Finding Savings and Leaving a Legacy through Conservation

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As people receive their T4 slips and other information for their income tax preparation, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is offering suggestions on how people can reduce or eliminate their taxes. In doing so, they can also leave a legacy for their children, grandchildren, and other loved ones.  

The NCC is a registered charity and issues tax receipts for donations of cash or stocks/securities and donations of ecologically significant lands. This tax season, they are bringing attention to incentives that can be accessed by contributing to conservation, through land, cash, and stock donations. People and families with parcels of land they wish to see protected, but are not sure of their options, are encouraged to contact the conservancy.

“Supporting the Nature Conservancy of Canada through land donations and monetary contributions is a great way for people and families to help protect important natural areas. In return, they may receive tax relief,” says Kevin Teneycke, with the NCC.  

For proposed gifts of land with nationally significant biodiversity values, the NCC will issue a charitable tax receipt for the appraised value of the property. The tax credits from the gift will reduce the amount of payable taxes for the year of the donation. If the credits amount is larger, it can be claimed for the subsequent five years. 

Teneycke points out that there is an additional financial incentive for donating ecologically sensitive lands. If the property meets the criteria of an “eco-gift,” the land donor will obtain an additional tax saving. The Ecological Gifts Program offers the full elimination of the capital gains tax and an extension of the five-year carry-forward period for claiming the donation to ten years.  

An increasing number of conservation-minded Canadians are taking advantage of the Ecological Gifts Program each year. Since its inception in 1995, the NCC has worked with private landowners on many gifts of land across Canada. Many of these donations involved a personal history, with families dedicating these sites in memory of parents and siblings.  

Teneycke recommends that people wishing to look into these types of charitable gifts and related tax incentives should consult with tax planning professionals.

For more information

To learn more about the Ecological Gifts Program, visit www.ec.gc.ca/pde-egp. For information on other types of gifts, please visit www.natureconservancy.ca/en/what-you-can-do.

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