Farming as a Path to Financial Planning (Part 2)

Farming as a Path to Financial Planning (Part 1)
Farming is an inherited vocation in many parts of the world, but it need not be so in the United States. Anyone may grow crops, or manage farms on owned or rented land. You can do any of this on a small patch of land, or have stocks in plantations that stretch further than the eye can see! Grains, fruits, flowers, raw material for clothing, and all colors and textures of meat and other dairy products, are amongst the virtually unending choices of what you may grow.

The Farm Service Agency of the US Department of Agriculture makes it easy for anyone to enter the world of farming. There are special forms of assistance for those with less than a decade of relevant experience. Acquired land is available for purchase, and the Farm Service Agency offers financial assistance in the form of loans. Community Supported Agriculture is a suitable model for those without agronomic expertise to enter farming. This mode is also suitable for using agriculture as a second source of income, and as a broader part of financial planning.

US agriculture has many accounting and tax implications. Federal tax laws treat farming as a distinct occupation. The Internal Revenue Service has detailed guidelines on accounting practices and tax return preparations by entities involved in agriculture. Laws change from year to year, so everyone involved in farming should keep abreast of new developments. The peanut quota buyout program for example, has ended in 2007. New rules have been framed for tobacco growers. Mileage rates have changed, and there are special provisions for using kerosene in agricultural aviation. Married couples may now choose to file tax returns as a joint venture instead of as a partnership. There are a number of further and important changes slated for 2008.