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September 19, 2006 | Roger McEowen


To qualify for the credit, the property owner must be a resident of Iowa and actually live on the property on July 1 andfor at least six months of every year. The only exceptions are persons in the military and nursing homes who otherwise qualify.

Sign-up for the credit is at the assessor’s office by July 1 of the year the credit is first claimed. Once a person qualifies, the credit continues until the property is sold or until the owner no longer qualifies.


Is an ATV that is used for use in a farming operation, such as for daily checking and feeding of cattle, spraying for weeds, and checking fences, exempt from Iowa sales tax on the purchase? ATVs can qualify for the exemption, but in many instances the IDOR took the position that they did not. But, a recent IDOR ruling may signal a change of heart.

July 9, 2007 | Roger McEowen


March 3, 2008 | Roger McEowen


The Iowa Department of Revenue (IDOR) has explained that Iowa consumers' use tax is due on the last day of the month that next succeeds the quarterly period, even if payment is done in installments.  That has implications for asset acquisitions, and may come as a surprise to some.

September 8, 2008 | Roger McEowen


February 6, 2006 | Roger McEowen



May 22, 2006 | Roger McEowen


May 17, 2006 | Roger McEowen


July 10, 2006 | Roger McEowen


The IRS has asked that the following notice be disseminated to practitioners in Iowa and Nebraska:

Requests for estate tax lien discharges for decedents who were residents of Iowa should be submitted to the following address:

Internal Revenue Service
Attn: Estate and Gift Tax Group
210 Walnut Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50309

Requests for estate tax lien discharges for decedents who were residents of Nebraska should be submitted to the following address:


March 19, 2007 | Roger McEowen


March 7, 2007 | Roger McEowen


April 9, 2007 | Roger McEowen



Recently, an ex-wife requested an IRS ruling on whether the payments she was receiving from her ex-husband were alimony. The divorce decree called the payments “alimony,” but the ex-wife didn’t want them to be alimony because alimony payments would be taxable income to her (and would be deductible by her ex-husband). Under the Internal Revenue Code, to be “alimony” for federal tax purposes the payments must meet the following requirements:

May 25, 2007 | Roger McEowen


On May 25, 2007, the President signed into law H.R. 2226, the war on terror funding bill known as the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans’ Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act, 2007 (Act). Title VIII of the bill contains numerous tax provisions that are designed, at least in part, to offset the impact on businesses and lower-skilled workers of the increase in the minimum wage which is also included in the bill.

Here is a short summary of the major tax provisions of the H.R. 2206:

May 14, 2007 | Roger McEowen


The Iowa Department of Economic Development (IDED) has produced a new application form for taxpayer use when claiming the Endow Iowa Tax Credit.   The revised form contains space for information on up to two donors, and includes space to list the taxpayer’s social security number or employer identification number (the revised form: EndowIowaTaxCredit.pdf).


The bulletin examines more than three million individual income tax returns for tax year 2004 with adjusted gross incomes of $200,000 or more, and highlights high-income individual tax returns as well as S corporations. The report also contains an article on farm proprietorship returns.  It’s the first report IRS has published on such farm returns in over 20 years. IR-2007-119 (Jun. 19, 2007).

Here’s a brief summary of the farm portion of the report:

September 11, 2007 | Roger McEowen


September 17, 2007 | Roger McEowen


November 12, 2007 | Roger McEowen


On October 4, the Senate Finance Committee approved, on a 17-4 vote, the Heartland, Habitat, Harvest and Horticulture Act of 2007. The bill was introduced into the full Senate on October 25, 2007.

The following is a summary of the major provisions of the legislation:

November 12, 2007 | Roger McEowen



Section 1031(a)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code provides for a tax-free exchange of “like-kind” property.  Specifically, no gain or loss is recognized on the exchange of property held for productive use in a trade or business or for investment if the property is exchanged solely for property of like kind which is to be held either for productive use in a trade or business or for investment.  To qualify for like-kind exchange treatment, the exchanged properties must be of the same kind or class.

February 18, 2008 | Roger McEowen


In Notice 2008-34, IRS has indicated that certain transfers to trusts are listed transactions that will be subject to the reportable transaction rules of Treas. Reg. §1.6011-4 and also to the requirements in I.R.C. §§6111-6112 as well as the stringent Circular 230 written opinion rules for listed transactions. 

February 22, 2008 | Roger McEowen


An individual or business can claim a credit on IRS Form 4136 for various nontaxable uses of gasoline and other fuels.  The credit can be claimed for various purposes including, mining, manufacturing, farming, mowing, aviation and home heating.  Claims can also be made for sales to state and local governments and for alternative fuels.  The taxpayer must be the one purchasing the fuel to file a claim.

June 22, 2007 | Roger McEowen


The problems associated with the subprime lending abuses have given rise to numerous issues.  One of those issues involves the deductibility of losses.  Two types of losses could be involved – theft losses or losses on worthless securities.

January 14, 2008 | Roger McEowen


February 8, 2008 | Roger McEowen


The IRS has issued a ruling denying the claim of an operator of a farmer’s market for tax exempt status as an I.R.C. §501(c)(3) organization.  The IRS determined that the operator’s activities are conducted for the mutual benefit of its members and in a manner that is indistinguishable from commercial entities.  As a result, the operator served no public interest and is not tax-exempt.  That means that donors will not be able to deduct contributions to the operator, and the operator must filed federal income tax returns. 


A provision in the 2004 Jobs Bill created a new section of the Internal Revenue Code (I.R.C. §409A) that dramatically changed the taxation of non-qualified deferred compensation arrangements – arrangements under which compensation is earned in one year, but is paid in a later year.  As a result, school districts will have to examine how their teachers are paid, and ensure compliance with the new rules by the end of 2007.

July 8, 2008 | Roger McEowen


For businesses that are starting up, it’s important to understand the rules governing the deductibility of start-up costs – those costs that incurred before the business begins, such as costs associated with the preparation of
necessary legal documents and the establishment of a business plan.   



The IRS has published final regulations that address the treatment of funds that are used in deferred like-kind exchanges.  The rules contain new provisions on commingled accounts, administrative fees, and the applicable federal rates (AFRs).  The final regulations will impact taxpayers that engage in I.R.C. §1031 exchanges and escrow holders, trustees, qualified intermediaries and other that hold funds during a like-kind exchange.

Treatment of Loaned Funds

August 29, 2008 | Roger McEowen



The IRS has publicly confirmed it's private position taken last fall that I.R.C. §179 elections can be made on amended returns through 2010. Here's the issue:

April 3, 2009 | Roger McEowen



The Iowa General Assembly completed its 2009 session in the early morning hours of April 26.  It will be a memorable session - one that included significant questions being raised about the extent of public input on a tax issue and the failure to take action to either legitimize homosexual marriage or clarify existing Iowa law concerning its illegitimacy.  The legislature also approved a massive budget (the largest in Iowa history) of $6.258 billion and $765 million in new borrowing.  Here's a rundown on the most important tax issues the legislature dealt with: