Farmers, ranchers and other producers now have an online source for reliable, up-to-date information about income tax and self-employment tax.

That’s increasingly important, says a North Carolina State University Extension economist, because more U.S. Department of Agriculture programs are being linked in multiple ways to federal income tax returns.

According to Guido van der Hoeven, North Carolina Cooperative Extension specialist and past co-chair of the National Farm Income Tax Extension Committee, the new website is designed to convey information that is both current and easy-to-understand.

“Rural Tax Education is a project undertaken by the National Farm Income Tax Extension Committee to provide accurate, peer-reviewed materials about income tax topics for farmers, ranchers and other producers,” he said. “This information is written in plain language that is accessible to farmers and ranchers. Rather than just a collection of materials, it is a Web site that can be continually updated to reflect changes in tax laws.”

Van der Hoeven said the committee has a 50-plus year history of working with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service to edit “IRS Publication 225: The Farmer’s Tax Guide.” The committee consists of representatives from more than 12 land-grant universities around the country.

The recently launched http://ruraltax.org website includes 20 peer-reviewed fact sheets on such topics as the definition of a farmer, depreciation and1099 information returns. RuralTax.org also includes a sample federal income tax return with a farming example and links to other verified information.

“Information is out there, but not all of it is accurate and dependable,” van der Hoeven said. “Links on the website will be to information that has been determined to be accurate and beneficial. With additional funding and commitment, the website will be expanded over time.”

For further information about the project, contact Guido van der Hoeven at guido_vdh@ncsu.edu or 919-515-9071.