February 2019

February 2019

IRS Extends March 1 Filing Deadline for Farmers

At the last hour, IRS 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. Under this Notice, farmers have until April 15 (April 17 in Maine or Massachusetts) to file their 2018 returns and pay in full any tax due. The Notice waives the IRC section 6654 penalty for failure to make estimated tax payments for these farmers and fishermen, but the relief must be requested. Continue reading here.

Iowa Department of Revenue Follows Suit

IDOR also 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 estimated tax penalties. Read more here.

U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Key Clean Water Act Case

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. The case is Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund v. Cnty. of Maui, 886 F.3d 737 (9th Cir. 2018). The question the Court agreed to answer is: Does the CWA require a permit when pollutants originate from a point source but are conveyed to navigable waters by a nonpoint source, such as groundwater?

In County of Maui, the Ninth Circuit ruled that the county had violated the CWA by discharging pollutants from a point source into navigable waters without an NPDES permit. What makes the case unique is that the point sources at issue—wastewater injection wells—did not discharge the pollutants directly into the navigable water, the Pacific Ocean. Rather, the county injected the pollutant (treated wastewater called effluent) into groundwater, which carried the effluent from the point source to the navigable water. The Ninth Circuit ruled that because the indirect discharges were “fairly traceable” from the injection wells to the Ocean, an NPDES permit was required. Continue reading here.

March 1 Triggers Important Farm Lease Questions

My tenant and I signed a written lease for the 2019 crop year. The lease provides that the rent is due, up front, on March 1. It’s March 6 and my tenant hasn’t paid. I am afraid that he does not have the money. What can I do?

First, it is important to note that requiring rent up front is a good idea for landlords wishing to minimize disputes and problems associated with a tenant’s nonpayment of rent.  Nonetheless, this protective approach does not always guarantee smooth sailing. Sometimes, a landlord will be forced to confront a nonpayment situation early on in the lease term. Continue reading this answer here.

I leased a parcel of farmground during the 2018 crop year. I was unable, however, to complete my harvest because of unexpected weather conditions. I still have corn in the ground, but my lease terminates March 1, 2019. What can I do?

Given the crazy weather of 2018-19, this is a common question we've been fielding. Read this answer 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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