IRS guidance for determining the public value of an easement donation

Last modified: July 31, 2017
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Internal Revenue Code Section 170(h)(4)(A) defines conservation purposes as:

  • The preservation of land areas for outdoor recreation by, or the education of, the general public.
  • The protection of a relatively natural habitat of fish, wildlife, or plants, or similar ecosystem.
  • The preservation of certain open space (including farmland and forest land) where such preservation is:
    • For the scenic enjoyment of the general public and will yield a significant public benefit, or
    • Pursuant to a clearly delineated Federal, State, or local governmental conservation policy and will yield a significant public benefit.
  • The preservation of an historically important land area or a certified historic structure.

Note: The Virginia Outdoors Foundation cannot guarantee that an easement will qualify for a federal income tax deduction under IRS criteria or a state tax credit under Virginia law. Donors should consult with qualified tax advisors to determine the tax effect in their particular situation. VOF is not involved in determining the value of an easement for tax purposes. This determination must be made by a qualified independent appraiser.

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