Riparian Forest Buffer Protection for Waterways Tax Credit Individuals, trusts and corporations may qualify for an income tax credit of 25% of the value of the timber on land designated as a riparian buffer for a waterway. The credit may not exceed $17,500 or the total amount of tax, whichever is less. To apply for this credit, file Department of Forestry (DOF) Form 18.8 with DOF or apply online at www.dof.virginia.gov. A riparian buffer is a wooded area of land adjacent to a waterway on which timber may be harvested. In order to receive the credit, the owner of the land must refrain from harvesting more than 50% of the timber from tracts designated as riparian buffers. The buffer must be at least 35 feet wide and no more than 300 feet. There must also be a Forest Stewardship Plan and annual certification of compliance for each tract. The buffer must remain in place for at least 15 years. The land that is the subject of this credit cannot be the subject of this credit again for 15 years after it was first taken. The credit may be carried over for the succeeding 5 taxable years. For more information, contact: Virginia Department of Forestry, 900 Natural Resources Dr., Suite 800, Charlottesville, VA 22903, or call (434) 977-6555.