The IRS released today an announcement that farmers now have until April 15, 2019 to prepare their federal income tax returns. The reasoning as expected was the lack of clarity on filing a farmer's return especially if they receive payments from a cooperative.
Quoting the announcement: "Due to certain changes in the rules that affect farmers and fishermen, the Treasury Department and IRS anticipate that farmers and fishermen may have difficulty accurately determining and paying their tax liability for the 2018 taxable year by March 1, 2019. "
CLA has had conversations with various congressional staff in the last two weeks on this subject and we would like to thank all of them for their effort in getting this accomplished.
The IRS has extended the March 1 filing deadline at least three times in the past:
- Back in late 2012 Congress passed an extenders bill that the IRS computers were not ready for. This allowed an extension for 2012 farmer's income tax returns.
- The MF Global crisis of 2011 allowed certain farmers to get an automatic extension on their 2011 income tax returns.
- In 1988, the USDA was late in issuing Form 1099 information returns to some farmers so the IRS granted an extension for 1987 income tax returns for those farmers.
In order to be granted this relief, you must be a qualifying farmer which means you get at least 2/3rds of your gross income from farming. A cash rent landlord is not a farmer.
The IRS also seems to indicate that there will be additional guidance to help farmers prepare their income tax returns. It would have been nice to have this guidance before now, but any guidance from them would be helpful (we hope).
We will keep you posted on any guidance that they provide.