If you participate in USDA programs, including our farm loan program, it’s time to start preparing for tax season. USDA technical assistance is free, but it is important to not overlook USDA payments when calculating your taxes. USDA issues documentation for your taxes, including 1098 forms for USDA farm loans and 1099 forms for farmer payments.
Whether you are filing your taxes on your own or working with a professional accountant or tax preparer, you have 24/7 access to your loan information through a new feature on Farmers.gov. The “My Financial Information” portal makes it easier for customers to track loan transactions and payments and saves trips to the USDA service center to obtain loan-related information.
The "My Financial Information" tab on Farmers.gov enables you to view:
- Loans and financial information.
- Interest payments (including year-to-date interest paid for the past five years).
- Loan history.
- Paid-in-full and restructured loans, and alerts. For example, an account alert will be displayed if a loan is past due.
To access your loan information, visit farmers.gov and sign into the site’s authenticated portal, available on the menu at the top right of the site. To use the portal, you will need a Level 2 USDA eAuthentication account. If you do not have a Level 2 USDA eAuthentication account, you can sign up for one here.
Loan information retrieved from the “My Financial Information” portal should be compared to your records and reviewed with your tax preparer if you are working with one. Contact your local USDA Service Center if you have questions about the information on My Financial Information.
Currently, only producers doing business as an individual can view information. Entities, such as an LLC or Trust, or producers doing business on behalf of another customer cannot access the portal at this time, but access is being planned. Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge are the recommended browsers to access the feature.
As you are preparing your taxes, here is a checklist of things to do or consider:
- Gather all 1098, 1099 and other tax forms issued by USDA.
- If you have a Farm Loan, visit the self-service website at the top right corner of farmers.gov to view your loan information, history, and payments.
- Crop insurance proceeds must be included in your farm income.
- Farmers can deduct certain conservation-related expenses. According to the IRS, you may deduct up to 25 percent of your gross farm income for conservation expenses.
Keeping good expense records will help you and your tax preparer determine the tax deductions you may claim. Here are some helpful websites to help you compile the record
- https://www.irs.gov/publications/p225 (Publication 225 (2019), Farmer's Tax Guide)
- https://newfarmers.usda.gov/taxes (New farmer resources from USDA)
- https://ffsc.org (Record keeping assistance)
The “My Financial Information” portal on Farmers.gov is just one of many features designed to help you manage your loans. The USDA team building farmers.gov prioritized this feature based on feedback from USDA field-level staff and customers. Being able to access loan information and payment history online will help you with this year’s taxes, and future features will continue to expand your self-service opportunities.
Kathryn Fidler is a USDA public affairs specialist.
Check out our fact sheet for more information the My Financial Information portal.