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Hawaii tax tidbit: exceptional trees

Hawaii flag Hawaii's exceptional landscape is a major part of the island chain's appeal. In order to keep things lush, since 2004 some Aloha State taxpayers have been able to claim a deduction for taking care of trees.

We're not talking any old trees. The deduction is for the care of trees that have been designated exceptional.

Hawaiian filers may deduct up to $3,000 per exceptional tree for qualified expenditures made during the tax year to maintain the tree on private property.

Each tree must be deemed exceptional by a certified arborist. The notarized affidavit, which must be submitted with the taxpayer's tax return (due April 20), must list the type of tree, its location and affirm that the amount of care expenditures are reasonably necessary.

However, the tax break does have some limits. Your claim can't exceed the amount of your actual costs deemed necessary by the arborist.

The deduction also is limited to once every three consecutive tax years. But I'm sure the tree loving taxpayers will continue to take proper care of their exceptional plants even in the years they can't claim the deduction.

Tax trip around the United States: This post is part of our series highlighting tax information from the 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C. You can read other state tax blurbs at our Complete menu of tasty state tax tidbits.

The State Tax Departments page provides links to official state and District of Columbia revenue Web sites so that you can find out more about your home's tax laws and filing requirements.

As we work through the 2010 tax season, a different state will be featured each day as noted in Don't forget your state taxes! Check back to see what tax tidbit we share about your home.

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