The natural cultivation of the soil and the utilization of the plant or animal products obtained in this way correspond to the activities of agriculture and forestry. The income from agriculture and forestry also extends to viticulture, vegetable, fruit and horticulture, tree nurseries, the breeding and keeping of animals as well as inland fishing, pond breeding and pond management.
Insofar as the income can no longer be essentially traced back to the cultivation of the land, income from commercial operations (haulage, commercial animal breeding) or income from renting and leasing (rental of holiday flats in the farmhouse) is to be assumed. Profits resulting from extraordinary use of wood or calamity use are taxed at a reduced rate as extraordinary income (§ 34b EStG).
Income from agriculture and forestry is tax-free up to € 670 if the sum of the income does not exceed € 30,700. Farmers and foresters can determine their profit in a simplified way according to average rates (§ 13 a EStG) (determination according to average rates). If the tax bookkeeping limits of § 141 AO are exceeded (profit over € 30,000; sales over € 350,000), a comparison of business assets is mandatory.
Otherwise, a surplus calculation according to § 4 III EStG or, in the case of voluntary bookkeeping, a comparison of business assets is possible on request. There are still tax benefits for the sale of certain agricultural and forestry operations (Section 14a of the Income Tax Act). The determination of the profit according to average rates has been simplified according to the Tax Relief Act 1999/2000/2002. Sales tax law provides for simplifications for farmers and foresters, e.g. B. Average rates according to § 24 UStG.