Self-Employment Tax for Spouses Receiving Farm Program Payments?
Recent audit activity by the Internal Revenue Service suggests that IRS believes that spouses who receive farm program payments under the current farm program legislation1 are liable for self-employment tax on the amounts received.2 That position, while justified if the spouse has “net earnings from self-employment” from a “. .. trade or business carried on by such individual. . . . “,3 does not appear to be justified if the involvement by the spouse falls short of that standard.4 The question is whether, if the only participation by the spouse is that sufficient to meet the minimum requirements to be eligible to receive government farm program payments, the spouse is subject to self-employment tax.