Changes, changes, changes. That’s what the Farm Service Agency is all about. 2010 is no exception as the new year brings about new regulations.
Over the course of the next several months, you will hear about an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) verification process. More than likely, each local FSA office will inform their producers in a variety of ways. Some will be receiving the information via mail and others will be notified upon their next visit into the office.
Regardless of how you are notified, you will need to sign and submit a consent form to the IRS by June 15, 2010. This, in-turn, will authorize the IRS to disclose to FSA if you are in compliance with the AGI provisions.
Your tax information will NOT be released to FSA. IRS will only verify compliance or noncompliance.
What hasn’t changed? The established income limitations, based on a three-year average, are as follows:
• $500,000 nonfarm average adjusted gross income for commodity and disaster programs
• $750,000 farm average adjusted gross income for direct payments
• $1,000,000 nonfarm average adjusted gross income for conservation programs
What has changed? The method in which we verify if you are in compliance with these limitations. You will be required to submit the consent to disclose form directly to IRS if you requested benefits in 2009 and/or plan to request benefits for 2010. Your local office will not be permitted to either complete the form or mail it on your behalf.
Upon notification from the IRS, if it appears that you have exceeded the AGI limitations, you will be provided an opportunity to submit evidence from a third party, certified public accountant or attorney, that the AGI limitations have not been exceeded.
Noncompliance? If you are determined noncompliant, you will be offered appeal rights. In addition, refunds will be requested for the year(s) in which you are found to be noncompliant.
These new provisions are only intended to strengthen the integrity of FSA programs and to ensure payments are issued to those who do not exceed the established limitations. This is good news to all of us as a taxpayer. Please do your part and submit your consent form timely.
That’s all for now,