Virginia allows an income tax credit for 40 percent of the value of donated land or conservation easements. Taxpayers may use up to $20,000 per year in 2015 and 2016 and then $50,000 per year in subsequent tax years. Tax credits may be carried forward for up to 13 years. Unused credits may be sold, allowing individuals with little or no Virginia income tax burden to take advantage of this benefit.
To be eligible for tax credits, the easement must qualify as a charitable deduction under the IRS Code and meet additional requirements under the Virginia Land Conservation Incentives Act.
DCR is responsible for verifying the conservation value of Land Preservation Tax Credits for all donations of land or conservation easements for which the donor claims a state tax credit of $1 million or more. These applicants must meet the Conservation Value Review Criteria adopted by the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation Board (VLCF). Donors claiming less than $1 million in tax credits should apply directly to the Virginia Department of Taxation, not through DCR.