Capital Gains Treatment for Livestock

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1994-03-04
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Harl, Neil
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Sales of livestock held for draft, dairy, breeding or dairy purposes, and held for the requisite holding period, are eligible for long-term capital gain treatment. This provision was of substantial importance to farmers and ranchers before repeal of the 60 percent exclusion for net long term capital gains effective in 1987. Enactment of the 28 percent maximum rate tax on net long term capital gains income in 1990 effective in 1991 and the imposition of additional tax brackets for individuals at the 36 percent and 39.6 percent levels in 1993 on ordinary income have focused increased attention on eligibility for capital gains treatment for higher income individual taxpayers. Corporations, by contrast, pay income tax on long term capital gains at a maximum rate of 35 percent, the same rate applicable to corporate taxable income in excess of $10,000,000.

The sale of livestock held primarily for sale to customers "in the ordinary course of business" produces ordinary income. Such animals are excepted from the provision applicable to "property used in the trade or business."

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