Professional Tax Preparation Recommended for Businesses

professional tax preparation

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has added a number of complex issues to the tax preparation for businesses. Taxpayers who previously prepared their own tax returns with Schedule C’s or Schedule F’s will face many complex issues under the new tax act.  One issue is the new 20 percent pass–through deduction for non-C corporation businesses. The Act also has significant changes regarding depreciation and the deduction of expenses. Another item that adds complexity to tax preparation for 2018 is that the State of Iowa has not adopted the changes in federal tax law for the year 2018. I highly

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IRS Guidance on Large Gifts Made Prior to 2026

irs tax on gift

Last month the Internal Revenue Service issued a proposed regulation addressing large gifts made prior to 2026.  The basic exclusion amount for estate or gift tax for the year 2017 was $5,490,000.00.  The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act increased the basic exclusion amount from 5 million to 10 million for tax years 2018 through 2025 with both dollar amounts adjusted for inflation.  For the year 2018 the basic exclusion amount adjusted for inflation is $11,180,000.00 million.  For 2019 the basic exclusion amount adjusted for inflation is $11,400,000.00.  Under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in the year 2026,

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Business Tax Update: Business Meals Still 50 Percent Deductible

iowa business tax law meal entertainment

The Internal Revenue Service recently issued a Notice (Notice 2018-76) regarding the deductibility of business meal expenses under the new Tax Act.  The Notice may be relied on until proposed regulations are published.  The Notice provides that most business meal expenses will be 50 percent deductible as long as a separate invoice is provided for the food.  The new Tax Act prohibits the deduction of entertainment expenses.  It has been unclear until this Notice whether business meals involving a client or a potential client would fall into the entertainment expense category.  As such, until the proposed regulations are published, a

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New Law Allows Consumers to Freeze Accounts at Credit Bureaus for Free

how do I freeze my credit

Consumers now have the power to freeze their accounts at the three Credit Bureaus for free, effective September 21, 2018, due to the Regulatory Relief, Economic Growth and Consumer Protection Act which was passed in May of 2018. In addition, consumers are allowed to unfreeze their accounts for free.  Consumers who are interested in placing a freeze on their Credit Bureau accounts should contact the three major reporting agencies, Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.  In addition, consumers should also notify the National Consumer Telecom & Utilities Exchange (NCTUE) to have their account frozen.   NCTUE is the reporting agency used when individuals

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Opinion Issued on “No-Contest” Provision

last will and testement no-content

The Iowa Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion involving a will that contained a “no-contest” provision.  The will in question contained a “no-contest” provision which provided that if any beneficiary under the will contests the validity of the will by filing suit against the executor, any share to such beneficiary under the will is revoked and shall be disposed of in the manner provided under the will if the contesting beneficiary and all descendants of that beneficiary have predeceased the testator. After the testator’s death, a beneficiary under the will filed a petition to set aside the will based

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Intentional Interference with an Inheritance

interferance with inheritance

A recent case by the Iowa Court of Appeals dealt with the tort of intentional interference with an inheritance.  In the case, the testator died in 2015.  She had three children, two sons and a daughter.  She executed a Will in 2010 which divided her estate equally among her three children.  She executed another Will in 2011 which left most of her estate to her son, Wayne. After the 2011 Will was drafted, the other two children moved to file for a Guardianship and Conservatorship in regards to their mother.  The other brother, Wayne, proceeded to have a Codicil drafted

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Iowa Governor Signs Real Estate Partition Law

iowa real estate law contract

The Governor recently signed SF 2175 into law which replaces Iowa Code Chapter 651 which deals with Partition of Real Estate.  The biggest change in the new law is the establishment of a partition procedure for “heirs property”.  For the first time a new law allows the equitable remedy of “owelty” which provides for a payment of money to equalize the value of property received in a partition in kind action.  Under the new Chapter, an individual who inherits property as a tenant in common with other relatives and who does not want to sell the property, in all likelihood

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Recent Changes to the Iowa Small Estate Statute

probate assets, small estate administration

Chapter 365 of the Iowa Code contains the Small Estate Statute. Recent legislation was passed which has made changes to the Chapter. The current statute is applicable to an estate if the value of the probate assets are $100,000.00 or less. One of the changes made in the legislation is to increase the maximum value of probate assets for an estate to qualify for small estate administration to $200,000.00 effective for estates of decedents dying on or after July 1, 2020. The new change in the maximum value of probate assets, combined with the increase in the amount for distribution

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New Health Care Options For Iowans

health care for small business

The Governor recently signed SF 2349 into law. The purpose of the law is to assist Iowans who are having difficulties purchasing health insurance on the individual market. First of all, the law allows Iowa Farm Bureau to offer new “health benefit plans” to its members. The plans are not defined as insurance and as such they are exempt from the Affordable Care Act Requirements and Iowa Insurance Division Regulation. Such plans will be self-funded and will be administrated by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield. It is projected that the plans will cost $5,000.00 per year for family coverage.

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New Law Regarding Distribution of Decedent’s Property By Affidavit

death benefits insurance

The Governor recently signed Legislation which amends the Iowa Code Section 633.356 which allows distribution of a decedent’s property by Affidavit in lieu of a formal probate proceeding. The previous Section applied when the gross value of a decedent’s personal property was valued at $25,000.00 or less.  The new Section increases the dollar amount to $50,000.00 or less.  The new Act, like the previous Act, requires 40 days to pass from the death of a decedent before the Affidavit can be utilized.  The new Act becomes effective July 1, 2018.  The new Act requires that an Affidavit state that no

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