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Home > Grants, Loans & Financing > Beginning Farmer Tax Credit > Beginning Farmer Tax Credit FAQs

Beginning Farmer Tax Credit (BFTC) Frequently Asked Questions


Is the BFTC good for more than one year? Certification of a beginning farmer or an owner of agricultural assets is valid for the year of certification and the two following years for rental and share rent contracts. After the 3rd year, you will have to reapply.

When are application approved and funds set aside for each application?  After all parts of the application are complete.

What is considered a “family member”? A person not directly related to you or your spouse. This includes grandparents, parents, spouses, brothers, sisters, children, and grandchildren. Transactions from aunts/uncles are acceptable.

Are step-parents/step-children considered family members? Yes, if a legal adoption has taken place.

Can an approved credit be carried forward? The beginning farmer management tax credit can be carried forward up to 3 years. The credit for owners of agricultural assets can be carried forward up to 15 years.

What is an approved financial management program? Any course that has a farm financial management aspect to it that has been approved by the RFA. A partially inclusive list is posted on the webpage. If a course is not on there, the RFA will need to be contacted by the educational institution or educator for course approval.

Does the Beginning Farmer Need to complete the Financial Management course before the application is considered complete?  No, the beginning farmer must have the course section of the application filled out based upon their plans to take the course within that calendar year. 

What if I have already completed a financial management program or have a 4 year Agriculture degree? Statute does not account for any previous education as a waiver to this requirement.

What is a “farm product”? "Farm product" means plants and animals useful to humans and includes, but is not limited to, forage and sod crops, oilseeds, grain and feed crops, dairy and dairy products, poultry and poultry products, livestock, fruits, and vegetables.

What is “farming”? "Farming" means the active use, management, and operation of real and personal property for the production of a farm product.

Can an agricultural asset be sold or rented to a partnership or LLC? No. Any agricultural asset under the BFTC must be sold or rented to an individual.

Can I sign a purchase agreement to buy land before 2018? Yes. As long as the purchase transaction takes place in 2018.

Can I apply for the tax credit before a sale of assets has actually taken place? Yes, completed applications with purchase agreements will reserve funds. A Final Settlement statement or bill of sale will be required to receive a tax certification.

Does a Contract for Deed purchase count for the tax credit?  Yes, but the Contract for Deed (CFD) must be signed in the year in which the credit is applied for. 

I own land with multiple people and rent it to a beginning farmer, do we all have to apply? Yes, Each Individual Asset Owner must apply separately as a tax credit certificate will need to be generated for each separate Asset Owner.

Agricultural asset owner A, B, and C rent land to the child of Ag asset owner A. Can Ag asset owner B and C apply for the BFTC? No. Since the renter is the child of Ag asset owner A, this parcel would not be eligible.

How is the maximum net worth of $816,800 determined? This is determined the beginning farmer completing a balance sheet to verify that their net worth is under the required threshold.  A balance sheet does not need to be submitted to the RFA.

If all of the 2018 allocation has been allotted, do application roll to the following year?  No, application for each year must be made in the year in which the funds are being applied for.

If the $5 million allowed for 2018 is not fully allocated, can it be carried forward to 2019? Yes. Any unused dollars will be allocated to the next taxable year.

How is the "entered farming within the last ten years" figured?  Each year a schedule F is filed counts as a year of Farming. The "Clock Starts" at the first tax year in which the beginning farmer is no longer being claimed as a dependent on anyone else’s taxes.

Do all parties involved with purchasing or renting an asset need to be beginning farmers? Yes, all parties involved with a specific transaction need to be able to independently qualify as beginning farmers.

I a person purchase a farm and it has a home on it does the entire sale count towards the tax credit?  No, the value of the residence will be deducted from the sale price to calculate the tax credit. The value of a home can be determined by submitting a property tax statement.

If a Farm Financial Management course occurs over two calendar years, in what year does the educational credits count towards? As long as any part f the class has been taken in a tax year in which the credit is being applied for and the class i paid for in that year as well, the cost of the class is potentially eligible for a tax credit. 

When will I receive my tax credit certificate? The RFA will begin processing tax credit certificates in September of the year in which the credit is being applied for. They should all be issued by the end of the year.