Do you own undeveloped real estate that you would like to preserve in its pristine state? There’s a way to accomplish this goal and claim a current tax deduction while you still retain ownership of the property.
Strategy: Donate a “conservation easement” to a qualified charitable organization. The easement generally allows others to enjoy the land or its views and wildlife. As long as certain requirements are met, you can deduct the value of the benefit donated to the charity.
What’s more, you still own the land, subject to the restrictions imposed by the easement. If you later sell the property, the easement remains in place. So the new owners can’t build a golf course or condo development on the site.
How much is the deduction? The IRS says the deduction is equal to the difference between the fair market value (FMV) without the easement and the FMV with it.
Best approach: Have an independent party appraise the property. Us...(register to read more)