Land Preservation Tax Credit
2015 Credit Cap: $75 million
Land Preservation Tax Credit PowerPoint Presentation (.PPTX 124Kb)
The Land Preservation Tax Credit (LPC) is an income tax credit of 40 percent of the value of land located in Virginia which is conveyed by taxpayers to a public or private agency for historical or conservation preservation, agricultural use, forest use, open space, and/or natural resource conservation. The conveyance must be in perpetuity
The LPC is governed by the Code of Virginia § 58.1-510 to 513 and §170(h) of the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. Donations of less-than-fee must also qualify as a charitable deduction under IRS regulations.
The amount of the credit is based on 40 percent of the fair market value of the donation as determined by a qualified appraiser in a qualified appraisal as defined by federal law and IRS regulations governing charitable contributions.
The Virginia Department of Taxation is authorized to issue no more than $100 million in LPC credits for taxable years 2013 through 2014 and $75 million each year thereafter. In order to obtain the credit, taxpayers must file Form LPC-1 to register the donation. The credits are issued on a "first-come, first-serve basis" until the cap is reached. For filings by mail or a recognized commercial delivery service, the postmark or confirmation of shipment shall determine the date of filing.
The amount of the credit that may be claimed by each taxpayer shall not exceed the following:
$50,000 for the 2000 taxable year;
$75,000 for the 2001 taxable year;
$100,000 for each of the 2002 through 2008 taxable years;
$50,000 for each of the 2009, 2010, and 2011 taxable years;
$100,000 for each of the 2012, 2013, and 2014 taxable years;
$20,000 for each of the 2015 and 2016 taxable years; and,
$50,000 for the 2017 taxable year and for each taxable year thereafter.
(However, taxpayers who make a fee simple donation of land to the Commonwealth on or after January 1, 2015, may claim credits towards their income tax payable up to $100,000 per year provided that no part of their charitable contributions deduction under § 170 of the Internal Revenue Code related to such fee simple donation is allowable by reason of a sale or exchange of property).
Any taxpayer issued a tax credit by the Department shall be allowed to use such credits for his or its taxable year beginning in the calendar year of issuance and for the succeeding 10 consecutive tax years for any unused credit, except for taxpayers affected by the credit reduction for taxable years 2009, 2010, and 2011, and 2015 and thereafter, any portion of the credit that is unused in any one taxable year may be carried over and used by the taxpayer for a maximum of 13 consecutive taxable years following the taxable year in which the credit originated until fully expended.
Taxpayers may also transfer unused credits for use by another taxpayer on Virginia income tax returns. Transferred credits must be used within 11 years from the year in which it was first issued by the Department of Taxation. Transferred credits affected by the reduction for taxable years 2009, 2010, and 2011, may be carried forward to succeeding taxable years, but in no event may such transferred credit be used more than 14 years after it was originally issued by the Department or in any taxable year.
Transferred credits are subject to a transfer fee of 2 percent of the value of the donated interest. Notification of such transfer shall be given to the Department of Taxation in accordance with procedures and the LPC-2 form as prescribed by the Commissioner. You cannot transfer credit(s) until the Department of Taxation has issued you a credit for your donation.
For Application Requests over $1 Million: All credit requests of $1 million or more must be submitted to both the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and the Department of Taxation for review. Credits will not be issued over $1 million until they have been verified by DCR.
For additional information on the LPC Credit visit the following:
- Virginia Code § 58.1-510 et al
- Laws, Rules and Decisions
- Tax Commissioner's Rulings on LPC
- Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation
Effective for conveyances made on or after July 1, 2015, a complete application for tax credit with regard to any donation must be filed with the Department of Taxation by December 31 of the year following the calendar year of the conveyance. All applications for the Land Preservation Tax Credit must include the following:
- The original Form LPC-1, its schedules and attachments
- A copy of the recorded deed of donation.
- A copy of the completed and signed IRS Form 8283.
- A copy or CD of the full appraisal.
- A signed statement from the appraiser**
** Statement from the appraiser (made under penalty of perjury that meets the requirements under Code of Virginia§ 8.01-4.3) or a notarized affidavit from the appraiser stating that the appraisal complies with Code of Virginia § 58.1-512.1(C), which states that: "Any appraisal submitted in support of an application for a credit under this article shall include an affidavit by the appraiser that to the best of his knowledge and belief the valuation complies with this section and shall set forth in the affidavit or refer to the specific portion of the appraisal setting forth the facts and basis for this knowledge and belief."
Completed applications should be mailed to:
Virginia Department of Taxation
Tax Credit Unit
P.O. Box 715
Richmond, VA 23218-0715
For general assistance call (804) 786-2992.
Effective July 1, 2015, all LPC applications must be filed on or before December 31 of the calendar year following the recorded year of the donation. The postmark will determine the date of filing and the effective year of the LPC credit.
Example: A complete application postmarked on January 1, 2016 will be issued a 2016 credit as credits are available. A complete application postmarked on December 31, 2015 will be issued a 2015 credit.
The Department is unable to guarantee that any LPC application postmarked on or after the first business day in November will be processed by the end of the year in time to make a transfer for that year. However, we will use our best efforts and resources to process applications as soon as administratively possible. You are encouraged to file your application as early as possible.
Tips on How to Avoid Delays:
- Make sure all signatures are included.
- Fill out all forms completely.
- Review a current copy of Code of Virginia §§ 58.1-512 and 512.1.
- For donations over $1 million, DCR offers a review of the conservation value prior to recordation of the easement.
- You are encouraged to consult an attorney, tax professional, or the Internal Revenue Service for advice.
- The Department is unable to guarantee that any LPC-1 application will be processed in time to make a transfer in that year. Therefore, you are encouraged to file your application as early as possible.
The credit is based on 40 percent of the fair market value of the donation as determined by a qualified appraiser in a qualified appraisal as defined by federal law and regulations governing charitable contributions.
For the purposes of the LPC, any qualified appraiser must be licensed in Virginia as provided in Virginia Code § 54.1-2011.
If the appraiser falsely or fraudulently overstates the value of the donated property, the Department of Taxation is authorized to disallow further appraisals signed by that appraiser. In addition, the Department of Taxation may disregard an appraisal it determines is false or fraudulent in determining the fair market value of the donation.
Appraisers must follow the Uniform Standard of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP), § 170(h) of the Internal Revenue Code , and Virginia Code § 58.1-512.C for all LPC donations/appraisals.
LPC Applications are subject to review and/or audit by the Department of Taxation at anytime during the application process or within the applicable statute of limitations.
- How long does it take to process my application?
For donations of less than $1 million, it may take approximately 15 business days to process a completed application. However, during our busy season (October-January), it may take approximately 30 days for processing due to the volume of applications received during this time. Applications for credits of $1 million or more may take 30-45 days to process.
- How and when does the transfer fee apply?
The fee applies when the credit is allocated, sold or transferred.
- Does the fee apply to a Disregarded Entity/Single Member LLC?
Currently, the Department’s administrative process allows us to waive the allocation fee if an entity is disregarded for federal income tax purposes (e.g., a grantor trust or a single member LLC). We can accept a copy of the federal tax return that includes the donor's information (Form 1040 Schedule C or E) and a copy of the entity’s operating agreement to support this designation.
- How do I complete Section VI - Less-Than-Fee Simple Donation?
This section should be completed by describing how the donation meets the requirements of § 170(h) of the Internal Revenue Code, as amended. Briefly describe how the donation provides conservation value: preserves wildlife, water quality, perpetual conservation and open space, scenic enjoyment, etc. Easements are less-than-fee simple because they provide partial rights to a parcel of land. A fee simple interest provides full rights and title to the land. The Department cannot accept any referrals to the deed of gift.
- Can I file my application online?
Currently, we are not able to accept applications online. We hope to offer an online application process soon.