NYS Farm Workforce Retention Credit

Monday, April 4, 2016

As you may know, the New York State Legislature passed the State's 2016-2017 budget bill last week. The adopted legislation contains numerous provisions that may be beneficial to farming operations. In particular, the adopted legislation establishes a new tax credit for farm employers based on the number of eligible employees employed by the farm operation.Commencing on January 1, 2017, and annually thereafter through 2021, eligible farm employers will be entitled to claim a tax credit equal to the number of "eligible farm employees" employed by the farm operation multiplied by the applicable credit amount set forth below:

Tax PeriodPer Employee Credit
01/01/2017 to 12/31/2017$250.00
01/01/2018 to 12/31/2018$300.00
01/01/2019 to 12/31/2019$500.00
01/01/2020 to 12/31/2020$400.00
01/01/2021 to 12/31/2021$600.00

For purposes of claiming the credit, the adopted legislation defines an "eligible farm employee" as an individual who is employed for five hundred hours or more per taxable year, by a farm employer in New York State, but excluding general executive officers of the farm employer.

Why is this relevant now? The adopted legislation establishes new provisions in the State Tax Law providing credits previously unavailable to farm employers. This new credit, along with other changes made by the legislation, is expected to provide farming operations significant tax savings over the next several years.

How else am I affected? As a result of the legislation, farm employers will need to review their workforces to ensure they are taking full advantage of the newly available credit. Further,farm employers should monitor advisories issued by the State government as they will provide additional clarification on the implementation of the legislation.

What should I do now? We feel it is appropriate to determine whether your operation is affected by developments resulting from the passage of the legislation. Like other recent changes to the State tax laws, the developments resulting from the newly adopted legislation may provide expanded opportunities for farming businesses, provided certain eligibility requirements are met.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss this further, please contact Zachary R.Benjamin at (315) 422-1152.

Costello, Cooney & Fearon, PLLC has provided expert and diverse legal services to Syracuse and surrounding communities for more than 100 years.