Help for Beginning Farmers as Tax Day Approaches

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Brought to you by the folks at the National Center for Appropriate Technology!

Tax time can be daunting for any business, and farming operations bring their own set of challenges—particularly for beginning farmers.

A new tip sheet from the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) can take away some of the mystery as April 15 approaches.

“Tips About Farmer Income Tax” stresses the importance of working with a tax professional who is experienced working with farmers. At the same time, it provides a brief overview of some important income-tax issues that farmers need to be aware of:

•    Business deductions
•    What to file as a capital gain
•    When to use IRS Schedule F or IRS Schedule C
•    Depreciation
•    How the IRS defines a “hobby farm”
•    Averaging farm income over a period of years
•    Farm-vehicle expense deductions

It also offers a list of resources where beginning farmers can find answers to their general income-tax questions.

“Tips About Farmer Income Tax” is part of a series of business tip sheets for beginning farmers produced by the NCAT with support from the Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers (OASDFR) program offered by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

“Tips About Farmer Income Tax” and the other tip sheets in the series can be downloaded for free or purchased as a paper publication for a small handling fee at the ATTRA website www.attra.ncat.org.

ATTRA-National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service has been developed and maintained by NCAT since 1987 through a cooperative agreement with the USDA’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service.

In addition to hundreds of sustainable-agriculture publications, ATTRA’s other popular offerings include a free sustainable-agriculture telephone helpline and the “Ask an Ag
Expert” feature on the home page. ATTRA also maintains numerous popular databases, including sustainable-agriculture internships and apprenticeships and is a source for the day’s agriculture news, among other features.

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