- Days left

tobaccoAs Tracy Coenen reported last month, the federal government has joined local officials in piling the responsibility for balancing their budgets on the backs of smokers. With the feds now taking over $1 a pack for smokes, many U.S. smokers are paying more than $7 a pack. At those prices, many will be forced to make a hard choice; quit ... or grow their own.

Yes, it is legal to grow your own tobacco, and while not easy, our nation has shown adeptness at growing other toke-able herbs, so tobacco should be feasible. In fact, (little-known fact) the first settlers in Midwest states like Ohio grew tobacco, because it was one of the few cash crops that could be transported on horseback to the markets of the East.

Each tobacco plant produces about half a pound of dried leaf, enough to make roughly a dozen packs of smokes. Even with the cost of seed and fertilizer, you should be able to bring this crop in for WAY less than $188 a pound (24 packs x $7 per pack). If you're worried about additives in your commercial butts, growing your own can provide some peace of mind.

Of course, companies that sell tobacco seeds and information, like most gardening vendors, won't emphasize the work involved in sprouting, planting, feeding, tilling, and harvesting the crop. You'll need at least 60 warm days and nights to bring it to harvest. Plan on devoting 75 square feet of good soil to grow 50 plants.

And the work doesn't end there. The leaf will need to be dried to reduce the 80% moisture content, then cured to rid it of malodorous ammonia. A simple curing chamber can be built for under $100. The main cost of growing your own, of course is time. Like any crop, tobacco takes attention and work.

If you love to garden and smoke, growing your own tobacco might be a good option. On the other hand, if your garden typically looks like the dust bowl, you might be better off spending your money on nicotine patches.

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Basics Of The Stock Market

Stock Market 101 - everything you need to know but were afraid to ask!

View Course »

Understanding Credit Scores

Credit scores matter -- learn how to improve your score.

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

Tax Tips for the Blind

Anyone whose field of vision falls at or below 20 degrees, who wears corrective glasses but whose vision is 20/200 or less in his best eye, or who has no eyesight at all, meets the legal definition of being blind and is eligible for certain tax deductions.

What is Form 4255: Recapture of Investment Credit?

When is a tax credit not a tax credit? When the IRS takes it back. If you're in the situation where you have to file IRS Form 4255, you might have to pay back a tax credit you've earned in prior years. This process, known as recapture, occurs if you claim a credit -- in this case, a credit for a specific type of business investment -- and then no longer qualify for that credit.

The Most Important Tax Forms for ALEs (Applicable Large Employers)

In 2015, some parts of the Affordable Care Act specifically apply to businesses, in particular, large employers. The Employer Shared Responsibility provisions affect companies with 50 or more full-time employees or an equivalent of part-time or seasonal workers. These companies are called Applicable Large Employers, or ALEs. 2015 is considered a transition year as everyone gets used to the new normal for workplace health plans.

Employer Sponsored Health Coverage Explained

The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is simpler than some people may give it credit for. The basic rule to remember is that everyone must carry Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC) or pay a penalty. Employers with 50 full-time employees or more are obligated to sponsor plans for their workers to help them meet this requirement.

How to Report RSUs or Stock Grants on Your Tax Return

Restricted stock units (RSUs) and stock grants are often used by companies to reward their employees with an investment in the company rather than with cash. As the name implies, RSUs have rules as to when they can be sold. Stock grants often carry restrictions as well. How your stock grant is delivered to you, and whether or not it is vested, are the key factors when determining tax treatment.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum