What Are Reforestation Tax Benefits?

Planting trees on your land is an important part of keeping it healthy. Whether you’re restoring an area damaged by a natural disaster or replenishing a stand that has been harvested, your reforestation efforts benefit your woods—and require an investment on your part. 

The IRS recognizes that investment and gives landowners a chance to recover some of the costs through reforestation tax benefits. Specifically, the tax code counts the following activities as part of reforestation:

  • site preparation
  • seed or seedling purchase
  • brush and weed control
  • labor
  • purchase of necessary tools
  • depreciation of equipment used in planting
  • seeding for natural or artificial regeneration of trees

To encourage reforestation, the tax code lets you deduct or write off some of the costs associated with these activities. The incentive allows an outright deduction of $10,000 in reforestation-related expenses per tax year for a qualified timber property. It also gives you the chance to amortize (write off in installments over time) any costs above that $10,000 limit over a period of 84 months.

Not every property or landowner qualifies for the same incentives, or can claim the incentive in the same way. So it’s important to know the requirements before tax time rolls around.

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