July 2018

July 2018

Guidance is Trickling in, but Nothing Big Yet

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.

Of course, IRC § 199A is perhaps the provision that presents the most planning opportunities for many businesses of all sizes. But without guidance for 199A, which provides a 20 percent deduction for “qualified business income” from a “qualified trade or business,” we’re left scratching our heads when it comes to many decisions. We don’t even know halfway through the year what those phrases mean.

It does appear that IRS and Treasury sent three sections of § 199A guidance to the Office of Management and Budget & Review on July 23. Only one section of that guidance, however, the Computational guidance, shows as “pending review” before the OMB. The other two sections—Anti-abuse and Definitions—(yes, the ones we’re really waiting for) show no such status. It appears that the computational guidance may qualify for an expedited review, which is supposed to be kept to 10 days. We shall see and will continue to post updates as we get them!

To read more, click here.

Provisions to Watch During the Farm Bill Debate

Last week, the Trump Administration announced a $12 billion aid package to provide assistance to farmers impacted by tariffs imposed on China. Secretary Perdue has announced that the aid program will begin September 4, with some type of sign-up. As of this writing, we do not have sufficient details to know how the program will unfold or how it will impact the pending farm bill. We will keep you posted.

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. Now, the debate moves to conference committee, where significant differences between the bills must be resolved. It is not clear how long this process may take. Although the Senate cancelled its usual August recess, the House will adjourn, and Congress has a tough fall schedule with mid-year elections fast approaching. The 2014 farm bill expires at the end of this year.

Each bill contains hundreds of pages of provisions, but the following article summarizes key provisions of interest for agricultural producers. Watch for changes and more details as the debate unfolds.

To read more, click here.

Many New Iowa Laws Are Now in Effect

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.
Fence Law Revisions (HF 2340). This law requires fence viewers to disclose potential conflicts of interest and provides for disqualification based upon an actual conflict. If a fence viewer is disqualified, the law provides that the remaining township trustees will appoint a substitute. If the parties to a dispute sign a waiver, the fence viewer with the conflict may participate in the dispute resolution process. The new law also allows fence viewers to determine, after a site evaluation, that a partition fence is “unfeasible.” This determination may be based upon any of the following considerations: topography, terrain, terraces, land slope, unstable ground, the presence of surface water or drainage systems (and other similar features), utilities, or available area.

Once the fence viewers determine that it is unfeasible to build a portion of a partition fence, they will seek to have the parties agree to an alternative. If this does not occur within 60 days, the viewers will order the erection of the fence at the most “feasible location on the property of the owner who initiated the controversy that is closest to the adjoining owner’s property boundary."

This law was effective July 1, 2018. To continue reading, click here.


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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.

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