and other tax related sites. You will also find a link to the most recent addition to the site, the FAQ section which is based on a series of publications by Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources Extension Service.
There are still a few sections being developed, be patient we will have the information out there as soon as possible. We are constantly looking for ways to improve the site to help you, the timberland owner, get the most from it. If you would like to contact us with suggestions on how we can improve this site or problems you may have encountered with the home page and click on the webmaster link.