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Farmers and ranchers who were forced by severe drought to sell more livestock than normal will get some tax relief.

The Internal Revenue Service announced this week that producers making forced livestock sales due to drought can defer tax payments on any extra financial gains. Farmers and ranchers generally have four years to replace their livestock.

Due to this extension, producers whose replacement period was scheduled to end Dec. 31, in most cases, will have another year to pay any taxes.

The extension immediately impacts forced sales that occurred four years ago, in 2008. This extension affects all or parts of 43 states, reflecting the near nationwide drought conditions this year.

“The IRS is authorized to provide additional extensions should severe drought conditions persist,” said IRS spokeswoman Karen Connelly in Denver.

In Montana, 28 drought-stricken counties qualify for this extension: Beaverhead, Big Horn, Broadwater, Carbon, Carter, Cascade, Custer, Fallon, Fergus, Gallatin, Garfield, Golden Valley, Jefferson, Judith Basin, Madison, Meagher, Musselshell, Park, Petroleum, Powder River, Rosebud, Silver Bow, Stillwater, Sweet Grass, Treasure, Wheatland, Wibaux and Yellowstone.

Wyoming counties granted this tax extension include: Albany, Big Horn, Campbell, Carbon, Converse, Crook, Fremont, Goshen, Hot Springs, Johnson, Laramie, Lincoln, Natrona, Niobrara, Park, Platte, Sheridan, Sublette, Sweetwater, Uinta, Washakie and Weston.

 

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Business editor for the Billings Gazette.