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Almost all farm management decisions have a tax impact. Federal, state and local governments all collect revenue for needed public services from property transfers, income earned from farm sales, taxes on personal and real property, and sales tax. This page provides basic information on the various forms of taxation for new farmers to factor into their farm planning and management decisions. Note that some of the information presented here may not be applicable to farmers in states other than North Carolina.
Through a program called Present Use Valuation, North Carolina farmers have the potential to reduce their annual property tax bill. This program assigns property values to qualifying farmland based on its value as agricultural land, as opposed to more lucrative uses such as development.
As with almost any business venture, North Carolina farmers must report their income and may count certain farm related expenses as a deduction from taxable income. This is done on the federal tax return using a form known as a Schedule F. Deductions might include expenses such as seed, fertilizer, insurance, equipment, supplies and more. For more information, farmers may wish to download the current year Publication 225 (Farmer’s Tax Guide) from the website of the Internal Revenue Service.
Sales Tax on Products Sold
Farmers must charge sales tax on certain products they sell, and then remit those collected taxes to the N.C. Department of Revenue. However, North Carolina Farmers are exempt from charging sales tax on raw agricultural commodities that they produce. The requirements vary depending on the product being sold and other factors. Here is a presentation covering the basics of sales taxes and exemptions on farm and value added produces.
Sales Tax Exemption Certification
North Carolina Farmers who qualify are exempt from paying sales tax on certain farm supplies and equipment. To qualify, farmers must have an average annual gross income of $10,000 from farming operations for the three preceding years. Those who are new to farming may apply for “conditional” status, but there are extensive record keeping and reporting requirements, plus penalties for failure to meet those requirements. This program is administered by the North Carolina Department of Revenue. More information, as well as an application form, can be downloaded from their website.