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IRS.gov Website
Publication 225
taxmap/pubs/p225-009.htm#en_us_publink1000217792

Income From Cooperatives(p13)

rule
If you buy farm supplies through a cooperative, you may receive income from the cooperative in the form of patronage dividends (refunds). If you sell your farm products through a cooperative, you may receive either patronage dividends or a per-unit retain certificate, explained later, from the cooperative.
taxmap/pubs/p225-009.htm#en_us_publink1000217793

Form 1099-PATR.(p13)

rule
The cooperative will report the income to you on Form 1099-PATR or a similar form and send a copy to the IRS. Form 1099-PATR may also show an alternative minimum tax adjustment that you must include on Form 6251, Alternative Minimum Tax—Individuals, if you are required to file the form. For information on the alternative minimum tax, see the Instructions for Form 6251.
taxmap/pubs/p225-009.htm#en_us_publink1000217794

Patronage Dividends(p13)

rule
You generally report patronage dividends as income on Schedule F, lines 3a and 3b, for the tax year you receive them. They include the following items. Do not report as income on line 5b any patronage dividends from buying personal or family items, capital assets, or depreciable property. Personal items include fuel purchased for personal use, basic local telephone service, and personal long distance calls.
If you cannot determine what the dividend is for, report it as income on lines 5a and 5b.
taxmap/pubs/p225-009.htm#en_us_publink1000217795

Qualified written notice of allocation.(p14)

rule
If you receive a qualified written notice of allocation as part of a patronage dividend, you must generally include its stated dollar value in your income in the year you receive it. A written notice of allocation is qualified if at least 20% of the patronage dividend is paid in money or by qualified check and either of the following conditions is met.
  1. The notice must be redeemable in cash for at least 90 days after it is issued, and you must have received a written notice of your right of redemption at the same time as the written notice of allocation.
  2. You must have agreed to include the stated dollar value in income in the year you receive the notice by doing one of the following.
    1. Signing and giving a written agreement to the cooperative.
    2. Getting or keeping membership in the cooperative after it adopted a bylaw providing that membership constitutes agreement. The cooperative must notify you in writing of this bylaw and give you a copy.
    3. Endorsing and cashing a qualified check paid as part of the same patronage dividend. You must cash the check by the 90th day after the close of the payment period for the cooperative's tax year for which the patronage dividend was paid.
taxmap/pubs/p225-009.htm#en_us_publink1000217796
Qualified check.(p14)
A qualified check is any instrument that is redeemable in money and meets both of the following requirements.
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Loss on redemption.(p14)
You can deduct on Schedule F, Part II, any loss incurred on the redemption of a qualified written notice of allocation you received in the ordinary course of your farming business. The loss is the difference between the stated dollar amount of the qualified written notice you included in income and the amount you received when you redeemed it.
taxmap/pubs/p225-009.htm#en_us_publink1000217798

Nonqualified notice of allocation.(p14)

rule
Do not include the stated dollar value of any nonqualified notice of allocation in income when you receive it. Your basis in the notice is zero. You must include in income for the tax year of disposition any amount you receive from its sale, redemption, or other disposition. Report that amount, up to the stated dollar value of the notice, on Schedule F, lines 3a and 3b. However, do not include that amount in your income if the notice resulted from buying or selling capital assets or depreciable property or from buying personal items, as explained in the following discussions.
If the amount you receive is more than the stated dollar value of the notice, report the excess as the type of income it represents. For example, if it represents interest income, report it on your return as interest.
taxmap/pubs/p225-009.htm#en_us_publink1000217799

Buying or selling capital assets or depreciable property.(p14)

rule
Do not include in income patronage dividends from buying capital assets or depreciable property used in your business. You must, however, reduce the basis of these assets by the dividends. This reduction is taken into account as of the first day of the tax year in which the dividends are received. If the dividends are more than your unrecovered basis, include the difference on Schedule F, line 3a, for the tax year you receive them. However, include only the taxable part on line 3b.
This rule and the exceptions explained below also apply to amounts you receive from the sale, redemption, or other disposition of a nonqualified notice of allocation that resulted from buying or selling capital assets or depreciable property.
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Example.(p14)

On July 1, 2010, Mr. Brown, a patron of a cooperative association, bought a machine for his dairy farm business from the association for $2,900. The machine has a life of 7 years under MACRS (as provided in the Table of Class Lives and Recovery Periods in Appendix B of Publication 946). Mr. Brown files his return on a calendar year basis. For 2010, he claimed a depreciation deduction of $311, using the 10.71% depreciation rate from the 150% declining balance, half-year convention table (shown in Table A-14 in Appendix A of Publication 946). On July 2, 2011, the cooperative association paid Mr. Brown a $300 cash patronage dividend for buying the machine. Mr. Brown adjusts the basis of the machine and figures his depreciation deduction for 2011 (and later years) as follows.
Cost of machine on July 1, 2010$2,900
Minus:2010 depreciation$311 
 2011 cash dividend300611
Adjusted basis for
depreciation for 2011:
$2,289
Depreciation rate: 1 ÷ 61/2 (remaining recovery period as of 1/1/11) = 15.38% × 1.5 = 23.07%
Depreciation deduction for 2011
($2,289 × 23.07%)
$528
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Exceptions.(p14)
If the dividends are for buying or selling capital assets or depreciable property you did not own at any time during the year you received the dividends, you must include them on Schedule F, lines 3a and 3b, unless one of the following rules applies.
If the dividends are for selling capital assets or depreciable property during the year you received the dividends, treat them as an additional amount received on the sale.
taxmap/pubs/p225-009.htm#en_us_publink1000217803

Personal purchases.(p14)

rule
Omit from the taxable amount of patronage dividends on Schedule F, line 3b, any dividends from buying personal, living, or family items, such as supplies, equipment, or services not related to the production of farm income. This rule also applies to amounts you receive from the sale, redemption, or other disposition of a nonqualified written notice of allocation resulting from these purchases.
taxmap/pubs/p225-009.htm#en_us_publink1000217804

Per-Unit Retain Certificates(p14)

rule
A per-unit retain certificate is any written notice that shows the stated dollar amount of a per-unit retain allocation made to you by the cooperative. A per-unit retain allocation is an amount paid to patrons for products sold for them that is fixed without regard to the net earnings of the cooperative. These allocations can be paid in money, other property, or qualified certificates.
Per-unit retain certificates issued by a cooperative generally receive the same tax treatment as patronage dividends, discussed earlier.
taxmap/pubs/p225-009.htm#en_us_publink1000217805

Qualified certificates.(p14)

rule
Qualified per-unit retain certificates are those issued to patrons who have agreed to include the stated dollar amount of these certificates in income in the year of receipt. The agreement may be made in writing or by getting or keeping membership in a cooperative whose bylaws or charter states that membership constitutes agreement. If you receive qualified per-unit retain certificates, include the stated dollar amount of the certificates in income on Schedule F, Part I, for the tax year you receive them.
taxmap/pubs/p225-009.htm#en_us_publink1000217806

Nonqualified certificates.(p14)

rule
Do not include the stated dollar value of a nonqualified per-unit retain certificate in income when you receive it. Your basis in the certificate is zero. You must include in income any amount you receive from its sale, redemption, or other disposition. Report the amount you receive from the disposition as ordinary income on Schedule F, Part I, for the tax year of disposition.