For some Minnesota farmers, April 15 is the deadline to complete and return the annual Corporate Farm Report. Under Minnesota law, any pension or investment fund, corporation, limited partnership, limited liability company, or trust that engages in farming or has an interest in agricultural land must file a Corporate Farm Report and renewal annually. Beginning on July 1, 2015, there is a $15 fee requirement for the filings.
Minnesota's corporate farm law was one of the nation's first. Passed in 1971, it is intended to "encourage and protect the family farm as a basic economic unit, to insure it as the most socially desirable mode of agricultural production, and to enhance and promote the stability and well-being of rural society in Minnesota and the nuclear family."
Generally, it restricts ownership of farmland by business entities unless they meet certain requirements like being a family farm. Most family farms easily meet the requirements of being certified.
Recent changes in Minnesota estate tax law have made compliance with the corporate farm law very important for many farmers. As outlined here, Minnesota farm land can be deducted from the Minnesota gross estate if it meets certain qualifications. One of those qualifications is compliance with the corporate farm law.
The Corporate Farm Report, corporate farm lookup, and more information can be found on the Minnesota Department of Agriculture's website: http://www.mda.state.mn.us/licensing/licensetypes/corpfarmreport.aspx.
If you need assistance completing the application, or if you have any questions, give us a call at 507-288-5567.