Income Averaging for Farmers and Fishermen

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Use Schedule J (Form 1040) to elect to figure your 2012 income tax by averaging, over the previous 3 years (base years), all or part of your 2012 taxable income from your trade or business of farming or fishing. This election may give you a lower tax if your 2012 income from farming or fishing is high and your taxable income for one or more of the 3 prior years was low.

In order to qualify for this election, you are not required to have been in the business of farming or fishing during any of the base years.

You may elect to average farming or fishing income even if your filing status was not the same in the election year and the base years.

This election does not apply when figuring your alternative minimum tax on Form 6251. Also, you do not have to recompute, because of this election, the tax liability of any minor child who was required to use your tax rates in the prior years.

Future Developments

For the latest information about developments related to Schedule J (Form 1040) and its instructions, such as legislation enacted after they were published, go to

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