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Oil and Gas Tax and Wealth Planning Considerations for Landowners


Recent advances in new drilling technology are driving unprecedented growth in U.S. oil and natural gas exploration and production and a re-domestication of the oil and gas industry. As the result of recent activity in new plays in shale gas, many landowners have found themselves with property and mineral rights that have increased significantly in value and have become a significant source of income.

Landowners that have come into wealth as a result of the shale boom face significant income tax and wealth planning considerations. These range from income-tax planning considerations applicable to high-income taxpayers with significant investment income to more distinct, industry-specific taxation matters that apply to certain mineral interest holders and the payments they may receive in conjunction with the sale or lease of their mineral rights. 

Most of this article pertains to specific income tax and estate tax planning considerations relevant to oil and gas mineral rights holders. To appropriately understand the complexity of this area and some of the leading tax considerations, however, a basic background understanding of the integral terminology and industry practices surrounding the ownership, transfer and development of oil and gas properties is necessary. As such, this article provides a high-level overview of some of these particular concepts as well.

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