The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives is optimistic that Internal Revenue Service officials will adjust the Section 199A tax break, thanks to testimony from the Treasury Secretary.
For more than two years, farmer cooperatives have been working to re-implement a tax deduction comparable to what they received before the 2017 tax law was passed. Last summer, the Treasury Department proposed rules that would limit the Section 199A deduction to patronage income. However, the Treasury rule would then eliminate cooperatives’ ability to combine “non-patronage income” as part of the calculations for the tax deduction.
The tax challenge came to light in early 2018 after it had first appeared the 2017 tax law would make it much more lucrative for farmers to sell grain to farmer cooperatives rather than to private grain companies. Congress fixed the provision, but the Treasury Department has been bogged down since then trying to complete a rule that would go along with the tax fix.
Because of the complex agreement that Congress passed, cooperatives got a special break under Section 199A because they couldn’t take advantage of the new lower corporate rates. The final deal was supposed to then reinstate a tax break that cooperatives had been using before the 2017 tax law.