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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Fresno, CA USA
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    Default Can you write off Bee loses from the winter

    I'm trying to help my father do taxes and was wondering if he could write off his bees loses from Winter. What would he need to do this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Pinehurst, North Carolina, USA
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    Default Re: Can you write of Bee loses from the winter

    Beekeeping loses can only be written off against beekeeping revenues if he is just a hobby apiarist. Since most people don't claim beekeeping revenues on their taxes this is pretty useless.

    If his expenses exceed his revenues he can only claim a loss if his beekeeping operation is a registered business, in which case he would report the loss on form Schedule C.
    ...This, and my heart, and all the Bees
    Which in the Clover dwell.

  3. #3
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    Jun 2009
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    Fresno, CA USA
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    Default Re: Can you write of Bee loses from the winter

    No he lost about 120 hives, how do you use it as a write off. How do we know how much to write off. If you lost 120 hives, how much would that be? My Dad saying it's 130.00 per hive, but I'm not sure if he really knows. Please help me. Thanks Maggie

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Fresno California USA
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    2,479

    Default Re: Can you write of Bee loses from the winter

    According to my CPA, there is nothing there to write off. You can write off your cash expenses, but not your opinion of what something was worth that you lost.

    Please refrain from asking me how I know that.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Can you write of Bee loses from the winter

    Tom, what kind of cash expenses are you talking about?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Denver, Colorado
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    5,079

    Default Re: Can you write of Bee loses from the winter

    Withdrawn
    Last edited by Solomon Parker; 03-07-2011 at 03:24 PM. Reason: withdrawn
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  7. #7
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    Feb 2011
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    Pinehurst, North Carolina, USA
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    Default Re: Can you write of Bee loses from the winter

    I would advise you to consult a tax professional to assess your specific situation.
    ...This, and my heart, and all the Bees
    Which in the Clover dwell.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Clifford Township, PA
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    2,024

    Default Re: Can you write of Bee loses from the winter

    Dad is trying to write off $15,600 as losses. I'm no accountant but to me, what that adds up to is Dad needs to talk to an accountant, not beekeepers on a forum.

    His accountant will appear with him when he gets audited. (Not sure who from this crew would go with him.)

    Wayne

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Fresno, CA USA
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    9

    Default Re: Can you write of Bee loses from the winter

    He is planning on going to a CPA, just wanted to know ahead of time. Someone told him he might be able to write them off, but I read otherwise on this forum. I guess his CPA will tell him for sure.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Fresno, CA USA
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    9

    Default Re: Can you write of Bee loses from the winter

    HI WaynesGarden

    No, he's not trying to write it off, we are just wondering if he can. I wasn't sure so I thought I'd ask you guys before we go to the CPA. Oh, went it comes to Audits my father is no stanger. Thanks why I'm her to help him from now on. But, Thank you Wayne.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
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    2,496

    Default Re: Can you write of Bee loses from the winter

    Ok...if he has income from his bees then he can write off some parts of it but it is all a little iffy non the less. For instance, if he bought a queen or a package and it dies during the season then he can take that loss but bee careful, you need good detailed records, receipts, etc. Like Tom stated, you have to have documentation. If you raise your own queens and do your own splits, well you are out of luck as there is no cash expenses related to the actual bees. (feed, treatments, fuel, etc. yes) Personally, I don't do this as it will just bring you to the attention of the IRS and trust me they are looking more and more for reasons to audit since the govt. needs more $$.
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid. John Wayne

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    27,198

    Default Re: Can you write of Bee loses from the winter

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieShields View Post
    No he lost about 120 hives, how do you use it as a write off.
    Maggie, just to be picky and make sure we are talking about the same thing, he didn't loose the hives, did he? The colony in those hives died, right? He still has the hives.

    What can be written off, on a Schedule F : Profit or Loss from Farming Form, is the cost of package bees or queens purchased. Thery are considered Livestock.

    If your Father doesn't fill out a Schedule F I don't know how he can claim a loss. If it isn't a Business for him, it is considered a Hobby.

    Talk to an Accountant who knows something about Farming.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Pell City,Alabama,USA
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    290

    Default Re: Can you write of Bee loses from the winter

    If your father is selling honey you better believe the govt. wants to know about it, and with 120 hives I sure hope at one point he had some for sale. If a cattle farmer looses 120 brood cows over the winter can he claim a lose for that? For his sake I certainly hope so, but I really don't know. I agree with Sqkcrk, I would certainly try. That is if you have been reporting your honey sales.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Can you write of Bee loses from the winter

    I'll bet a cattle farmer can't write off dead cattle. Not ones that died on his farm from diseases or pests. Besides, aren't cattle supposed to die, in trhe end? All the other costs, I imagine, are deductible.

    I am not an Accountant. Get ye to an Accountant.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Columbus, Mississippi
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    188

    Default Re: Can you write off Bee loses from the winter

    I farm tomatoes and I can not claim tomatoes that go south. The reason being is I already claimed the cost of production so I have already claimed the loss. So if your dad bought equipment, feed, chemicals, queens, foundation, woodenware he can claim that as an expense on a schedule F. Since that could happen there is no value to the bees because the cost has already been deducted. Basically no double dipping. But again like what has been stated before, it is always best to consult a tax pro.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland, Bladen County, NC, USA
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    Default Re: Can you write off Bee loses from the winter

    I am not an accountant either.... and I agree with Sqkcrk. He has already deducted the expense of the packages (nucs... whatever) on his schedule F. If they are bees from "Increase". then he has already deducted the expenses to raise them. No deduction for dead bees.... just MHO.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
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    Default Re: Can you write off Bee loses from the winter

    If it were me...

    He claimed the cost of the bees and equipment when he bought them, yes? I think the equipment can be depreciated, but not the bees. If he lost the bees, the only thing he can claim would be the replacement cost of the bees...if he actually spent the money.

    So, buy replacement bees and claim that amount. If he didn't spend the money in 2010, he can't claim the cost on his 2010 return. If he spends the money now, he claims it on his 2011 return.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Pell City,Alabama,USA
    Posts
    290

    Default Re: Can you write off Bee loses from the winter

    I'm not thru beating the dead cattle yet, and yes I know this is slightly getting but is there not a cattle or dairy farmer out there that can tell us if you can write off dead cows?

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Can you write off Bee loses from the winter

    Maybe he wants to look into insurance on his colonies?
    I forgot the depreciation of the hives. That's right Mike.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  20. #20

    Default Re: Can you write off Bee loses from the winter

    Here are the guidelines I use on the ranch when filing our Schedule F:

    According to the IRS, livestock purchased for draft, breeding, or dairy purposes can be depreciated only if they are not kept in an inventory account. Livestock you raise usually has no depreciable basis because the costs of raising them are deducted and not added to their basis.

    When depreciation begins:

    Depreciation for livestock begins when the livestock reaches the age of maturity (not necessarily date of sale). If you acquire immature livestock for draft, dairy, or breeding purposes, your depreciation begins when the livestock reach the age when they can be worked, milked, or bred. When this occurs, your basis for depreciation is your initial cost for the immature livestock.

    When depreciation ends:

    You stop depreciating property (livestock) when you have fully recovered your cost or other basis. This happens when your allowed or allowable depreciation deductions equal your cost or investment in the property (livestock).


    In short, if you purchased the bees from somewhere this year and planned on selling them maybe there is a chance. I have not done enough research yet to figure out all the ins and outs of taxes as this is my first year as a beek, Ill be ready next year however to field these questions with some sort of confidence

    As most others have stated, talk to an accountant. It sounds as if you are assuming calculated losses which doesn't make a difference to the IRS unless those losses can match to income/taxes paid in the same year (you can only get back what you pay in taxes regardless of your losses).
    Jim Andersen
    Desert Viking Ranch

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