FSA Andy: Holidays spur reminders


Hello again, friends:

It seems like around my house, I become the most ambitious to do household upkeep when I am planning on visitors, planning a party or during the holidays. I feel the need to clean my house before I start dragging out all of my holiday decorations. I create more of a mess and find that when I am done I have added additional time to my weekly dusting chore.

This year, I decided that painting needed to be done “before the holidays.” Two days and three gallons of paint later, my walls look wonderful. I couldn’t figure out why I was so motivated in November. What made me feel like it HAD to be done “NOW”?! I realized it is because I sit in an office with co-workers who feel holiday music should be played starting in November.

We all have rituals and traditions that put us in the mood to get things done before, well, fill in the blank. Here at the Farm Service Agency, we have some annual clean-up and reminders that need to be done with the coming of the New Year!

Electronic information

The USDA Farm Service Agency offices are moving toward a paperless operation. Producers are asked to enroll in the new GovDelivery system that will provide notices, newsletters and electronic reminders instead of a hard copy through the mail. County committee ballots will continue to be mailed to all eligible producers.

FSA, like many other organizations, is trying to work smarter and be more efficient. Moving to electronic notifications via email will help conserve resources and save taxpayer dollars. Producers can now receive free email updates by contacting your local FSA office or can go online and subscribe at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/subscribe.

New AGI Form for 2012

In September, FSA started using CCC-931 “Average Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) Certification and Consent to Disclosure of Tax Information” for all 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 programs that are subject to AGI compliance. FSA will no longer accept CCC-926, CCC-927, or CCC-928 for any program.

The new form is a combination of the Average Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) Certification and Consent to Disclosure of Tax Information forms previously used by FSA.

Form CCC-931 is available at your local FSA office or to download the form visit the Ohio FSA website at www.fsa.usda.gov/oh and the form is located under the section titled “I Want To” on the homepage. Producers can print and mail the form to their local FSA office. FSA employees will review the form for accuracy before forwarding it to the IRS.

If CCC-931 is incomplete, the producer will be notified and corrections will be completed prior to FSA forwarding it to the IRS.

Producers with FSA-211, “Power of Attorneys” will not be allowed to use the FSA-211 to complete the CCC-931. Producers who failed to file these forms before September 2011 will receive a notice from the national office stating that the producer is ineligible for 2010 and/or 2011 payments. Without these forms on file, eligible producers will not receive USDA program payments.

Treasury check changes

Starting in 2013, the Treasury Department will no longer issue paper checks. Producers, who elect not to receive direct deposit, will be issued some type of debit card for the program payment. Producers who receive payments electronically using direct deposit will not be affected by this change. Direct deposit cuts down on the number of missing and late payments and reduced the time required to move funds. If you are not interested in receiving a debit card for program payments, then contact your local FSA office to electronically receive direct deposit payments into your banking institution.

FSA signature policy

Husbands and wives may sign documents on behalf of each other for FSA and Commodity Credit Corporation programs in which either has an interest. This option is automatically available unless a written request for exclusion is made to the county office staff by either spouse. There are exceptions to the rule, where spouses may not sign on behalf of each other for partnerships, joint ventures, corporations or other similar entities. Individual signatures are also required on certain Farm Loan Program and Farm Storage Facility Loan documents. For more clarification on spousal signature authority, feel free to contact your local FSA office.

That’s all for now,
FSA Andy

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