ALBUQUERQUE — The Internal Revenue Service is extending tax relief for farmers and ranchers in many New Mexico counties who were forced to sell livestock due to drought and other severe weather in recent years.

The IRS made the announcement Thursday, saying the extension affects drought sales that occurred during 2015, as the normal drought-sale replacement period is four years.

The agency says qualifying farmers and ranchers whose drought-sale replacement period was scheduled to expire at the end of 2019 now have until the end of their next tax year to replace the livestock and defer tax on any gains from the forced sales.

Officials say sales of poultry or other livestock, such as those raised for slaughter or held for sporting purposes, are not eligible.

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