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On November 8, 2019, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that a restriction of alienation placed on a charitable gift could not be modified. The Court found the restriction did not make the purpose of the gift impracticable, and therefore could not be modified under the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act or the common law doctrine of cy pres.

November 26, 2019 | Kristine A. Tidgren

On November 22, 2019, IRS released TD 9884, finalizing regulations confirming that individuals taking advantage of increased gift and estate tax exclusion amounts in effect from 2018 to 2025 will not be adversely impacted after 2025 when the exclusion amount is scheduled to drop to pre-2018 levels.

On November 6, 2019, the Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed a district court order dismissing a challenge by landowners to a county's condemnation of their property. The county sought to condemn the private land for the purpose of upgrading a dirt road to a Level A road.

On October 23, 2019, the Iowa Court of Appeals ruled that farm borrowers lacked good faith when they filed a motion to continue a mortgage foreclosure. The district court’s summary judgment allowing foreclosure by Farm Credit Services was thus allowed to stand.

October 30, 2019 | Kristine A. Tidgren

On October 29, 2019, USDA issued an interim final rule for the establishment of a Domestic Hemp Production Program. The rule implements provisions within the 2018 Farm Bill[i]  authorizing the production and transportation of hemp.

On October 23, 2019, the Iowa Court of Appeals ruled that a boundary by acquiescence was established between two farms because the neighbors had treated the edge of a fenced corridor as the boundary line for more than ten years.

On October 16, 2019, the United States Tax Court issued an opinion determining the correct way for an agricultural cooperative to characterize payments made to patrons and to calculate its DPAD deduction. Although IRC § 199 (DPAD) was repealed by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2018, the opinion remains timely and relevant.

On October 4, 2019, the North American Meat Institute (AMI) filed a complaint against the state of California over Proposition 12, which passed last year. The complaint alleges Proposition 12 violates the Commerce Clause by discriminating against out-of-state veal and pork producers through a sales ban on veal and pork products not raised under certain conditions.

On September 25, 2019, the Iowa Court of Appeals issued a ruling regarding a will created by a man who suffered from schizophrenia. His sister claimed that he lacked the testamentary capacity to create a will and that it should be set aside. The court affirmed the district court’s decision and held that the decedent did have testamentary capacity to create a will and deed his portion of the farm to his distant relatives.

September 30, 2019 | Kristine A. Tidgren

On September 30, 2019, IRS released proposed regulations clarifying the application of the employer shared responsibility provisions and nondiscrimination rules to individual coverage HRAs, authorized by final regulations issued Ju

September 28, 2019 | Kristine A. Tidgren

On September 24, 2019, IRS issued Rev. Proc. 2019-38, the final safe harbor under which a rental real estate enterprise will be treated as a trade or business for purposes of IRC § 199A.

On September 26, 2019, the USDA announced that producers participating in the federal crop insurance program who had a 2019 prevented planting indemnity because of flooding or excess moisture will receive an automatic “top-up” payment on their indemnity. Approved Insurance Providers (AIPs) will begin issuing these payments in mid-October.

September 13, 2019 | Kristine A. Tidgren

On Thursday, September 12, 2019, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Army released a final rule to repeal the embattled 2015 Clean Water Rule, also known as WOTUS.

The Seventh Circuit recently ruled that the USDA acted arbitrarily and capriciously when it treated several acres of an Indiana couple’s farm as a converted wetland and rendered their entire farm ineligible for USDA benefits.  Boucher v. USDA, No. 16-1654 (7th Cir. 2019).

On August 29, 2019, IRS issued draft instructions for Form 8995, Qualified Business Income Deduction Simplified Computation. The instructions provide some useful soft guidance, as well as a new QBI flowchart. Detailed below are some highlights. We we will watch for the instructions for Form 8995-A.

August 25, 2019 | Kristine A. Tidgren

As many farmers continue to struggle with high debt and uncertain markets, new attention is focused on remedies for financially distressed farmers. President Trump signed into law the Family Farmer Relief Act of 2019 on August 23, 2019. This law increases the amount of debt a farmer may have, yet still remain a “family farmer” eligible for Chapter 12 bankruptcy protection.

August 23, 2019 | Kristine A. Tidgren

On August 21, 2019, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia became the second federal court in the past three months to rule that the 2015 Waters of the United States Rule (the WOTUS Rule), was improperly issued by the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

A recent case from the Tax Court explains the special “qualifying child” rule for children of divorced parents. Although it has been in place for decades, the rule still causes confusion, especially among clients. A divorce decree may grant a noncustodial parent the “right” to claim a child as a dependent. Without a signed release, however, the noncustodial parent has no such right.

August 16, 2019 | Kristine A. Tidgren

In this August 14, 2019, edition of the CALT Brief Podcast - Tax Edition, Kristine discusses:

New Automatic Waiver for Estimated Tax Penalty

On August 7, 2019, the Iowa Court of Appeals ruled that an alleged farm nuisance was a continuous, rather than permanent, nuisance. As a result, the court held that the statute of limitations did not bar the neighbors’ claims of nuisance, trespass, and negligence.

August 9, 2019 | Kristine A. Tidgren

In this August article published in the Bloomberg Tax Tax Management Real Estate Journal, Kristine explains the proposed 199A cooperative regulations, as they impact cooperative patrons. Part II, due for release in September, will examine the impact of the proposed regulations on specified cooperatives.

August 1, 2019 | Kristine A. Tidgren

IRS unveiled many new draft forms this month. Although these forms are not final, several are worth reviewing.

August 1, 2019 | Kristine A. Tidgren

Update: President Trump signed this bill into law on August 23,2019.

July 30, 2019 | Donald Swanson and Kristine Tidgren

In this webinar for I-29 Moo University, Don Swanson and Kristine Tidgren address practical financial, tax, and bankruptcy issues impacting producers facing financial distress.

CALT has recently received several inquiries on the Iowa property tax assessment process, including the process for appealing property classifications. This article provides an overview of how property is classified, provides an overview of several recent administrative cases, and gives information on how landowners can appeal if they believe their land has been misclassified.

July 25, 2019 | Kristine A. Tidgren

On July 25, 2019, USDA published details as to how payments will be made under the 2019 Market Facilitation Program (MFP). First announced May 23, 2019, the 2019 MFP will include up to $14.5 billion in direct payments to producers. Payment details are now posted on the MFP page of the USDA website.

On July 24, 2019, the Iowa Court of Appeals issued summary judgment against a nephew in his lawsuit alleging claims of undue influence and tortious interference with a bequest of farmland against members of his family. The court found insufficient evidence to establish either claim.

On July 24, 2019, the Iowa Court of Appeals issued a ruling concerning damage done to drainage tile in Webster County. The court found the neighbor’s trees damaged a farmland’s drainage tile causing water to pool and damage the crops in the field. Therefore, the court found the neighbor liable for the damage and responsible for replacing the damaged tile.

On July 3, 2019, the Iowa Court of Appeals issued a ruling regarding the creation of an easement over the boundary of a gravel road. The court found that because the owner of the property did not have notice of an easement claim, no easement was created.

On July 3, 2019, the Iowa Court of Appeals issued a ruling concerning the amount of child support a farmer was required to pay. The court found, in this case, the farmer’s depreciation expenses should not be used when determining income for the purposes of assessing child support, but his farming expenses should be deducted from his gross income.

July 10, 2019 | Kristine A. Tidgren

In this tax edition of the CALT Brief Podcast, Kristine discusses:

  • Taxpayer First Act of 2019, H.R. 3151, signed into law July 1, 2019
  • President's 2020 Budget Proposal and JCT Analysis
  • TD 9861, Final Regs Allowing Truncated Social Security Numbers on W-2s
  • TD 9869, Final Regs Clarifying that Partners are not Employees when Partnership Owns Disregarded Entity
  • Brown v. Commissioner, TC Memo 2019-69 (Parsonage Allowance Case)
  • N.C. Dept of Rev. v. Kaestner, No. 18-457 (U.S. Sup. Ct. June 21, 2019) (Tax Jurisdiction Case Involving a Trust)
  • TD 9864, Final Regs Detailing Impact of State Credits on Charitable Deductions
  • IRS Email Regarding Data Breach Instructions

Generally, cash basis farmers must include proceeds from crop insurance and federal disaster programs in gross income for the tax year during which they receive the payments.

On June 21, the Iowa Supreme Court held that three siblings failed to show that their father was a “vulnerable elder” subject to elder abuse by their brother and nephew.

The United States Supreme Court Supreme Court issued a decision on June 21, 2019, holding that landowners are no longer effectively required to exhaust state remedies before filing Fifth Amendment federal takings claims in federal court. Knick v. Township of Scott, Pa., No. 17-647 (U.S. 2019).

A June 18 update posted to the Syngenta settlement claims administration page states that eligible class members will receive notices of determination showing their "compensable recovery quantities" as early as July. This is the number of bushels for which they can recover, not the amount of the payment to which they are entitled.

In this podcast, Kitt talks about two recent Iowa Court of Appeals Cases and interviews Farm Management Specialist, Ryan Drollette regarding prevented planting.

 Franklin v. Johnston, No. 18-0613 (Iowa Ct. App. June 5, 2019).

Felt v. Felt Farms, LLC, No. 18-0710 (Iowa Ct. App. June 5, 2019)

On June 18, 2019, IRS and Treasury issued proposed regulations for the application of IRC §199A to cooperatives and their patrons. These rules were a missing piece of the initial §199A regulatory package.

On June 5, 2019, the Iowa Court of Appeals ruled that a family farm LLC automatically dissolved 90 days after the death of its sole member. The court ruled that the manager of the LLC who inherited one-third of the LLC’s units had not become a member because he failed to execute a joinder agreement.

On June 5, 2019, the Iowa Court of Appeals issued a ruling concerning a disagreement over property rights between two neighboring landowners. The court found little evidence to support a finding to grant the land in question in fee simple ownership to the defendants, but affirmed the lower court’s grant of a prescriptive easement to them.

June 7, 2019 | Kristine A. Tidgren

In this tax edition of the CALT Brief podcast, Kristine discusses:

On June 5, 2019, the Iowa Court of Appeals ruled that Wells Fargo Bank gave proper notice to any unknown heirs of a decedent when foreclosing on real estate that had been mortgaged by the decedent during his lifetime. Nearly 10 years after a man took out a mortgage for a piece of real estate, he passed away without finishing paying off the loan. After the loan went into default, Wells Fargo initiated the foreclosure proceeding and sought to quiet title to the real estate.

June 6, 2019 | Kristine A. Tidgren

Update: On June 10, USDA issued this Q & A.

In a case of significant import to Iowa property owners, the Iowa Supreme Court today ruled that the use of eminent domain for the Dakota Access pipeline was not an unconstitutional taking under either the Iowa or U.S. Constitutions.  In Puntenney v. Iowa Utilities Board, No.

May 30, 2019 | Kristine A. Tidgren

On May 30, 2019, IRS issued a draft W-4 for the 2020 tax year. This is IRS’ second attempt to unveil a restructured W-4 in light of changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

On May 28, 2019, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas determined that the EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) when they promulgated the final Clean Water Rule in 2015.

UPDATE: As of July 1, 2021, Florida has a new Right to Farm Act (RTFA). On April 30, 2021, Governor DeSantis of Florida signed SB 88 into law, amending Florida’s RTFA in several ways. 

May 28, 2019 | Kristine A. Tidgren

Update: On the evening of June 3, 2019, the House passed H.R. 2157, sending the disaster relief bill to the President for his signature.

Several bills with general bipartisan support are pending in Congress. These bills, if passed, would impact farmers and ranchers across the country. We will keep you posted as developments unfold.

May 24, 2019 | Kristine A. Tidgren

Note: On June 10, USDA issued this Q & A.

On May 21, 2019, IRS issued Rev. Proc. 2019-26, which updated depreciation deduction limits for passenger automobiles purchased after September 27, 2017, and placed into service during 2019.

No Bonus Depreciation