Economic Information Bulletin No. (EIB-54) 26 pp

May 2009

Federal Tax Policies and Farm Households

Significant changes in Federal individual income and estate tax policies have occurred over the last 10 years. Analysis suggests that changes in Federal tax provisions affecting both individual and business income taxes have reduced average tax rates for all farm households, resulting in the lowest tax burden on farm income and investment in a decade. Similarly, an analysis of the changes to Federal estate tax policies suggests that increases in the value of property that can be transferred to the next generation free of the estate tax, combined with special provisions for farmers and other small businesses, have greatly reduced the number of farm estates subject to the tax and the amount owed. While nearly 10 percent of commercial farm estates could owe tax in 2009, only 1 to 2 percent of all farm estates are estimated to be subject to the Federal estate tax this year.

Keywords: income tax, estate tax, tax rates, estate, Federal tax policy, farm losses, commercial farms

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Last updated: Friday, May 15, 2009

For more information contact: Ron Durst