The Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation (CALT) at Iowa State University, created by the Iowa Board of Regents in 2006, provides timely, critically objective information to producers, professionals and agribusinesses concerning the application of important developments in agricultural law and taxation (federal and state legal opinions of relevance, as well as critical legislative developments), and is a primary source of professional educational training in agricultural law and taxation. CALT does not provide legal advice. Any information provided on this website is not intended to be a substitute for legal services from a competent professional. CALT's work is supported by fee-based seminars and generous private gifts. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in the material contained on this website do not necessarily reflect the views of Iowa State University.
Current and Upcoming Events
Webinar: Dairies, Dogs, and Duties: Civil Liabilities Arising in Agricultural Law
Monday, April 16, 2012 -- Noon-1 pm CST
This is event is co-sponsored with the Iowa State Bar Association.
To register: https://m360.iowabar.org/event.aspx?eventID=45505
Erika Eckley will be covering legal developments in civil liabilities in Iowa and significant national developments in the areas of negligence, premises liability, products liability, nuisance and trespass among others. She will also provide tips and insights for lawyers into how to evaluate and prepare damage claims in the agricultural context, and insight as to how trial court judges evaluate evidence and handle procedural issues.
2012 Summer Seminars - Registration is now available!
2012 CALT September Seminars
- Agricultural Law Seminar - Thursday, September 13
- Farm Estate and Business Planning Seminar - Friday, September 14
2012 Farm Income Tax Schools - Dates and Locations
- October 29-30: Mason City (North Iowa Area Community College)
- November 7-8: Waterloo (Hawkeye Community College)
- November 8-9: Denison (Boulders Conference Center)
- November 12-13: Ottumwa (Bridge View Center)
- November 19-20: Muscatine (Clarion Hotel)
- November 27-28: Sheldon (Northwest Iowa Community College)
- December 11-12: Red Oak (Red Coach Inn)
- December 17-18: Ames (Quality Inn and Suites)
2011 Farm Income Tax Schools
We have workbooks available yet to purchase.
Click here to download handouts.
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Ag Law and Taxation Items of Interest
Ninth Circuit Affirms Tax Court On Roth IRA As An S Corporation Shareholder
March 26, 2012 - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has upheld a Tax Court decision holding that a Roth IRA is not an eligible shareholder of an S corporation. Read our updated article here.
Iowa Dead Animal Disposal Law
March 26, 2012 - Iowa has specific rules for disposing of dead animals. Failure to follow the rules can result in fines or criminal charges. Read our article concerning the rules here.
Proposed Iowa Legislation
March 26, 2012 - The Iowa legislature is considering some legislation that has application to agriculture, rural landowners and estates. Here's our summary of the bills and their status at the present time.
Treasury Told That Its Regulation Is Invalid - Again
March 23, 2012 - 24 years after it told IRS that a special use valuation regulation was invalid, the IRS was back at the same court with the same argument. The result, predictably, was the same and gives estate executors reassurance that the special use valuation election can be tailored to only the land actually desired to be subjected to the election...and the government's lien. Read our article about the case here.
Pre-Enforcement Challenges to EPA Compliance Orders Allowed – Big Landowner Win
March 21, 2012 – The U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously reversed the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in holding that a landowner can bring a civil case challenging the issuance of an Environmental Protection Agency compliance order. Read our article about the case here.
Estate Tax Returns Now Potentially Coming Due From 2010 Deaths
March 17, 2012 - Due to an extension that IRS granted to estates of decedent's that died in 2010, March 19, 2012 is the first point in time at which an estate tax return may be due. Read our updated estate planning article here, including further elaboration on the issue of "clawback."
Assumption or Rejection of Executory Contracts in Bankruptcy
March 14, 2012 - A recent Bankruptcy Court opinion sheds additional light on whether forward grain contracts are elgible for special treatment in bankruptcy. That's a big issue for farmers that deliver to ethanol plants that then file bankruptcy. Read our updated article here.
New Development In Biotech Contamination Case
March 9, 2012 - The Louisiana Court of Appeals has had second thoughts as to whether economic losses are recoverable against a biotech firm for damages suffered by buyers of crawfish.
Estate Planning the Wrong Way - Or, "How To Pass Your Estate To Lawyers After Death"
March 7, 2012 - The Iowa Court of Appeals recently decided two cases involving the same family's squablles over an estate including the family farm. Read our summary of the cases here.
$10 Million Jury Verdict For Contract Chicken Growers Reversed
March 7, 2012 - The Oklahoma Supreme Court has reversed a $10 million jury verdict in favor of Tyson contract chicken growers. The growers had claimed that Tyson supplied faulty birds and feed. The Court said the growers didn't have title to the birds and were neither buyers nor sellers that would be covered by the state's Consumer Protection Act. Read our annotation about the case here.
Court Creates New Exception To Immunity Under Recreational Use Statute
March 6, 2012 - A recent opinion of the Iowa Court of Appeals has created another exception to landwoner immunity for injuries to entrants to property for recreational purposes.
New Development on Extent of Home Mortgage Interest Deduction
March 6, 2012 – The U.S. Tax Court has agreed with the IRS that the limitation on the maximum amount of deduction for home mortgage interest applies on a per-mortgage basis, not on a per-taxpayer basis. That has implications for co-owned homes owned by unmarried persons and married persons that don’t file a joint return. Read our article that discusses the issue and the new case here.
Court Says Landowners Have Property Right in Groundwater That Is In-Place
February 29, 2012 - The Texas Supreme Court has held that landowners own the water beneath their land and must be compensated for certain types of regulatory taking of that water. Read our detailed article about the Court's decision here.
Eighth Circuit Decides S Corporation Reasonable Compensation Case
February 21, 2012 - The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has affirmed the trial court's determination that a West Des Moines CPA firm paid too low of a salary to senior partner in an attempt to avoid payroll taxes. Additional taxes, penalties and interest were imposed.
Payroll Tax Cut Extended Through 2012...and Other "Stuff"
February 21, 2012 - The Congress has passed legislation that extends the 2 percentage point reduction in the OASDI portion of the FICA tax through the end of 2012. The bill also contains some other interesting provisions.
Unclear Language in Pre-Marital Agreement Leads to Court Battle
February 20, 2012 - The Iowa Court of Appeals has issued an opinion in a case involving rights to proceeds of an insurance policy where a pre-marital agreement didn't clearly specify the deceased spouse's intent and a beneficiary change form hadn't been completed before death.
Estate Tax Portability Election Extended
February 19, 2012 - The IRS has extended the filing deadline for making the portability election for the benefit of surviving spouses of estates of decedents dying during the first half of 2011.
Court Upholds Big Jury Verdict Arising From Poorly Maintained Sidewalk
February 17, 2012 - The Iowa Court of Appeals has upheld a large jury verdict for a person who tripped on a sidewalk and fell. The sidewalk was on the person's normal walking route, and photos of the repaired sidewalk were allowed into evidence with a "curative" instruction.
Court Says Farm Products Rule Requires Strict Compliance With Notice Requirements
February 16, 2012 - An Illinois court has determined that a bank failed to comply with the farm products rule when it got a bit sloppy with a form notice given to a buyer of the debtor's crops
Court Says Steel Wheels Can Keep On Turning
February 6, 2012 - The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled that a county ordinance designed to protect county road surfaces unconstitutionally violated the free exercise rights of a member of a Mennonite sect.
More Iowa Appellate Court Opinions
February 3, 2012 - Two recent opinions from the Iowa Court of Appeals involve the alleged termination of an easement, and also point out that if you are going to admit everything necessary for a judgment against you and base your case on unsupported allegations, you probably shouldn't be wasting the time and resources of the judicial system.
“Booger Nights” In Washington – Emotional Distress Damages for Contaminated Food That Isn’t Eaten?
January 31, 2012 - The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has certified a question to the Washington Supreme Court involving the issue of whether contaminated food that isn't eaten can lead to emotional distress damages. Read our summary of the case here.
Crop Damage Case Leads To Numerous Claims
January 30, 2012 - A recent opinion of the Nebraska Supreme Court sorts through numerous claims involving damage to a crops allegedly caused by over-application of herbicide. Read our summary of the case here.
Case Points Out Importance of Getting Business Understandings in Writing
January 24, 2012 - A recent opinion of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit exposes how a hog feeding arrangement can go bad, especially when no written contract is in place. It's an interesting display of law and economics. Read our summary here.
U.S. Supreme Court Says California "Downer Livestock" Law Preempted by Federal Law
January 24, 2012 - A unanimous Supreme Court has reversed an opinion of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and held that the Federal Meat Inspection Act preempts a recently enacted California law that criminalized the processing or selling of the meat from non-ambulatory animals and required immediate euthanization of such animals. Read our article about the Court's decision here.
Oil and Gas Lease Leads to Numerous Legal Matters
January 23, 2012 - A Kansas oil and gas lease ended up generating a whole bunch of legal issues.
Estate Liable for Injuries Caused by Decedent's Flying Body Parts
January 23, 2012 - A recent opinion from the Illinois Court of Appeals is reminiscent of the famous 1928 Palsgraf opinion. It includes a train, a platform and a very unusual and unexpected event that caused injury.
First Batch of Iowa Opinions for the New Year
January 23, 2012 - The Iowa Court of Appeals has issued some opinions of relevance to rural landowners, agribusiness operators and fiduciaries of estates. This time, the opinions involve: (1) whether a nonpurchase-money mortgage is subject to a surviving spouse's dower interest; (2) problems with soil compaction; (3) the distribution of a decedent's estate; (4) whether a boundary was established by a written fence agreement; and (5) a mechanic's lien for improvement costs.
"Top Ten" Ag Law and Tax Developments of 2011
January 11, 2012 - There were numerous developments in the ag law and tax area in 2011 that were significant, but only ten could make the list. You can read our list of the ten most significant ones here.
More Legal Developments on Roundup Ready Crops
January 7, 2012 - Another federal court has dismissed an environmental group's challenge to the deregulation of Roundup Ready alfalfa.