Act Now to Take Advantage of and to Preserve the Enhanced Federal Tax Incentive for Easements
Any individual who donates a preservation easement to a qualified charity, such as Landmarks, is allowed to deduct the value of the easement as a charitable contribution, provided the donation meets certain requirements specified in the Tax Code.
Congress recently increased the incentives for donating conservation easements by raising the deduction limit for charitable donations of conservation easements to 50% of an individual’s adjusted gross income, 100% in the case of certain donations with respect to farmland, and extending the carry-forward period for donations that exceed that limit to 15 years.
These enhanced deduction limits are set to expire on December 31, 2009. After that date, unless Congress acts, donations of conservation easements will be deductible only to the extent of 30% of adjusted gross income and the carry-forward period for excess donations will be reduced to 5 years.
Landmarks accepts donations of preservation easements on historic buildings and farms. To date, Landmarks has received more than twenty preservation easements, protecting a wide range of historic properties including major downtown commercial buildings, unique residential structures, and approximately 1,600 acres of farmland.
If you are interested in donating a preservation easement on your historic home, you need to act by December 31, 2009 in order to take advantage of the increased deduction limit.
If you think Congress should encourage historic preservation by making the increased deduction limit permanent, you are not alone. Bipartisan legislation has been introduced in Congress to make the enhanced incentives permanent through the Conservation Easement Incentive Act, H.R. 1831, and the Rural Heritage Conservation Act, S. 812.
To learn more about the enhanced tax incentives for conservation easements and how you can help make them permanent, please visit The Land Trust Alliance’s website at www.lta.org.