Helping Ag Tap Tax Credits
Former Ag Secretary Johanns Touting Research and Development Tax Credit for Agribusinesses

OMAHA (DTN) — Agricultural companies are not making full use of the federal Research and Development Tax Credit, according to a former USDA secretary.

Mike Johanns, a former agriculture secretary, U.S. senator and Nebraska governor, is taking on a new position as chairman of agriculture for tax advisory company alliantgroup, mainly to highlight the opportunities for farmers and other small- to medium-sized agribusinesses to use the research and development tax credit.

The R&D tax credit has been around since 1981 and was claimed to offset more than $12 billion in taxes in 2014. But recent changes and interpretations by the IRS have opened up the tax credit to a broader group of businesses and uses. Steven Miller, a former acting commissioner of the IRS and now national director of tax at alliantgroup, champions the view that a wider range of industries and purposes qualify for the R&D tax credit, but don’t claim it.

Johanns will be working to help educate various agricultural industries that work done to develop and test different products in agriculture, even at the smallest businesses, may qualify for the R&D tax credit.

“My focus is to help make sure the agricultural sector is taking full advantage of the laws already on the books, more specifically the tax credits that are available to them,” Johanns told DTN on Thursday.

Johanns said he wants to help small- and medium-sized agribusinesses qualify for these credits.

“I want to make sure that agronomist who is out there doing all of the things necessary to benefit from the tax credit is aware of it and actually receives that tax credit,” Johanns said. “It might be true for other industries, such as the dairy industry.”
Dhaval Jadav, CEO of alliantgroup, said Johanns’ work in government and in agriculture will help him educate businesses on various tax incentives.

“With his extensive background in government and agriculture, Secretary Johanns adds a unique perspective to our firm that will only enhance our understanding of the concerns of those within the agricultural sector,” Jadav said. “His insight will be vital in enhancing our outreach to the industry.”

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JohannsMike Johanns was the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture from 2005-2007 as well as the Governor of Nebraska from 1999-2005 and the state’s U.S. Senator from 2009-2015. As alliantgroup’s Chairman of Agriculture, Johanns brings more than 30 years of experience at virtually every level of government and a strong background in both agriculture and economic development. As the Secretary of Agriculture, he managed 18 different agencies, opened or expanded access to 40 international markets and was responsible for multiple agricultural breakthroughs as a negotiator for the Doha Development Round.