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Last week, the Iowa House and Senate passed HF 768, a bill to enhance Iowa’s Beginning Farmer Tax Credit Program.

April 26, 2019 | Kristine A. Tidgren

May 13, 2019 Update: The Governor has signed the Iowa Hemp Act.

On April 17, 2019, the Iowa Court of Appeals issued a ruling concerning negligent destruction of a tractor and attachment. The court affirmed the lower courts decisions on all evidentiary issues, but reversed the district court’s decision regarding interest accrual.

April 25, 2019 | Kristine A. Tidgren

It’s a fair question. The $1.5 billion Syngenta settlement was approved December 7, 2018, and the settlement agreement specified that payments could issue as early as the second quarter of 2019. Now that we are in that second quarter, do we know when the payments will issue?

The answer, unfortunately, is no.

On April 23, 2019, R-CALF and others filed a lawsuit in the Northern District of Illinois claiming several large packing companies “conspire[ed] to suppress the price of fed cattle they purchased in the United States from at least January 1, 2015 through the present.” The plaintiffs, which consist of Ranchers Cattlemen Action Legal Fund Uni

The Iowa Supreme Court recently addressed the question of whether a mechanic’s lien arising from the provision of materials and labor to a tenant can attach to the real property of the landlord where the landlord and the tenant are engaged in a mutually beneficial business arrangement. In Winger Contracting Co.

April 17, 2019 | Kristine Tidgren and Kitt Tovar

Note: USDA has created a new decision tool for the new Dairy Margin Coverage program. You can access it at this link.

On April 3, 2019, the Iowa Court of Appeals issued an opinion concerning an alleged negligent misrepresentation of farmland value. The court found that plaintiffs were not justified in their reliance of either of two appraisal companies’ valuation of farmland and affirmed the district courts grant of summary judgment.

On March 27, 2019, two environmental groups—Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement and Food and Water Watch—filed a petition in state court seeking injunctive and declaratory relief against the State of Iowa, the Department of Natural Resources and others.

On March 20, 2019, the Iowa Court of Appeals issued a ruling on the validity of the assignment of a debtor’s right of redemption. Because the right to redeem a property is transferable, the court allowed the assignee to redeem the debtor’s farm.

March 28, 2019 | Kristine A. Tidgren

The United States Justice Department has changed its position and is now supporting the position that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was rendered unconstitutional when Congress set the individual shared responsibility payment to zero in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Update: On December 2, 2019, The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa issued a preliminary injunction preventing Iowa from enforcing this law.

Update: On April 22, 2019, five advocacy groups filed a lawsuit challenging this new law.

On March 6, 2019, the Iowa Court of Appeals issued a ruling concerning a district court’s judgment ordering a lawyer to return $383,595.63 to his mother’s estate. The court found that because there was a confidential relationship between the son and his mother, and the son did not act in good faith when transferring money from his mother’s account to his account, he had to return the money he took from his mother’s account.

On March 14, 2019, the Iowa Governor signed into law a new agricultural production facility trespass statute. Senate File 519, which was passed by the Iowa House and Senate on March 12, makes it a crime to obtain access to or employment with an agricultural production facility by use of deception with the intent

Update: Governor Reynolds signed SF 220 into law on March 15, 2019. It is effective for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2018, but before January 1, 2019.

February 28, 2019 | Kristine A. Tidgren

Another March 1, the first day of most Iowa farm leases, arrives soon. This post addresses two common questions we've been receiving this month.

IDOR announced on February 28, 2019 that it too would grant an extension to the March 1 deadline for farmers and fishermen who did not make estimated tax payments by January 15, 2019. These farmers will have until April 30 to file their Iowa returns and pay their income taxes without incurring estima

February 28, 2019 | Kristine A. Tidgren

It's official. IRS has announced in Notice 2019-17 an extension to the March 1 deadline for farmers who did not make estimated tax payments by January 15, 2019.

February 25, 2019 | Kristine A. Tidgren

On February 19, 2019, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari in a Clean Water Act (CWA) case with far-reaching implications for many industries, including agriculture.

February 17, 2019 | Kristine Tidgren

On February 15, 2019, President Trump signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2019, into law. This new law averted a second government shutdown and funded the IRS through the end of September, 2019. The law did not include any provisions to retroactively revive and extend 26 temporary tax breaks that expired at the end of 2017.

On February 6, 2019, the Iowa Court of Appeals issued a ruling regarding the right of an out-of-state resident to hunt antlered deer on his property. Because there was a rational basis to distinguish between in-state and out-of-state licensees, the law was constitutional.

February 15, 2019 | Kristine Tidgren

Update: SF 220 passed the Senate by a vote of 48-0 on February 18, 2019. They immediately messaged the House. Read the Iowa Legislative Agency Report about this bill here.

January 22, 2019 | Kristine A. Tidgren

On January 22, 2019, USDA announced that all FSA offices nationwide would reopen on January 24 to provide additional services to farmers and ranchers during the lapse in federal funding.

January 20, 2019 | Kristine A. Tidgren

On January 18, 2019, Treasury and IRS issued final IRC §199A regulations. Because they were issued in 2019, they are not binding on taxpayers for the 2018 tax year.

Today, Treasury and IRS issued long-awaited final IRC §199A regulations.

On January 9, 2019, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa declared Iowa’s Agricultural Production Facility Fraud statute to be unconstitutional. Animal Legal Defense Fund v. Reynolds, No.4:17-cv-00362 (S.D. Iowa 2019).

January 15, 2019 | Kristine A. Tidgren

A new IRS Lapsed Appropriations Contingency Plan released January 15, 2019, states that 57.4 percent of the IRS workforce will be required to work during the Tax Year 2018 filing season as long as a shutdown continues.

January 4, 2019 | Kristine A. Tidgren
Update: Late January 7, 2019, IRS announced that it would begin processing individual returns on January 28, 2019. The announcement also stated that IRS would be paying refunds, even if a government shutdown continues. Citing 31 U.S.C. 1324, the announcement stated that Congress has given IRS authority to pay refunds, despite lapses in annual appropriations.
December 31, 2018 | Kristine A. Tidgren

On this, the last day of 2018, we look back at key agricultural and taxation developments from the past year. Many of these issues continue to significantly impact agricultural producers, and we will continue to monitor these evolving issues as we head into 2019. Happy New Year!

December 30, 2018 | Kristine A. Tidgren

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act modified IRC § 5000A(c) to set the individual shared responsibility payment to 0 for months beginning after December 31, 2018. This means that, beginning in 2019, individuals will no longer be subject to a penalty tax when they do not have Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliant health insurance.

December 19, 2018 | Kristine A. Tidgren

The grain glitch and the fix to the grain glitch were big news during the first quarter of 2018. Then the excitement subsided.

December 18, 2018 | Kristine A. Tidgren

On December 17, 2018, the USDA announced that President Trump had authorized the second round of market facilitation program payments (MFP) to be made.

December 17, 2018 | Kitt Tovar

On December 5, 2018, the Iowa Court of Appeals considered a taxpayer's challenge to the Tax Amnesty Act of 2007. The Court of Appeals found that because plaintiff failed to file a 2002 tax return, amnesty was waived and the Department of Revenue could disallow deductions for the following four years.  

December 15, 2018 | Kristine A. Tidgren

President Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill into law on December 20, 2018.

December 14, 2018 | Kristine A. Tidgren

On December 11, 2018, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed a revised definition for “waters of the United States” or WOTUS.

water tunnel
December 13, 2018 | Kitt Tovar

On December 5, 2018, the Iowa Court of Appeals issued a ruling regarding a private nuisance dispute between two neighbors. The court held that a ditch running between two neighbors had not changed substantially because of the addition of a culvert.

field of colorful flowers
December 10, 2018 | Kitt Tovar

On December 5, 2018, the Iowa Court of Appeals issued a decision regarding the ownership rights of land located in Clayton County. The court held that the City of Garber was estopped from asserting ownership over the property because it never developed, used, or maintained it; the previous owners had acquired it through adverse possession; and the current owners would suffer unfair damages if they gave up the property.

On November 21, 2018, the Iowa Court of Appeals issued a ruling regarding the county’s duty to properly maintain a soil and water conservation structure. The court found that the defendants had no statutory, contractual, or common law duty to maintain the structure.

November 23, 2018 | Kristine A. Tidgren

A recent case from the Iowa Court of Appeals assesses the impact of a below-market-value purchase on the priority of related security interests in farm equipment. It’s a timely review during this current farm downturn.

November 21, 2018 | Kristine A. Tidgren

On November 20, 2018, IRS issued a proposed rule providing that individuals who make gifts while the basic exclusion amount (BEA) is temporarily doubled will get to take full advantage of that increased BEA for those gifts, even if the BEA is lower at the time the donor dies.

corn field
November 19, 2018 | Kitt Tovar

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a notice on October 31st stating that it would be extending the registration of dicamba for over-the top use for an additional two years. This means farmers and applicators are allowed to use dicamba in their operation throughout the 2019 and 2020 growing seasons. The EPA made this announcement after collecting comments from pesticide manufacturers, farmers, state regulators, and other stakeholders.

two black cows

In 2016, the Ranchers Cattlemen Legal Defense Fund (R-CALF) filed a complaint claiming the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) was violating the First Amendment through advertising done by the Beef Promotion and Research Act (the federal Beef Checkoff).

sunset across a large field

On November 7, 2018, the Iowa Court of Appeals issued an opinion regarding the proper division of farmland for a divorcing couple. The court found the prenuptial agreement signed by the couple unenforceable and the farming assets to be divisible, despite the fact that they were gifted to or inherited by the husband.

a sea of black cows

On November 7, 2018, the Iowa Court of Appeals issued an opinion regarding division of monetary gifts and assets during a divorce proceeding. The Court found that certain gifted assets could be divided despite being separate property.

On November 7, 2018, Treasury issued final regulations to implement new due diligence requirements applying to tax return preparers making head of household eligibility determinations for their clients.

For tax year 2018, Iowa has coupled only with selected federal changes. With those exceptions, Iowa tax law looks to the Internal Revenue Code as it existed on January 1, 2015. This non-conformity has presented some challenges.

Newly published proposed regulations from the U.S. Departments of Treasury, Health and Human Services, and Labor, if implemented, would significantly change the landscape in the healthcare market, reinstating (in new form) some health care reimbursement options that existed prior to the Affordable Care Act.

October 24, 2018 | Kitt Tovar

On October 18, 2018, the Iowa Court of Appeals issued a ruling concerning a family dispute over farmland.

As tough times continue in the farm sector, more farmers are calling it quits. In particular, many operators who do not own ground and are dependent upon renting the land of others are struggling to hold on. Many are selling farm assets and securing full-time off-farm employment to make ends meet. It’s a quiet exodus, but it comes with hidden danger.

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