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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.


Tom Brennan, his son James Brennan, and Michael Potter recently pleaded guilty in the Northern District of Iowa to charges of wire fraud in connection with their organic farm operation. Wire fraud involves an intentional scheme to defraud with the use of interstate wires.

A recent summary opinion from the tax court illustrates a real danger of the advance premium tax credit for taxpayers who may end the year with more income than they expected.


After months of uncertainty, the United States reached a trade deal with Mexico and Canada on September 30, 2018. The news of this $1.2 trillion deal is met with favorable reaction from both commodity groups and farmers. In May 2017, President Trump announced his intent to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). On August 27, 2018, Mexico and the United States reached a bilateral agreement for the updated NAFTA. Canada entered into an agreement just before the midnight deadline on September 30.

On October 3, 2018, IRS issued Notice 2018-76, which was welcome news for many business owners. The Notice provides transitional guidance on the deductibility of business meal expenses in light of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act's disallowance of deductions for entertainment expenses.

September 30, 2018 | Kitt Tovar

The Iowa Court of Appeals recently considered the issue of witness credibility in a will contest. On September 12, 2018, the Court of Appeals found that despite a witness to the will not remembering the details of the will signing, she possessed the requisite memory overall to authenticate the will.


On September 12, 2018, the Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed the Polk County District Court’s ruling that a mother had intentionally given title of her house to only one of her two daughters. In Andrews v. Carter, the mother chose to transfer title of her home to the daughter who had been her primary caregiver as she aged. The other daughter had argued that the mother intended for her sister to hold the house, in constructive trust, for the benefit of both daughters until the mother died.

September 30, 2018 | Kristine A. Tidgren

Last week, the Iowa Department of Revenue issued proposed rules for implementing changes to section 179, brought about by Iowa’s 2018 tax reform legislation (S.F. 2417, enacted May 30, 2018).

Carroll Airport

On September 12, 2018, the Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed a Carroll County District Court ruling for the abatement of a nuisance in the form of a grain leg located near the Arthur N. Neu Airport in Carroll County. The court ruled that a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) finding that the improvement was not a hazard to air navigation did not preempt state and local law.

Corn field
September 17, 2018 | Steve Johnson, Iowa State Farm Management Specialist

The lion’s share of payments under the new Market Facilitation Program (MFP) are going to pork and soybean producers. Given the most recent USDA production estimates, Iowa producers stand to gain more than $550 million from this program.

September 12, 2018 | Kristine A. Tidgren

Just when many thought the 2015 Clean Water Rule or “WOTUS” was relegated to the archives of history, it has been revived. In fact, as of mid-September 2018, WOTUS is the controlling definition for “waters of the United States” in 22 states. As of September 18, 2018, Iowa was no longer among them. And the status for the remaining states could change at any time.

September 6, 2018 | Kitt Tovar

Creating a will is an important step in ensuring your loved ones know where your possessions should go at the time of death. Another important consideration after making a will is how you will store it. Courts usually require that the original will be used at the time of probate. This means that if the original will cannot be found, the court will likely find that the decedent destroyed the will with the intent to revoke it.

August 31, 2018 | Kristine A. Tidgren

On August 27, 2018, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced details of new programs designed to assist farmers in response to ongoing trade disputes. USDA will authorize $12 billion for three primary programs:

August 31, 2018 | Kitt Tovar

Many are closely monitoring a number of North Carolina nuisance lawsuits filed against Murphy-Brown a division of Smithfield Foods. Since April, juries have rendered three large verdicts against the hog integrator, the most recent verdict issued August 3.

August 30, 2018 | Kristine A. Tidgren

It is generally advisable for business owners to form a separate legal entity to limit personal liability stemming from business contracts or torts. Incorporating or organizing as an LLC can limit owners’ personal liability to the extent of their investments. This liability shield, however, is not without exception.


On August 15, the Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed a summary judgment in favor of a landlord, finding that a seed supplier could not recover where the customer was a custom farmer. This case highlights the need for written contracts over oral agreements.

August 13, 2018 | Kristine A. Tidgren

Treasury and the IRS released IRC § 199A proposed regulations, REG-107892-18, on August 8, 2018. The regulations will not officially apply until they are adopted as final; however, taxpayers can rely on §§1.199A-1 through 1.199A-6 until final rules are adopted.

Treasury and the IRS released IRC § 199A proposed regulations, REG-107892-18, on August 8, 2018. These are proposed regulations, but taxpayers can rely on them until final rules are adopted.

July 31, 2018 | Kristine A. Tidgren

We’ve been patiently (or maybe not so patiently!) awaiting guidance for many of the key provisions in the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act for months now. As July turns to August, we continue the wait.

On July 18, 2018, the Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court judgment declaring a testator’s will invalid on the grounds of lack of testamentary capacity and undue influence and finding her son liable for intentional tortious interference with a bequest.

July 10, 2018 | Kristine A. Tidgren

The Senate and the House have passed their respective versions of the 2018 farm bill. The Senate passed its bill by a vote of 86-11 on June 28, 2018, and the House passed its more partisan bill by a vote of 213 – 211 on June 21.

July 6, 2018 | Kristine A. Tidgren

Many laws passed during the 2018 Iowa Legislative Session impact agricultural producers and landowners. A number of these laws went into effect July 1, 2018. Following is a summary of the highlights.

June 29, 2018 | Kristine A. Tidgren

IRS officially unveiled its draft 2018 Form 1040 today, stating that it will work with the tax community to finalize the form over the summer.


It is a question that has come before the United States Supreme Court on two prior occasions: When can a state require an out-of-state seller to collect and remit sales tax? The Court has twice found that the collection obligation turned on whether the seller had a “physical presence” in the state. But, this time, the answer was different. Recognizing that the Court’s prior decisions got it wrong, the Court in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., No. 17-494 (U.S. Sup. Ct.

June 23, 2018 | Kristine A. Tidgren

Iowa’s agricultural nuisance law has perhaps become a little clearer, albeit no simpler to apply. On Friday, June 22, 2018, the Iowa Supreme Court issued a key ruling analyzing the constitutionality of Iowa’s embattled right-to-farm statute, Iowa Code § 657.11(2). Honomichl v.

Today, the Iowa Court of Appeals ruled that two shareholders of a family farming corporation did not prove their claim of minority shareholder oppression. In making its ruling, the court relied upon the Iowa Supreme Court’s holding in Baur v.