Federal Tax Provisions and the State of Iowa

One of the considerations of tax planning is the impact of state taxes.  Many states follow along with most federal provisions for calculating income, but almost every state varies from federal law on at least a few items.  This is often referred to as “de-coupling” from federal law. 

For example, Iowa in 2009 “de-coupled” from federal law on Section 179 expensing and bonus depreciation.  Section 179 expensing was limited to $133,000 (as opposed to $250,000 on federal returns), and bonus depreciation was not allowed at all on Iowa returns. 

Iowa often “de-couples” from other “extender” items such as the front-side deduction for college expenses and the front-side deduction allowed to K-12 teachers for out-of-pocket classroom expenses.  These were a part of the federal tax bill signed into law last week.  The Iowa legislature will decide next month on whether to de-couple from these items and not allow them to be deductible on Iowa tax returns.  It is a safe bet that the legislature will vote to de-couple on these items, and also on the increase in Section 179 and bonus depreciation.

One federal provision that Iowa is coupling with is the provision in the “health care bill” passed earlier this year that allows people to keep children on their health insurance through age 26.  The value of this insurance coverage will be tax-free for federal purposes, and Iowa has announced that it will go along with federal law in this case.  Read more in this informational post from the Iowa Department of Revenue.