Managing your timber sale tax
An important part of managing your timber is managing your timber sale tax. The question is not whether the sale of your standing timber is taxable, but rather will the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) view the sale as ordinary income, or will you be able to report the income as a long-term capital gain? There are several good reasons to make sure that the sale of your timber qualifies as a capital gain. First, the income from your sale will be taxed at a lower rate. Second, there is no limit on using your capital losses to offset your capital gains. However, capital losses can only be used to offset $3,000 of ordinary income per year. Lastly, if you treat growing your timber as a business, then the capital gain from selling the timber is exempt from the 15.3 percent self-employment tax.
Archive version. For most recent information see extension.missouri.edu.