2020 Online Seminar: Farm Tax Planning When Nothing Is Normal - University of Illinois Tax School
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Online Seminar: Farm Tax Planning When Nothing Is Normal

Up to 8 CPE credits for $250!

Due to uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 virus, for your safety and convenience, we are offering this in-depth seminar online rather than as live in-person instruction. The seminar will be taught in one day-long session with several morning and afternoon breaks and a full lunch break.

Register Now!

Prefer to fax or mail your registration? Use our printable registration form.

Nobody could have anticipated how this year was going to go. While legislation brought about due to COVID-19 has affected most taxpayers in some way, there are unique considerations for farmers as small business owners. This online seminar examines such issues from the CARES Act, such as paycheck protection program loans and economic injury disaster loans for small businesses, as well as USDA/CFAP program payments meant to address loss of revenue due to market conditions.

Additionally, the online seminar explores new net operating loss provisions and depreciation strategies, including planning with your farm tax clients to minimize or avoid losses. You'll also learn about Chapter 12 bankruptcy tax returns, including comparing Schedule F pre- and post-bankruptcy filing, and addressing tax attributes for discharge of indebtedness on Form 982. Use of research credits can be valuable to farm taxpayers; we will explore this strategy. Recent relevant agricultural tax court cases are also covered.

Online Seminar Details

Provides up to 8 hours CPE.

Registration Fee: $250

The fee for this seminar includes a digital copy of accompanying materials, including presentation slides. The materials will be available in your online Tax School account.


  • Thursday, October 1, 2020 (8:00am to 5:00pm Central Time, with a break for lunch)

NASBA Program Level: Overview

CPE Filings Available: Illinois MCLE, CFP, IRS

About Our Instructors

Kristine Tidgren Kristine Tidgren, JD, is is an adjunct assistant professor in the Agricultural Education & Studies Department and the director for the Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation (CALT) at Iowa State University. Kristine's work focuses on studying and interpreting laws impacting the agricultural industry. In particular, she focuses on agricultural taxation. Since joining CALT in 2013, Kristine has written hundreds of articles and blog posts to keep tax professionals, practicing attorneys, producers, and agribusiness professionals informed about legal developments impacting their business. Kristine is licensed to practice law in Iowa and Missouri and is a member of the Iowa Bar Association. Before joining Iowa State University, Kristine worked for a legal publishing company and as a practicing attorney. She received her J.D., Order of the Coif, from the University of Texas at Austin and her B.A. in journalism from Iowa State. She grew up on a farm in west central Iowa.

Bob Rhea Bob Rhea, EA has been associated with the Tax School since 2005 as an instructor and as a reviewer for the University of Illinois Federal Tax Workbook. Since 1984, he has assisted farmers with accounting, tax, and consulting services in west-central Illinois through the University of Illinois FBFM program, and was named its chief executive officer in June 2020. Bob is the national executive director for his professional organization, NAFBAS, and previously was that group's national president. Bob received his bachelor's degree from Western IL University and Master's degree from the University of Illinois. He serves as trustee for John Wood Community College and was recently named JWCC's first Distinguished Alumnus Award recipient. Bob is an enrolled agent (EA) and he lives in Camp Point. Family includes his wife, Debbie, 3 children Tracy, Casey, Ashley, their spouses and 7 grandsons.

Date and Time

  • Thursday, October 1, 2020, 8:00 am–5:00 pm Central Time (with a lunch break)


  1. Farm Finance Update
  2. CARES Act Agricultural Issues
  3. Avoiding Losses, New NOL Provisions
  4. Depreciation Strategies
  5. Farm Program Payments
  6. Lunch
  7. Increasing Research Credits
  8. Chapter 12 Bankruptcy
  9. Court Cases
  10. Q&A

Learning Objectives, CPE, and More

Learning Objectives: By attending this online seminar, you will be able to:

  • Advise clients regarding financial distress strategies to help weather the current environment, including CARES Act provisions, NOL regulations, depreciation regulations, and farm program payments.
  • Review Chapter 12 bankruptcy provisions to help clients decide when bankruptcy is a good option.
  • Identify clients who might benefit from the use of research credits.
  • Recognize the importance and application of significant case law and rulings related to agricultural taxation.

Audience: Tax professionals preparing returns for farm clients.

Materials: All attendees of this online seminar will receive accompanying materials, including presentation slides, digitally in their Tax School account.

Delivery Method: Group Internet-Based

NASBA Program Level: Overview

Field of Study: Taxes (NASBA), Federal Tax (IRS)

Prerequisite(s): Experience as a tax professional preparing farm tax returns and an understanding of tax rules and regulations associated with preparing farm tax returns.

Advanced Preparation: Testing your system (see below).

CPE Credit

CPE credits Up to 8.0 based on attendance
Field of Study (NASBA) Taxes (8)
IRS Category Federal Tax (8)
IL MCLE Taxation (6.5)
CFP Taxation (8) Must attend the entire day to obtain CPE due to CFP rules.

Please see the CPE FAQ for more information.

CPE Accreditation

The University of Illinois Tax School is a sponsor of CPE for a variety of professional designations such as CPAs, EAs, CFPs®, attorneys, and insurance, etc. Agencies that typically recognize the University of Illinois Tax School as a sponsor of continuing education are:

  • Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards
  • Illinois Department of Insurance
  • Illinois Department of Professional Regulation
  • Internal Revenue Service
  • Iowa Supreme Court Commission on Continuing Legal Education
  • Missouri Bar Association
  • MCLE Board of the Supreme Court of Illinois

NASBA Accredited Continuing Education Provider LogoUniversity of Illinois Tax School is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: www.nasbaregistry.org.

IRS-Approved Continuing Education Provider LogoThe Tax School has been approved as an IRS Continuing Education Provider. Tax preparers should always look for IRS approved providers when fulfilling their continuing education requirements.

Visit www.irs.gov/taxpros/ce for more information.

Participants are awarded credit based upon actual time in attendance for in-person seminars, and actual time in attendance plus particpation in polling questions for live online webinars and seminars. Most accrediting groups recognize 1 hour of credit per 50 minutes of instruction. Some CLE groups recognize 1 hour of credit per 60 minutes of instruction.

Certificates of attendance are issued to participants after seminars conclude. In most cases, certificates are emailed after the conclusion of all seminars.

For EAs, Illinois Insurance professionals and CFPs®, the Tax School Office submits participant credit hours directly to the accrediting agencies.

An additional fee is required for processing CPE credits for IL insurance, CFP®, and IL MCLE.

See Frequently Asked Questions about CPE.

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and federally registered CFP (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements.

BigMarker Webinar Platform Tour

We are using a new webinar platform this year, which should be much easier to use than the platform we used before 2020:

  • No software to download or install; completely browser-based
  • It does not use Adobe Flash, so no complications with "Allowing Flash"
  • No Java updates needed
  • All online live events will include instructor video, in addition to the PowerPoint slides.

Here is a short 5-minute video tour of the new BigMarker webinar platform.

Testing Your Computer System

We are now offering our webinars using the BigMarker platform, which uses your web browser to deliver the content. This software does not use Adobe Flash, so there are no more Adobe Flash updates to deal with or having to "Allow Flash" in your browser. Getting into the webinar should now be much easier for you.

Please test your computer system using the instructions below before the webinar. If you fail to test your system in advance and experience problems, you may not be able to participate in the webinar. We cannot provide refunds because you experience technical problems the day of the webinar. When testing, use the computer you plan to use for participating in the webinar.

NOTE: We recommend using a desktop or laptop computer to attend the webinar rather than a tablet or mobile phone.

  • Make sure that the computer that you will use for the webinar is connected to the Internet with a broadband connection.
  • Make sure that you have functioning speakers or headset to take full advantage of the audio capabilities during the session (all instruction is provided vocally). If you don't want to use your computer speakers or headset, there is phone audio available. The dial-in number, Conference ID, and User ID for phone audio will be given to you once you enter the webinar session.
  • IMPORTANT: Disable any popup blockers before you try to join the webinar.

Testing Instructions

This test should take less than 5 minutes to complete.

On the computer you will be using for the webinar, go to the following web page:


When the page loads, it will run through various network tests. Click on Test Speakers to make sure you can hear audio. You do not need to test your microphone or webcam for the webinar.

The problem users most frequently encounter is failing the Network Firewall Check, which usually happens when the required communication ports are being blocked by your Windows Firewall or your Internet router. For more information on how to solve this problem please see the I Failed the Network System Check page on the BigMarker support website. Please note that as this has to do with individual settings in your computer firewall or your router, Tax School cannot easily help solve these problems. Some additional steps to try that may solve the problem:

  1. Reboot your computer system.
  2. Make sure you do not have any other programs open while attending the event.
  3. If you have access to a different computer at your location, try using it, just in case it is a firewall setting on that particular computer.

Entering the Live Webinar Session

To enter the live webinar session the day of the event:

  1. Log into your Tax School account on this website.
  2. Scroll down to the event information and click the Join Webinar button as shown below.
  3. Depending on which browser you are using, when you click on the button you may see a message that you need to enable popups. Click Allow (or whatever the permission wording is) to allow popups on the Tax School website, and then you should be able to get into the session.
  4. Once you enter the webinar, you will need to enable audio. There should be a grey and white link in the middle of the webinar screen that you need to click (shown below). If you don't see that link, exit and re-enter the session. If you still don't see the link or hear audio, ask in chat for assistance.

If you encounter additional problems testing your system, you can check the following resources:

If your technical problems cannot be resolved, please call the Tax School office at 217-333-0502 during normal business hours for options regarding webinar attendance.

Last updated 7/1/2020 8:41:57 AM