According to the Land Trust Alliance, “Congress has approved a tremendous expansion of the federal conservation tax incentive for conservation easement donations.” On August 17, the President signed into law a pensions bill which dramatically expands the Federal tax incentive provision for donating conservation easements.
The new law:
- Raises the deduction a landowner can take for donating a conservation easement from 30% of their income in any year to 50%;
- Allows qualifying farmers and ranchers to deduct up to 100% of their income; and
- Extends the carry-forward period for a donor to take tax deductions for a voluntary conservation agreement from 5 to 15 years.
It is also important to note that this only applies to easements donated in 2006 and 2007. However, there are many who area already working to make this change permanent.
The Land Trust Alliance is a good place to start, if you have ever considered donating a conservation easement. And, if you have never considered making such a donation, now may be the time to consider the benefits of a conservation easement. Your tax advisor or attorney can provide you with further details.
In the words of Rand Wentworth, President of the Land Trust Alliance, “Today we are celebrating a tremendous victory for conservation.”