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Publication 80

6. Social Security and Medicare Taxes for Farmworkers(p10)

The tests described next apply only to services that are defined as agricultural labor (farmwork). In general, you’re an employer of farmworkers if your employees:
For this purpose, the term "farm" includes stock, dairy, poultry, fruit, fur-bearing animal, and truck farms, as well as plantations, ranches, nurseries, ranges, greenhouses or other similar structures used primarily for the raising of agricultural or horticultural commodities, and orchards.
Farmwork doesn't include reselling activities that don't involve any substantial activity of raising agricultural or horticultural commodities, such as a retail store or a greenhouse used primarily for display or storage. It also doesn’t include processing services which change a commodity from its raw or natural state, or services performed after a commodity has been changed from its raw or natural state.
A "share farmer" working for you isn't your employee. However, the share farmer may be subject to self-employment tax. In general, share farming is an arrangement in which certain commodity products are shared between the farmer and the owner (or tenant) of the land. For details, see Regulations section 31.3121(b)(16)-1.

The $150 Test or the $2,500 Test(p10)

All cash wages that you pay to any employee for farmwork are subject to social security and Medicare taxes if either of the following two tests is met.


Annual cash wages of less than $150 you pay to a seasonal farmworker aren’t subject to social security and Medicare taxes, or federal income tax withholding, even if you pay $2,500 or more to all your farmworkers. However, these wages count toward the $2,500 test for determining whether other farmworkers’ wages are subject to social security and Medicare taxes.
A seasonal farmworker is a worker who: