Drought-Stricken Farmers and Ranchers Given More Time to Replace Livestock

October 4, 2021 | Article

By Mac Stevens, CPA and Steve Troyer, CPA

Recently, the IRS extended the replacement period for farmers and ranchers in specific locations who have been forced to sell livestock due to drought in an amount exceeding the number of livestock they would have sold under their usual business practices.

Notice 2021-55 contains an appendix listing counties and cities in 36 states and one U.S. territory that suffered exceptional, extreme or severe drought conditions between September 1, 2020, and August 31, 2021. The IRS updates this list annually each September.

The notice provides a one-year extension that gives farmers and ranchers until the end of the tax year after the first drought-free year to replace sold livestock and defer the federal income tax on any gains from the original drought forced sales. This relief generally applies to capital gains realized by eligible farmers and ranchers on sales of livestock held for draft, dairy or breeding purposes.

Sales of other livestock, such as those raised for slaughter or held for sporting purposes, or poultry, are not eligible.

Who is Eligible for the Extension Under Notice 2021-55?

To qualify for the extension, the sales must be solely due to drought and located in an area designated as eligible for federal assistance. Generally, livestock must be replaced within a four-year period after the year of sale (instead of the two-year replacement period that typically applies for other property). However, the IRS is authorized to further extend this replacement period if drought conditions continue for more than 3 years; this is the purpose of the notice.

As a result of this notice, eligible farmers and ranchers whose drought-sale replacement period was slated to expire on December 31, 2021, will now (in most cases) have until the end of 2022 to replace the sold livestock. Assuming the normal four-year replacement period applies, the notice affects forced drought sales that occurred during 2017, and it may also apply to some drought-related sales before 2017 due to prior years’ drought extensions.

How Should I Apply Notice 2021-55?

Eligible farmers and ranchers have flexibility in determining whether and when to recognize gain from the sale of livestock due to drought or defer their gain by replacing the livestock within the applicable replacement period. In some cases, with the benefit of hindsight, there may be a better result available by amending prior-year returns to report the gains in either the year of sale or the following year.

This is welcome news for many affected by weather-related conditions.

What Locations are Mentioned in the Notice?

According to the notice, for a taxpayer who qualified for a four-year replacement period for livestock sold or exchanged on account of drought and whose replacement period is scheduled to expire at the end of 2021 (or, in the case of a fiscal year taxpayer, at the end of the taxable year that includes August 31, 2021), the replacement period will be extended if the applicable region includes any county on the below list.

State County/City
Arizona Counties of Apache, Cochise, Coconino, Gila, Graham, Greenlee, La Paz, Maricopa, Mohave, Navajo, Pima, Pinal, Santa Cruz, Yavapai and Yuma.
Arkansas Counties of Benton, Carroll, Madison and Washington.
California Counties of Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Lake, Lassen, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Modoc, Mono, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Placer, Plumas, Riverside, Sacramento, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolumne, Ventura, Yolo and Yuba.
Colorado Counties of Adams, Alamosa, Arapahoe, Archuleta, Baca, Bent, Boulder, Broomfield, Chaffee, Cheyenne, Clear Creek, Conejos, Costilla, Crowley, Custer, Delta, Denver, Dolores, Douglas, Eagle, Elbert, El Paso, Fremont, Garfield, Gilpin, Grand, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Huerfano, Jackson, Jefferson, Kiowa, Kit Carson, Lake, La Plata, Larimer, Las Animas, Lincoln, Logan, Mesa, Mineral, Moffat, Montezuma, Montrose, Morgan, Otero, Ouray, Park, Phillips, Pitkin, Prowers, Pueblo, Rio Blanco, Rio Grande, Routt, Saguache, San Juan, San Miguel, Sedgwick, Summit, Teller, Washington, Weld and Yuma.
Connecticut Counties of Hartford, Litchfield, Middlesex, New Haven, New London, Tolland and Windham.
Hawaii Counties of Hawaii, Honolulu, Kalawao, Kauai and Maui.
Idaho Counties of Ada, Adams, Bannock, Bear Lake, Benewah, Bingham, Blaine, Boise, Bonner, Bonneville, Boundary, Butte, Camas, Canyon, Caribou, Cassia, Clark, Clearwater, Custer, Elmore, Franklin, Fremont, Gem, Gooding, Idaho, Jefferson, Jerome, Kootenai, Latah, Lemhi, Lewis, Lincoln, Minidoka, Nez Perce, Oneida, Owyhee, Payette, Power, Shoshone, Teton, Twin Falls, Valley and Washington.
Illinois Counties of Boone, Christian, Cook, DeKalb, De Witt, DuPage, Jo Daviess, Kane, Lake, Logan, McHenry, Macon, Menard, Ogle, Piatt, Sangamon, Stephenson and Winnebago.
Iowa Counties of Adair, Adams, Allamakee, Audubon, Benton, Black Hawk, Boone, Bremer, Buchanan, Buena Vista, Butler, Calhoun, Carroll, Cass, Cerro Gordo, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Clay, Clayton, Crawford, Dallas, Delaware, Dickinson, Dubuque, Emmet, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Fremont, Greene, Grundy, Guthrie, Hamilton, Hancock, Hardin, Harrison, Howard, Humboldt, Ida, Iowa, Jasper, Johnson, Keokuk, Kossuth, Linn, Lyon, Madison, Mahaska, Marshall, Mills, Mitchell, Monona, Montgomery, O'Brien, Osceola, Page, Palo Alto, Plymouth, Pocahontas, Polk, Pottawattamie, Poweshiek, Sac, Shelby, Sioux, Story, Tama, Warren, Webster, Winnebago, Winneshiek, Woodbury, Wort, and Wright.
Kansas Counties of Brown, Cheyenne, Clark, Clay, Cloud, Comanche, Decatur, Dickinson, Geary, Gove, Graham, Grant, Greeley, Hamilton, Jackson, Jewell, Kearny, Lincoln, Logan, Marshall, Meade, Mitchell, Morton, Nemaha, Norton, Ottawa, Phillips, Pottawatomie, Rawlins, Republic, Riley, Scott, Seward, Sheridan, Sherman, Smith, Stanton, Stevens, Thomas, Wabaunsee, Wallace, Washington and Wichita.
Maine Counties of Androscoggin, Aroostook, Cumberland, Franklin, Hancock, Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Oxford, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Sagadahoc, Somerset, Waldo, Washington and York.
Massachusetts Counties of Barnstable, Berkshire, Bristol, Dukes, Essex, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, Middlesex, Nantucket, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk and Worcester.
Michigan County of Alcona, Allegan, Arenac, Barry, Bay, Benzie, Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Clinton, Eaton, Genesee, Gladwin, Grand Traverse, Gratiot, Hillsdale, Huron, Ingham, Ionia, Iosco, Isabella, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Kent, Lapeer, Leelanau, Livingston, Manistee, Mason, Mecosta, Midland, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Ogemaw, Ottawa, Saginaw, Saint Clair, Saint Joseph, Sanilac, Shiawassee, Tuscola, Van Buren, Washtenaw and Wexford.
Minnesota County of Aitkin, Anoka, Becker, Beltrami, Benton, Big Stone, Blue Earth, Brown, Carlton, Carver, Cass, Chippewa, Chisago, Clay, Clearwater, Cook, Cottonwood, Crow Wing, Dakota, Douglas, Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Grant, Hennepin, Houston, Hubbard, Isanti, Itasca, Jackson, Kanabec, Kandiyohi, Kittson, Koochiching, Lac qui Parle, Lake, Lake of the Woods, Le Sueur, Lincoln, Lyon, McLeod, Mahnomen, Marshall, Martin, Meeker, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Mower, Murray, Nicollet, Nobles, Norman, Otter Tail, Pennington, Pine, Pipestone, Polk, Pope, Ramsey, Red Lake, Redwood, Renville, Rice, Rock, Roseau, Saint Louis, Scott, Sherburne, Sibley, Stearns, Steele, Stevens, Swift, Todd, Traverse, Wadena, Waseca, Washington, Watonwan, Wilkin, Wright and Yellow Medicine.
Mississippi Counties of Grenada, Leflore, Quitman, Tallahatchie and Yalobusha.
Missouri Counties of Atchison, Barry, Barton, Cedar, Christian, Dade, Douglas, Greene, Holt, Jasper, Lawrence, McDonald, Newton, Polk, Stone, Taney, Vernon and Webster.
Montana Counties of Beaverhead, Big Horn, Blaine, Broadwater, Carbon, Carter, Cascade, Chouteau, Custer, Daniels, Dawson, Deer Lodge, Fallon, Fergus, Flathead, Gallatin, Garfield, Glacier, Golden Valley, Granite, Hill, Jefferson, Judith Basin, Lake, Lewis and Clark, Liberty, Lincoln, McCone, Madison, Meagher, Mineral, Missoula, Musselshell, Park, Petroleum, Phillips, Pondera, Powder River, Powell, Prairie, Ravalli, Richland, Roosevelt, Rosebud, Sanders, Sheridan, Silver Bow, Stillwater, Sweet Grass, Teton, Toole, Treasure, Valley, Wheatland, Wibaux and Yellowstone.
Nebraska Counties of Adams, Antelope, Arthur, Banner, Box Butte, Boyd, Buffalo, Burt, Butler, Cass, Cedar, Chase, Cherry, Cheyenne, Clay, Colfax, Cuming, Custer, Dakota, Dawes, Dawson, Deuel, Dixon, Dodge, Douglas, Dundy, Franklin, Frontier, Furnas, Gage, Garden, Garfield, Gosper, Grant, Greeley, Hall, Hamilton, Harlan, Hayes, Hitchcock, Holt, Howard, Jefferson, Johnson, Kearney, Keith, Keya Paha, Kimball, Knox, Lancaster, Lincoln, McPherson, Madison, Merrick, Morrill, Nance, Nemaha, Nuckolls, Otoe, Pawnee, Perkins, Phelps, Pierce, Platte, Red Willow, Richardson, Rock, Saline, Sarpy, Saunders, Scotts Bluff, Sheridan, Sherman, Sioux, Stanton, Thayer, Thurston, Valley, Washington, Wayne, Webster and Wheeler.
Nevada City of Carson City. Counties of Churchill, Clark, Douglas, Elko, Esmeralda, Eureka, Humboldt, Lander, Lincoln, Lyon, Mineral, Nye, Pershing, Storey, Washoe and White Pine.
New Hampshire Counties of Belknap, Carroll, Cheshire, Coos, Grafton, Hillsborough, Merrimack, Rockingham, Strafford and Sullivan.
New Mexico Counties of Bernalillo, Catron, Chaves, Cibola, Colfax, Curry, DeBaca, Dona Ana, Eddy, Grant, Guadalupe, Harding, Hidalgo, Lea, Lincoln, Los Alamos, Luna, McKinley, Mora, Otero, Quay, Rio Arriba, Roosevelt, Sandoval, San Juan, San Miguel, Santa Fe, Sierra, Socorro, Taos, Torrance, Union and Valencia.
New York Counties of Allegany, Cattaraugus, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Oneida, Saint Lawrence and Suffolk.
North Carolina Counties of Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, Duplin, New Hanover, Onslow, Pender, Robeson, Sampson and Scotland.
North Dakota Counties of Adams, Barnes, Benson, Billings, Bottineau, Bowman, Burke, Burleigh, Cass, Cavalier, Dickey, Divide, Dunn, Eddy, Emmons, Foster, Golden Valley, Grand Forks, Grant, Griggs, Hettinger, Kidder, LaMoure, Logan, McHenry, McIntosh, McKenzie, McLean, Mercer, Morton, Mountrail, Nelson, Oliver, Pembina, Pierce, Ramsey, Ransom, Renville, Richland, Rolette, Sargent, Sheridan, Sioux, Slope, Stark, Steele, Stutsman, Towner, Traill, Walsh, Ward, Wells and Williams.
Oklahoma Counties of Atoka, Beaver, Beckham, Blaine, Bryan, Caddo, Canadian, Carter, Choctaw, Cimarron, Coal, Custer, Dewey, Ellis, Grady, Greer, Harmon, Harper, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnston, Kiowa, Love, Major, Marshall, Murray, Roger Mills, Texas, Tillman, Washita, Woods and Woodward.
Oregon Counties of Baker, Benton, Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Coos, Crook, Curry, Deschutes, Douglas, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Hood River, Jackson, Jefferson, Josephine, Klamath, Lake, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Malheur, Marion, Morrow, Multnomah, Polk, Sherman, Tillamook, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, Wasco, Washington, Wheeler and Yamhill.
Pennsylvania Counties of Blair, Cambria, Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Huntingdon, Lycoming, McKean, Potter, Tioga and Union.
Rhode Island Counties of Bristol, Kent, Newport, Providence, and Washington.
South Carolina Counties of Calhoun, Chesterfield, Clarendon, Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Georgetown, Horry, Kershaw, Lee, Lexington, Marion, Marlboro, Orangeburg, Richland, Sumter and Williamsburg.
South Dakota Counties of Aurora, Beadle, Bennett, Bon Homme, Brookings, Brown, Brule, Buffalo, Butte, Campbell, Charles Mix, Clark, Clay, Codington, Corson, Custer, Davison, Day, Deuel, Dewey, Douglas, Edmunds, Fall River, Faulk, Grant, Gregory, Haakon, Hamlin, Hand, Hanson, Harding, Hughes, Hutchinson, Hyde, Jackson, Jerauld, Jones, Kingsbury, Lake, Lawrence, Lincoln, Lyman, McCook, McPherson, Marshall, Meade, Mellette, Miner, Minnehaha, Moody, Oglala Lakota, Pennington, Perkins, Potter, Roberts, Sanborn, Spink, Stanley, Sully, Todd, Tripp, Turner, Union, Walworth, Yankton and Ziebach.
Texas Counties of Andrews, Angelina, Aransas, Armstrong, Atascosa, Austin, Bailey, Bandera, Bastrop, Baylor, Bee, Bell, Bexar, Blanco, Borden, Bosque, Brazoria, Brazos, Brewster, Briscoe, Brooks, Brown, Burleson, Burnet, Caldwell, Calhoun, Callahan, Cameron, Carson, Castro, Cherokee, Childress, Clay, Cochran, Coke, Coleman, Collin, Collingsworth, Colorado, Comal, Comanche, Concho, Cooke, Coryell, Cottle, Crane, Crockett, Crosby, Culberson, Dallam, Dallas, Dawson, Deaf Smith, Denton, DeWitt, Dickens, Dimmit, Donley, Duval, Eastland, Ector, Edwards, Ellis, El Paso, Erath, Falls, Fayette, Fisher, Floyd, Foard, Frio, Gaines, Galveston, Garza, Gillespie, Glasscock, Goliad, Gonzales, Gray, Grayson, Grimes, Guadalupe, Hale, Hall, Hamilton, Hardeman, Hardin, Harris, Hartley, Haskell, Hays, Hemphill, Henderson, Hidalgo, Hill, Hockley, Houston, Howard, Hudspeth, Hunt, Hutchinson, Irion, Jack, Jackson, Jeff Davis, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Johnson, Jones, Karnes, Kaufman, Kendall, Kenedy, Kent, Kerr, Kimble, King, Kinney, Kleberg, Knox, Lamb, Lampasas, La Salle, Lavaca, Lee, Leon, Liberty, Lipscomb, Live Oak, Llano, Loving, Lubbock, Lynn, McCulloch, McLennan, McMullen, Madison, Martin, Mason, Matagorda, Maverick, Medina, Menard, Midland, Milam, Mills, Mitchell, Montague, Montgomery, Motley, Nacogdoches, Navarro, Nolan, Nueces, Ochiltree, Oldham, Parker, Parmer, Pecos, Polk, Potter, Presidio, Randall, Reagan, Real, Reeves, Refugio, Roberts, Robertson, Rockwall, Runnels, San Jacinto, San Patricio, San Saba, Schleicher, Scurry, Somervell, Starr, Stephens, Sterling, Stonewall, Sutton, Swisher, Tarrant, Taylor, Terrell, Terry, Throckmorton, Tom Green, Travis, Trinity, Tyler, Upton, Uvalde, Val Verde, Victoria, Walker, Ward, Washington, Webb, Wheeler, Wilbarger, Willacy, Williamson, Wilson, Winkler, Wise, Yoakum, Young, Zapata and Zavala.
Utah Counties of Beaver, Box Elder, Cache, Carbon, Daggett, Davis, Duchesne, Emery, Garfield, Grand, Iron, Juab, Kane, Millard, Morgan, Piute, Rich, Salt Lake, San Juan, Sanpete, Sevier, Summit, Tooele, Uintah, Utah, Wasatch, Washington, Wayne and Weber.
Vermont Counties of Addison, Caledonia, Essex, Orange, Orleans, Rutland, Washington, Windham and Windsor.
Washington Counties of Adams, Asotin, Benton, Chelan, Clark, Columbia, Cowlitz, Douglas, Ferry, Franklin, Garfield, Grant, Island, Kittitas, Klickitat, Lincoln, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, San Juan, Skagit, Skamania, Spokane, Stevens, Wahkiakum, Walla Walla, Whatcom, Whitman and Yakima.
Wisconsin Counties of Burnett, Crawford, Dane, Dodge, Grant, Green, Jefferson, Kenosha, La Crosse, Lafayette, Milwaukee, Monroe, Ozaukee, Pierce, Polk, Racine, Richland, Rock, Saint Croix, Vernon, Walworth, Washington and Waukesha.
Wyoming Counties of Albany, Big Horn, Campbell, Carbon, Converse, Crook, Fremont, Goshen, Hot Springs, Johnson, Laramie, Lincoln, Natrona, Niobrara, Park, Platte, Sheridan, Sublette, Sweetwater, Teton, Uinta, Washakie and Weston.
United States Virgin Islands Islands of Saint Croix, Saint John and Saint Thomas.

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This article is provided for general informational purposes only. It is not legal, accounting or other professional advice, as it does not address any individual facts, circumstances or concerns. Before making personal or business related decisions, please consult with appropriate legal, accounting or other qualified professionals.

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