Budget 2014 - Donations of Ecologically Sensitive Land
Notice to the reader
This measure has received Royal Assent.
For donations made after February 10, 2014, the budget proposes a change to Ecological Gifts Program legislation to extend the carry-forward period for the unused portion of the eligible amount of donations of ecologically sensitive land from 5 years to 10 years.
What is the Ecological Gifts Program?
Canada's Ecological Gifts Program offers tax benefits to Canadians who donate ecologically sensitive land or a partial interest in such land to a qualified recipient. The Minister of the Environment must certify the land, approve the recipient that receives the gift, and certify the fair market value of the donation.
Who has participated in the program in the past?
According to Environment Canada, hundreds of Canadians have made more than 1,000 ecological gifts valued at over $635 million. More than one third of the donations represent lands of national, provincial or regional importance, and many include rare or threatened habitats that are home to species at risk.
What qualifies as a donation of Ecologically Sensitive Land?
Land (including a covenant, an easement or a real servitude to which land is subject) qualifies if it is donated to a qualified recipient, and it has been certified by the Minister of the Environment to be land the conservation and protection of which is important to the preservation of Canada's environmental heritage.
Who are the qualified recipients?
Qualified recipients are the federal, provincial and territorial governments, Canadian municipalities, municipal or public bodies that perform a function of government, and eligible environmental charities. An eligible environmental charity is a registered charity that has, in the opinion of the Minister of the Environment, the conservation and protection of Canada's environmental heritage as one of its main purposes.
What does the budget propose with respect to the carry-forward period for donations of ecologically sensitive land?
For donations made after February 10, 2014, the budget proposed to extend the carry-forward period from 5 to 10 years for the unclaimed portion of the eligible amount of gifts of ecologically sensitive land.
Does this measure affect the tax treatment of the capital gains associated with the donation of Ecologically Sensitive Land?
No, capital gains associated with the donation of ecologically sensitive land continue to be exempt from tax.
Where can I get more information about the changes to donations of ecologically sensitive land?
The CRA is committed to providing taxpayers with up-to-date information. The CRA encourages taxpayers to check its Web pages often. All new forms, policies, and guidelines will be posted as they become available.
In the meantime, please consult the Department of Finance Canada's Budget 2014 documents for details.
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