Senate saves 2014 tax incentives for conservation

The Senate recently passed a last-minute measure that allows for tax deductions in 2014 to benefit conservation.

The provisions are:

  • Anyone that donates a conservation easement in 2014 may deduct 50% of their AGI per year for the year of donation and an additional 15 years, until they have deducted the full value of their donation.  Qualified farmers, ranchers and forestland owners may deduct 100% of their AGI.
  • S corporations may deduct the fair market value of their charitable contributions and are not limited to deducting no more than their basis in their S corporation stock.
  • Donors who are older than 70 1/2 may donate up to $100,000 to charity out of their IRA without paying taxes or penalties on the withdrawal.

The political landscape has shifted when it comes to tax incentives because of bipartisan fighting over tax cuts vs. spending.  Land conservation advocates are concerned that the current political climate threatens the industry’s capacity to work with smaller ranchers and landowners who need the conservation incentives to make their work affordable.

That’s a big deal for Texas where there is so much AG land that provides food for the country.  At least conservation groups have  this year to finish projects that are in the works.


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