Farms vs. Other Businesses
Don't fret if you're thinking to yourself, "Isn't a farm just a business? Does the IRS really make all sorts of exceptions for corn and cows?" Yes, in a lot of ways, the IRS does think of farms as small businesses, and you can see it in some of the rules: Profit is subject to self-employment tax, for instance, and employees are subject to withholding [source: Lee].
But farms also have their own set of exceptions and rules, and you're considered a qualified farmer if at least two-thirds of your income over the past two years has come from farming [source: IRS]. But knowing that farming is similar to running a small business and that qualified farmers have to make their money specifically from farming activities, we should also examine some instances where farming can't be claimed as an occupation. Let's check it out on the next page.