RS20564 - Conservation Reserve Paymentsand Self-Employment Taxes
1-May-2000; Marie B. Morris; 4 p.
Abstract: Farmers enrolling their land in the Department of Agriculuture's Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) receive payments for refraining from farming their property and for engaging in certain conservation practices mandated by the Department of Agriculture. These payments are described in the contract with the Department of Agriculture as ¨rental payments.¨ Farmers would like to treat the income as ¨rental income¨ because it would not be subject to self-employment taxes, but the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) insists that under certain conditions, the payments are income from the trade or business of farming and thus subject to self-employment taxes. On March 3, 2000, the Sixth Circuit endorsed the IRS' view of the payments in Wuebker v. Commissioner, 205F.3d 897 (6th Cir.2000). The Sixth Circuit reversed the Tax Court's decision in the same case, eliminating the only significant precedent supporting the farmers' view of the payments. Several bills to exclude CRP payments from selfemployment earnings have been introduced since the Wuebker decision. [read report]
Topics: Agriculture, Risk & Reform