Lost Will Creates Family Drama
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. In a recent case, the Iowa Court of Appeals held that even though the original will could not be found, the proponent of the will had rebutted the presumption that the testator had intended to revoke the will. Read more here.
Soybean Harvest Strategy for Securing MFP Payment
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. Read more here.
Iowa Court Affirms Order Requiring Abatement of Grain Leg Nuisance
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 near an airport in Carroll County. The court ruled that an FAA finding that the improvement was not a hazard to air navigation did not preempt state and local law. Read more here.
Iowa Court Awards Mother's Home to Primary Caretaker
On September 12, 2018, the Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed a district court ruling that a mother had intentionally given title of her house to only one of her two daughters. The mother chose to transfer title of her home to the daughter who had been her primary caregiver. The other daughter argued that the mother intended for her sister to hold the house, in constructive trust, for the benefit of both daughters. Read more here.
Iowa Department of Revenue Issues Proposed Rules for Section 179
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. The rules are open for public comment through October 17, 2018.
Taxpayers electing to expense assets under federal IRC § 179 must also expense those assets for Iowa purposes. Likewise, taxpayers who do not take the federal expense deduction are not permitted to take a section 179 deduction in Iowa. Federal law dictates whether an asset qualifies for the Iowa section 179 deduction. Because during certain years the Iowa section 179 limits are different, however, adjustments may be required for the Iowa deduction.
Generally, the Iowa deduction must equal the amount of the federal deduction taken for the same asset in the same year, subject to special Iowa limitations. For 2018 alone, the section 179 limitations for corporations ($25,000 / $200,000) are different from those for individuals and non-corporate entities ($70,000 / $280,000).
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What's up with WOTUS?
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. The saga—a case study on the intricacies of administrative law—is far from over. In the meantime, landowners planning activities potentially impacted by WOTUS face uncertainty.
WOTUS defines those waters over which the federal government has Clean Water Act jurisdiction. Section 402 of the CWA authorizes the EPA to issue permits for discharges of “pollutants” through a “point source, such as certain confined animal feeding operations. Section 404 of the CWA authorizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to issue permits for the discharge of dredged or fill material into “navigable waters.”
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Guidance Details New Employer Credit for Paid Family and Medical Leave
The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act created a new business credit for employers that provide paid family and medical leave to their employees. This credit is established by new IRC § 45S. On September 24, 2018, IRS issued Notice 2018-71, which provides general guidance and a set of Q & As detailing the requirements of this new credit.
To be eligible for the credit, the employer must have a written policy that satisfies the following requirements: (1) The policy must cover all qualifying employees, which includes those who have been employed for a year or more and were paid not more than a specified amount (i.e. $72,000 in 2017); (2) the policy must provide at least two weeks of annual paid family and medical leave for each full-time qualifying employee and a proportionate amount of leave for each part-time qualifying employee; and (3) the policy must provide for a payment of at least 50 percent of the qualifying employee’s wages while the employee is on leave.
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We Are Looking Forward to Tax Schools!
We are looking forward to seeing you at our 45th Annual Federal Income Tax Schools. And there's a lot to cover! We hope you'll join us for one of the two-day sessions throughout Iowa:
November 1-2, 2018 – Maquoketa, Iowa – Centerstone Inn and Suites
November 5-6, 2018 – Le Mars, Iowa – Le Mars Convention Center
November 7-8, 2018 – Atlantic, Iowa – Cass County Community Center
November 8-9, 2018 – Mason City, Iowa – North Iowa Area Community College
November 15-16, 2018 – Fairfield, Iowa – Fairfield Arts & Convention Center
November 19-20, 2018 – Waterloo, Iowa – Hawkeye Community College
December 10-11, 2018 – Ames, Iowa and Live Webinar – Quality Inn and Suites
Each session includes an optional hour of early-bird ethics. For more information or to register, click here. Registration fees increase after October 15, so lock in your rate today.
Check out the draft IRS Form 1040 instructions released last week.
What's New on TaxPlace?
We had lots going on in September, and it's all available for review on TaxPlace:
The Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation 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. The Center'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.