News & Events

Can I “gift” my land instead? And what are the tax benefits?

Author: Stephanie Wiegand | 06/20/16

Yes. Gifts to Jefferson Land Trust can help protect some of our area’s most beautiful lands while providing tax benefits to the donor. Below is a summary of tax-saving gift arrangements and ideas you may want to consider in your financial and estate plans.

Tax laws change. Professional financial counsel is essential since each donor’s tax situation is unique. You should consult your attorney or tax planner for more complete details.

  • Outright Gifts:
 Cash gifts are the simplest way to get a tax deduction while also supporting Jefferson Land Trust. However, donations of other assets, such as real estate, securities, closely held stock or life insurance, may be more appropriate to your situation.
 Real estate that meets our acquisition criteria will be protected in its natural state or according to terms and conditions outlined in a conservation easement. Other donated real estate, such as homes, vacant lots or commercial and industrial properties, may be sold (with development restrictions, if appropriate), with the proceeds contributed to Jefferson Land Trust. Gifts of appreciated real estate held long-term may entitle you to an income tax deduction for its full fair market value, subject to certain limitations.
  • Limits on Deductions:
 Taxpayers cannot eliminate all of their taxable income by making charitable donations, no matter how large the donation. In general, the deduction for charitable donations of appreciated property cannot exceed 30% of the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income, although any excess amount may be carried forward and deducted over five succeeding years. Under some circumstances, the donor may be subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). An accountant or tax lawyer can determine whether the AMT would apply to your situation.