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Income Tax Filing Deadline is March 1 for Agricultural Producers

February 9, 2016

Agricultural producers have until March 1, 2016, to file their 2015 income tax returns without penalty if they have not made estimates.

“Producers have until April 15 to file without penalty if they have paid their estimated tax by Jan. 15, 2016” says Ron Haugen, North Dakota State University Extension Service farm economist.

Items to note for 2015 income tax preparation:

  • The 179 expense election for 2015 is $500,000. Generally, the 179 expense election allows producers to deduct up to $500,000 of machinery or equipment purchases for the year of the purchase. There is a dollar-for-dollar phase-out for purchases of more than $2 million. The 179 expense election of $500,000 is now in permeant tax legislation.
  • The additional 50 percent first-year bonus depreciation provision is in effect for 2015. It is equal to 50 percent of the adjusted basis after 179 expensing. It only applies to new property that has a recovery period of 20 years or less. This provision is scheduled to be phased out.
  • The standard deduction is $12,600 for those who are married and filing jointly. The deduction is $6,300 for singles.
  • The personal exemption amount is $4,000.
  • Long-term capital gains and qualified dividend income is taxed at a 0 percent rate for individuals in the 10 or 15 percent tax brackets and at 15 percent for those in the 25 to 35 percent brackets and 20 percent for those in the top income bracket.
  • The annual individual retirement account contribution is $5,500 for 2015 or $6,500 for individuals 50 or older.
  • The annual gift tax exclusion for 2015 remains at $14,000.
  • The 2015 Social Security wage base is $118,500.
  • The business mileage rate for 2015 is 57.5 cents per mile.
  • Crop insurance proceeds, if received in 2015, may be deferred to 2016 if you qualify. You must use cash accounting and show that, under normal business practices, the sale of damaged crops would occur in a future tax year.
  • A livestock deferral can be made by those who had a forced sale of livestock because of a weather-related disaster.
  • Remember that qualifying farmers can elect to compute their current tax liability by averaging, during a three-year period, all or part of the current year’s elected farm income. This is done on Schedule J. North Dakota farmers who elect to use income averaging for federal purposes also may use Form ND-1FA, which is income averaging for North Dakota income tax calculations.

Information on agricultural tax topics can be found in the “Farmers Tax Guide,” publication 225. It is available at any IRS office or can be ordered by calling (800) 829-3676. Any questions about these topics or further updates should be addressed to your tax professional or the IRS at (800) 829-1040 or Call the North Dakota Tax Department at (877) 328-7088 or go to for answers to North Dakota income tax questions.

Source: North Dakota State University