An outright donation of land to the ALT which permanently protects land from development, presents the greatest tax savings to donors and is the simplest way to proceed. Full donation is best for donors who do not wish to pass on a particular property to heirs, no longer use the property and wish to reduce their tax burden, or be relieved of management responsibilities. Donated lands may be established as nature preserves, wildlife refuges, scientific reserves or parks.
Outright donation of land to ALT provides the donor with a charitable income tax deduction, and a potential reduction in the value of one's taxable estate and relief from property taxes.
Donations of appreciated property to a charity like Aspetuck Land Trust allow the donor to deduct the appraised market value of their donation, but only to the limit of 30% of their AGI in any one year. Donations in excess of that can be carried forward for 5 years after the year of donation. So, in essence, one can deduct 30% of one's Adjusted Gross Income as a charitable deduction for up to six years, up to the value of the donation. One is also obligated under the tax law to take the maximum extent of the deduction claimed as soon as one can take it.
The Market Value of the land is determined by a licensed appraiser. That value is used on an IRS 1040 Tax Return, Form 8283 as a charitable contribution.
With an outright donation, ALT would own and maintain the land. We would determine the suitability of public access and provide for (trails, parking etc.) if appropriate.
A developer who donates land can only claim its cost as a tax deduction not the Market Value.
2012 Land Donation Example
Mrs. Joan duPont III, inspired by her love of nature, donated the 34-acre Randall's Farm in Easton to the Land Trust in 2012. As a long-time land trust member who grew up in Easton, Mrs. duPont is a strong supporter of land conservation.
"I grew up in this area," said Mrs. duPont, "and I have long enjoyed the beauty and serenity of farmland that is now becoming scarce. I am very pleased to be part of establishing a nature preserve like this which future generations can enjoy."
For more information on this generous donation, please see the below articles:
Or visit the land trust's blogpost @http://aspetucklandtrust.blogspot.com/2012/06/randalls-farm-nature-preserve-grand.html