When conservation easements or title to land are donated, they’re considered to be charitable gifts. Like other donations, there are tax deductions and tax credits that provide incentives for people to make gifts of conserved land.
Federal and state tax incentives are available as long as the gifts meet certain criteria. The restrictions on a property often reduce its market value, and the change in value is appraised by a qualified appraiser. That’s the “value” of the conservation easement, and it is used to determine the amount of the charitable gift. There are other potential benefits as well, such as reduced real estate taxes and/or benefits to the landowners’ estate.
The Trust strongly urges you to obtain independent legal and financial advice so that you have a full understanding of the conservation easement process. The Trust cannot provide legal or tax advice, so we encourage you to consult your accountant or lawyer to learn how these tax incentives may apply to your particular situation.
Potential Tax Benefits
See a printer-friendly brochure from the Land Trust Alliance about the federal tax incentive. Click here.