Submitted by Melissa G. Eller
The Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act (AFIDA) requires all foreign owners of U.S. agricultural land to report their holdings to the Secretary of Agriculture.
The Farm Service Agency administers this program for USDA.
Any foreign person who acquires, transfers, or holds any interest, other than a security interest, in agricultural land in the United States is required by law to report the transaction no later than 90 days after the date of closing.
For AFIDA purposes agricultural land is defined as any land used for farming, ranching or timber production, if the tracts total 10 acres or more.
Failure to submit the AFIDA form ( FSA-153) could result in civil penalties of up to 25 percent of the fair market value of the property.
Disclosure reports are also required when there are changes in land use. For example, reports are required when land use changes from nonagricultural to agricultural or from agricultural to nonagricultural. Foreign investors must also file a report when there is a change in the status of ownership such as owner changes from foreign to nonforeign, from non-foreign to foreign or from foreign to foreign.
County government offices, realtors, attorneys and others involved in real estate transactions are reminded to notify foreign investors of these reporting requirements.
For more information contact the Johnson County FSA office at (423) 727-9744 or visit the office at 119 S Murphey Street, Mountain City, TN.
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