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Lev, Tax Advisor
Category: Tax
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Experience:  Taxes, Immigration, Labor Relations
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A utility company has taken an easement from a ranch through

Resolved Question:

A utility company has taken an easement from a ranch through their land for power lines.
The rancher was paid a sum of money for the easement. How is it taxed--ordinary income or long term capital gain. How do you determine any basis.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Lev replied 5 years ago.

Hi and welcome to Just Answer!


A temporary easement is treated as rental - reportable on form 1099MISC to the owner. The rental income is reported on schedule E -

You will report your rental income and rental expenses and your net rental income will be transferred to form 1040 and added to other taxable income.


However - a permanent right of way should be treated as an easement. It should not be reported as a rent. You might want to contact the payer and ask for correction.

The sale of easement is treated as the sale of partial rights related to the ownership.

Your proceeds for the sale of easement will be reported to the IRS as income. You do need to report it.

Your taxable gain = (selling price) - (basis). You need to allocate the basis to the easement.

If you have owned the property for more than one year, the gain is treated as a long-term capital gain - taxed at reduced rate - not more than 15%.


The sale transaction is reported on form 8949 - Part II - - if the property was held more than a year - box "C" in the header should be checked.
Then - amounts will be transfered to schedule D -
Part II, line 10 - and you should have the taxable gain in column (h).


A part of the payment might be a compensation for damages to the property. That amount is not taxable but the basis of the property should be reduced by that amount. If the basis is zero - the compensation will be treated as a capital gain.

Because that amount is reported to the IRS - you may not simply ignore it - to avoid IRS letters - you might want to attach a note to your tax return with explanations.


Let me know if you need any help.

Lev and 2 other Tax Specialists are ready to help you