Written by
about Taxes
on September 17, 2014

Tax Treatment of Right-of-Way Payments for Shale Leases

Over the last few years many landowners have begun receiving cash bonus payments for land leases related to the Marcellus and Utica Shale boom. In our work with clients in the Marcellus and Utica Shale regions, we have seen a recent uptick in landowners receiving offers to sign “pipeline right-of-way” agreements, as the need for pipelines has escalated due to the increasing maturity of the industry.

The payment for this right-of-way is considered an easement. The tax treatment of easements may result in income, a reduction in basis of all or part of the land, or both. The amount a landowner receives for granting an easement is generally considered to be a sale of an interest in real property.…