Jan 05, 2015

Enhanced Tax Extension Was Brief

The U.S. Senate formerly passed a bill extending a number of tax provisions—including the enhanced tax deduction for the donation of conservation easements – through the end of calendar year 2014.  The bill, already passed by the U.S. House, also made the extension retroactive back to the first of the year, so the enhanced deduction will be available for conservation easement donations made between Jan. 1, 2014, and Dec. 31, 2014.  Many groups sought to make the enhanced incentive permanent.


Thanks to our friends at Gathering Waters, here’s a summary of the situation for 2015 and beyond:

• Qualifying conservation easement donations will continue to be tax deductible;

• The question will be how favorable the deduction will be for landowners in the future (e.g., what percentage of a taxpayer's adjusted gross income (AGI) can be deducted and how many years are they able to carry-forward the value);

• As a reminder, the enhanced tax incentive allows up to 50% of AGI (100% for farmers) over 16 years to be deducted, while the traditional deduction is 30% of AGI over 6 years.