Tax Windfall for Waterfowl

Photo © Michael Furtman

Pension bill offers tax benefits for conservationists

New tax laws offer many advantages for those who donate conservation easements and IRA funds to Ducks Unlimited.

In August, President Bush signed into law the Pension Protection Act, which included expanded tax incentive provisions benefiting landowners who donate conservation easements. This legislation will also allow Americans age 70 1/2 or older to donate up to "Congress and President Bush have just done a very good thing for conservation in America," said DU Executive Vice President Don Young, who attended the bill signing ceremony. "The pension bill not only provides great new conservation tax incentives for private landowners through conservation easements, but it also allows older Americans a tax-free opportunity to donate some of their IRA funds to charitable organizations like Ducks Unlimited. The tax provisions included in the bill will greatly help Ducks Unlimited achieve our mission of wetlands conservation and putting more ducks in the sky."

The new tax provisions extend the carry-forward period on tax deductions for voluntary conservation agreements from five to 15 years and raise the cap on these deductions from 30 percent of the donor's adjusted gross income to 50 percent. The news is even better for qualified farmers and ranchers. Their deduction jumps from 30 percent of adjusted gross income to 100 percent.

DU Director of Public Policy Vaughn Collins says the higher tax advantage provision for farmers and ranchers is a critically important component in the new law. "DU and a strong coalition of other sporting and conservation organizations worked hard to make sure farmers and ranchers, who own much of the valuable wetlands and wildlife habitat in this country, now have the economic incentives necessary to conserve this land," Collins said. "Now, farmers and ranchers, along with other modest-income landowners, get a much larger benefit from protecting their land. This is a big win for hunters and wildlife."

These new tax provisions will expire December 31, 2007. DU is presently working with its partners to make these tax provisions permanent.

Click here to download a brochure for more information on this limited opportunity!