Taxes are a key part of financial planning. As you set up your financial statements, you should consider the categories used in the IRS Schedule F (for farm income) to make your life easier when tax season rolls around. However, it’s also worth it to understand your farm tax obligations before you start farming so you can understand which purchases might be deductible, which records you need to keep, etc.
IRS Publication 225, the Farmer’s Tax Guide, is a comprehensive resource on farm taxes. Unfortunately, it’s also 93 pages long. If you are looking for help on the Schedule F or other specific farm tax information, this is your best resource. If you’re looking for more of an overview, check out Tips about Farmer Income Tax by the National Center for Appropriate Technology. Although it doesn’t cover everything, at 2 pages, it does contain quite a bit of helpful information. Another great resource is Tax Tips for Farmers, a resource developed by the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association. It includes a to-do list and other great tips.
For more general business tax information, visit the Small Business Administration’s Resources on Filing and Paying Taxes. Since its founding on July 30, 1953, the U.S. Small Business Administration has delivered millions of loans, loan guarantees, contracts, counseling sessions and other forms of assistance to small businesses. Learn if the activity you are engaging in qualifies as a business or a hobby and what the tax advantages and requirements are for each. Learn where you can obtain your federal tax ID. Find out what the federal tax obligations are for your small business. Each state and locality has its own tax laws for businesses. Find out what the requirements and benefits are for your state. Knowing when the tax year starts for your small business is important to meeting filing requirements. Learn more about your tax year and when you need to file.