minimize capital gains tax on sale of appreciated farm land

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My father, who is nearing 80yrs and in reasonably good health, wants to sell 52 acres of farmland. It was purchased 45 years ago @ $250/acre and is now worth $5,000/acre. He's interested in providing seller financing over 10 years for the income stream. He'd like to minimize his capital gains tax. Any thoughts on strategy to reduce taxes? Subdivide and sell parcels in different years to stay in a lower tax tier? suggestions welcomed.

The seller financing (called an "installment sale" in the tax world) by itself is a way to defer a portion of the capital gains to future tax years. Each year your father would break a portion of the payments into return of basis, capital gains, and interest. The latter two are taxable.

Subdividing and selling parcels might be more trouble than it's worth, and is often used by the tax courts to show a change of intent for the land (e.g. from investment to development/property held for sale).  I recommend your father speak with a tax CPA/EA before going down this route.

Your father could defer 100% of the gain until 2026 if he forgoes the seller financing and reinvests the capital gain portion into a Qualified Opportunity Fund (i.e. Opportunity Zone).  It may or may not be for him.  Heavily depends on his goals, risk tolerance, and personal preference as weighed against the capital gain deferral and additional tax benefits.  He should ask his CPA about this and there should be a deep conversation.