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April 7, 2010

IRS Income Verifications Now Set

After being a topic of discussion for months—since the 2008 farm bill was put in place—the Farm Service Agency (FSA) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have finally worked out the details on income limits. In general, to be eligible for direct payments, the adjusted gross income (AGI) limits are $500,000 for nonfarm and $750,000 for farm. If you want to qualify for payments from conservation programs, the AGI limit is $1 million for nonfarm.

In order to receive payments, you have to fill out a Consent to Disclosure of Tax Return Information form. The forms are available at your local FSA office and online, but you return them to the IRS at the address on the form, not to the FSA office. Once you sign the form, you have 60 days to get it to the IRS. The final deadline is June 15, 2010. If you don't file the form, you'll be ineligible for program benefits and may have to repay funds already received.

The IRS will examine certain line items on tax returns for the applicable three-year period (for 2010, for example, this would be the 2006, 2007 and 2008 tax years) and then perform a series of calculations to arrive at the three-year average amounts. Next, they'll compare those results to the AGI limits set by law for the applicable program.

Confidential data. The IRS will report its results to FSA "on a regular basis,” according to FSA. "No actual tax data will be included. USDA county office personnel will not view tax return information at any time during this process.” FSA will be the only entity receiving the information from the IRS. The information is not subject to Freedom of Information Act requests, which means the Environmental Working Group won't be publishing your tax-related income data to the world.  —Roger Bernard


Win a Free Tractor

Five-year-old Peyton DeLine of Charleston, Mo., had been waiting for weeks for the brand new Challenger MT865C track tractor to arrive at his farm. His father, Donny DeLine, won 200 hours' use of the new tractor after being named the 2010 Top Producer of the Year at the Top Producer Seminar in late January.

The tractor was delivered in mid-March by Jarrod Woley of Whayne Supply Company, the local Challenger dealer in Paducah, Ky. The 525 gross engine horsepower tractor features a Caterpillar C18 ACERT Tier III engine and 16F/4R powershift Cat transmission. Challenger's Mobil-trac system maximizes traction and flotation. Infinitely variable gauge settings plus five belt options adapt the tractor to a range of row widths and crop applications. One easy-to-use monitor tracks ISOBUS-compatible implements and all major tractor functions.

The Top Producer of the Year Award recognizes producers who demonstrate excellence in the business of farming, including marketing, farm finance, family and employee relations, technology and environmental stewardship. Entrants are judged on entrepreneurial originality, financial and business progress, and industry or community leadership. Any farmer or rancher who derives at least half of his or her income from farming and farm-related ventures may apply.

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FEATURED IN: Top Producer - SPRING 2010

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