UVM Extension Agricultural Business To Host Weekly Web Forum

For the remainder of April UVM Extension Agricultural Business will host a 30-minute web forum every Thursday at 12:30pm to keep pace with emerging COVID-19 issues faced by farm and forest businesses. Each session will include an update on market situations for our farming sectors and information on hot topics, as well as time for questions and discussion.

 Weekly Focus Topics:

  • April 16th:  SBA Emergency Loan Programs
  • April 23rd:  Cash Flow Triage for Small Business
  • April 30th: Digital Entrepreneurship and Online Marketing

Please register in advance for this web meeting.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Feel free to send questions in advance to Mark.Cannella@uvm.edu.

Watch for updates about this series on our blog.

UVM Extension Agricultural Business Educators are available for consultation

If your farm, forest or maple business is under pressure to plan for COVID-19 disruption, our educators are available for business coaching and can assist with locating resources. We can help with critical business decision-making, assessing changes to markets, financial planning and other issues facing your enterprises.

Contact one of our educators by email or leaving a voicemail to make an appointment:

Farm, Forest and Maple Business Clinics

UVM Extension Business Specialists Mark Cannella, Tony Kitsos, Chris Lindgren, Betsy Miller and Zac Smith are available to work one-on-one with farm, forest and maple businesses on their finances. Reserve a 1½ hour appointment to prepare documents that will help manage the business. Use the time to develop a balance sheet, update financial statements, review a business plan, consider changes to the business and more. Bring your financial statements, recent records and questions!

➥ 1½ hour, private meetings
➥ Nearly 100 appointments available from February – April 2020
➥ Held at UVM Extension Offices in 9 locations (Online or phone meetings are also available)
➥ FREE!

Business Clinics Information Sheet (PDF)

Contact Christi Sherlock at Christi.Sherlock@uvm.edu or 802.476.2003 to register for one of the appointments listed below.

To ensure adequate preparation, reservations must be made by the Thursday of the week before your appointment. If you require a disability-related accommodation to participate, please call at least three weeks in advance of your scheduled session.

Useful Farm Tax resources…or are they?

by Betsy Miller, Farm Management Educator

I work with many types of farms and farmers in business planning.  I don’t keep track of the percentage, but I would say a majority of the folks I work with hire a professional to prepare their tax returns. However, I am a firm believer that a basic understanding of the rules is helpful even to those who hire a professional. 

When I sat down to write this I planned to share a few links of resources that would be helpful to farmers who either prepare their own returns or just want a better understanding.  What I found was a little disturbing.  Many of the sites that I used to find helpful are now out of date.  We all expect things to change from one year to the next, but there were some big changes in 2018 and many of the farm tax resources out there do not reflect or even mention those changes. 

I urge any of you who use the internet to find tax resources to check the dates on what you are reading. Make sure you are getting current information.

The one link that I will recommend is the IRS Pub 225 Farmers Tax Guide

Changes to VT Current Use Tax Program

Changes have been made to the Vermont Use Value Appraisal Program (Current Use) that guides the taxation of land and buildings used for agriculture, forestry and conservation.

Click this link for a resource sheet that explains the new changes: Changes in VT Current Use Tax Program _July 2015

Key changes include:

  • A new calculation for the Land Use Change Tax (LUCT) (beginning Oct. 2, 2015)
  • A temporary “easy-out” period in which landowners can remove a parcel, or portion of a parcel, without paying the full LUCT liability (between July 1 and Oct. 1, 2015).
  • A new annual requirement for owners of agricultural lands and buildings to certify in writing on or before September 1 of every year that all enrolled agricultural land and buildings meet the requirements for enrollment at the time of the certification (form will be available in August).
  • Authority given to Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets to direct the Vermont Department of Taxes to remove agricultural land and farm buildings from the Current Use Program when the land or buildings are used by a person who has violated water quality requirements (beginning July 1, 2015).

IRS Publication 225: Farmer’s Tax Guide

It is the time of year for many questions that lead back to tax preparation.

Here is a link to the current IRS Farmer’s Tax Guide

We are also seeing more scrutiny being placed on the distinction between “agricultural” employees compared to “retail” or “non-ag” employees. Owners of businesses that diversify,  take on retail operations or manage  non-traditional farm activities will want to get familiar with the legal thresholds on employee classification. Read more in the IRS Publication 51: Agricultural Employers Tax Guide. Look at sections relating to Form 943 starting on page 18.

IRS pub 51 ag employers

 

 

Important Income Tax Changes for H-2A Status Workers

For Immediate Release

Contact: Maribeth Spellman

Director of Policy, Outreach and Legislative Affairs

Vermont Department of Taxes

(802) 828-0141 or Maribeth.Spellman@state.vt.us

 

Important Income Tax Changes for H-2A Status Workers

 

Montpelier, Vt., July 30, 2013 – The Vermont legislature recently passed a law that clarifies the tax status of individuals enrolled in the H-2A visa program. Many Vermont farms employ foreign national workers who come to the U.S. for temporary or seasonal work through the H-2A program.

 

Beginning with tax year 2012, H-2A status workers must file individual income tax returns in the state of Vermont, as well as at the federal level. For individuals who have not submitted an individual income tax return for 2012, they should do so as soon as possible.

 

For tax years prior to 2012, any liability, interest or penalty paid by an H-2A status worker will be refunded upon request. In order to be eligible, an individual must provide proof of H-2A status by submitting Form I-94 where their class of admission is H-2A. This is marked on their visa. H-2A workers seeking refunds should contact the department.

 

Employers who already have a withholding account may use that for H-2A status workers. If an employer wants to open a withholding account, they may do so by completing Form S-1, Application for Business Tax Account.

 

The Vermont Department of Taxes is assisting H-2A status workers and their employers with this change. For further information, please contact the department at (802) 828-2865 or (866) 828-2865 (toll free in Vermont).