Steve Maurer, director of Ohio Farm Service Agency, is reminding foreign investors, who buy, sell or hold a direct or indirect interest in U.S. agricultural land must report their holdings and transactions to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. Failure to timely file an accurate report can result in a penalty with fines up to 25% of the fair market value of the agricultural land. Foreign persons who are buying or selling land must report the transaction within 90 days of the date of the transaction.
Who must report:
• Individuals who are not U.S. citizens or citizens of the Northern Mariana Islands or the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands;
• Individuals who are not lawfully admitted to the U.S. for permanent residence or who are not paroled into the U.S. under the Immigration and Nationality Act;
• Any organization created under laws of a foreign government or which has located its principle place of business outside the U.S.;
• Any U.S. organization in which a significant interest or substantial control is directly or indirectly held by foreign individuals, organizations or governments; and
• Any foreign governments.
What to report:
• Each tract of agricultural land in the U.S., its territories, the Northern Mariana Islands and the Trust Territories of the Pacific Islands owned by persons required to report; and
• Leaseholds of 10 years or more.
USDA designated the FSA to collect the AFIDA report forms. Individuals wanting to obtain an AFIDA report form (FSA-153) may do so from any FSA county office. The (FSA-153) is available in both English and Spanish translations. You can also go online and download the form at: http://forms.sc.egov.usda.gov/efcommon/eFileServices/eForms/FSA153.PDF. Although interested parties may obtain a report form from any FSA County office, the completed form must be returned to the FSA County office where the land or where the programs are administered.
Foreign investors should contact your local FSA if this pertains to you. To locate the Farm Service Agency county office, you can look in the telephone book white pages or go on-line to: www.fsa.usda.gov/oh and then click on the "County Offices" link. Then click on the county where the land is located.