United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Mar 29, 2020

§ 1308–3a.
Adjusted gross income limitation
(a)
Definitions
(1)
Average adjusted gross income

In this section, the term “average adjusted gross income”, with respect to a person or legal entity, means the average of the adjusted gross income or comparable measure of the person or legal entity over the 3 taxable years preceding the most immediately preceding complete taxable year, as determined by the Secretary.

(2)
Special rules for certain persons and legal entities

In the case of a legal entity that is not required to file a Federal income tax return or a person or legal entity that did not have taxable income in 1 or more of the taxable years used to determine the average under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall provide, by regulation, a method for determining the average adjusted gross income of the person or legal entity for purposes of this section.

(3)
Allocation of income
On the request of any person filing a joint tax return, the Secretary shall provide for the allocation of average adjusted gross income among the persons filing the return if—
(A)
the person provides a certified statement by a certified public accountant or attorney that specifies the method by which the average adjusted gross income would have been declared and reported had the persons filed 2 separate returns; and
(B)
the Secretary determines that the method described in the statement is consistent with the information supporting the filed joint tax return.
(b)
Limitations on commodity and conservation programs
(1)
Limitation

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, subject to paragraph (3), a person or legal entity shall not be eligible to receive any benefit described in paragraph (2) during a crop, fiscal, or program year, as appropriate, if the average adjusted gross income of the person or legal entity exceeds $900,000.

(2)
Covered benefits
Paragraph (1) applies with respect to the following:
(A)
A payment or benefit under subtitle A or E of title I of the Agricultural Act of 2014 [
(B)
A marketing loan gain or loan deficiency payment under subtitle B of title I of the Agricultural Act of 2014 [7 U.S.C. 9031 et seq.].
(C)
Starting with fiscal year 2015, a payment or benefit under title II of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, title II of the Agricultural Act of 2014, title II of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002, title II of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, or title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 [16 U.S.C. 3801 et seq.].
(D)
A payment or benefit under section 1524(b) of this title.
(E)
A payment or benefit under section 7333 of this title.
(3)
Waiver

The Secretary may waive the limitation established by paragraph (1) with respect to a payment pursuant to a covered benefit described in paragraph (2)(C), on a case-by-case basis, if the Secretary determines that environmentally sensitive land of special significance would be protected as a result of such waiver.

(c)
Enforcement
(1)
In general
To comply with subsection (b), at least once every 3 years a person or legal entity shall provide to the Secretary—
(A)
a certification by a certified public accountant or another third party that is acceptable to the Secretary that the average adjusted gross income of the person or legal entity does not exceed the applicable limitation specified in that subsection; or
(B)
information and documentation regarding the average adjusted gross income of the person or legal entity through other procedures established by the Secretary.
(2)
Denial of program benefits

If the Secretary determines that a person or legal entity has failed to comply with this section, the Secretary shall deny the issuance of applicable payments and benefits specified in subsection (b)(2) to the person or legal entity, under similar terms and conditions as described in section 1308–2 of this title.

(3)
Audit

The Secretary shall establish statistically valid procedures under which the Secretary shall conduct targeted audits of such persons or legal entities as the Secretary determines are most likely to exceed the limitations under subsection (b).

(d)
Commensurate reduction

In the case of a payment or benefit described in subsection (b)(2) made in a crop, program, or fiscal year, as appropriate, to an entity, general partnership, or joint venture, the amount of the payment or benefit shall be reduced by an amount that is commensurate with the direct and indirect ownership interest in the entity, general partnership, or joint venture of each person who has an average adjusted gross income in excess of the applicable limitation specified in subsection (b).

(Pub. L. 99–198, title X, § 1001D, as added Pub. L. 107–171, title I, § 1604(2), May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 215; amended Pub. L. 110–234, title I, § 1604(a), May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1012; Pub. L. 110–246, § 4(a), title I, § 1604(a), June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1740; Pub. L. 113–79, title I, § 1605(a)–(e), Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 707, 708; Pub. L. 115–334, title I, § 1704(a), (b), Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4526.)
cite as: 7 USC 1308-3a