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Canada, US Agree Tax Relief For Land Donors

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Canadian Minister of Finance, Jim Flaherty has announced that the Canadian government and US authorities have agreed to regulatory amendments to allow US citizens to donate real property they own in Canada to the Canadian public, and to receive US tax relief on such donations, at no cost to the Canadian taxpayer.

Previously, regulation in the Canadian and US tax systems presented impediments to such donations. Flaherty said that by designating the American Friends of Canadian Land Trusts (AFCLT) as a “prescribed donee” ensures that US donors of Canadian real property to the AFCLT can obtain US tax relief for such donations.

“This initiative will encourage donations of lands so that they may be preserved for the enjoyment of current and future generations,” said Flaherty, speaking at an event at Thickson’s Woods, a land trust nature reserve located in south Whitby, Ontario.

The granting of prescribed donee status is typically used to help protect Canada’s natural heritage. Flaherty explained that the AFCLT intends to achieve this goal by facilitating the acquisition, by Canadian land trusts and conservation organizations, of Canadian lands and interests or rights in Canadian lands that have been donated to it. As such, this designation encourages the preservation of natural areas in Canada that are owned by non-residents.

The Canadian government has already gazetted the necessary regulatory amendments in order to bring the provisions into effect.