As more USDA programs are linked in multiple ways to federal income tax returns, there is an increasing need to have accurate information available for farmers, ranchers and other producers.
According to Ruby Ward, Utah State University Cooperative Extension economist and co-chair of the National Farm Income Tax Extension Committee, a new Web site has been created to provide agricultural producers with a source for agriculturally related income and self-employment tax information that is both current and easy to understand. Ward is project lead and received a grant from USDA-Risk Management Agency to create the website. Utah State Cooperative Extension hosts the site.
“Rural Tax Education is a project undertaken by the National Farm Income Tax Extension Committee to provide accurate, reviewed materials about income tax topics for farmers, ranchers and other producers,” Ward says. “This information is written in plain language that is accessible to farmers and ranchers. Rather than just a collection of materials, it is a website that can be continually updated to reflect changes in tax laws.”
Ward points out that the committee has more than 50 years of working with the Internal Revenue Service to edit “Publication 225: The Farmer’s Tax Guide.” The committee is comprised of representatives from more than 12 land-grant universities around the country.
The recently launched website includes 20 peer-reviewed fact sheets on such topics as the definition of a farmer, depreciation and 1099 information returns. It also includes a sample federal income tax return with a farming example and links to other verified information.
“Information is available, but not all of it is accurate and dependable,” Ward notes. “Links on the RuralTax.org website will go to information that’s been determined to be accurate and beneficial. With additional funding and commitment, the website will expand over time.”