You may qualify to claim this credit if:

You give, or “convey,” land, or the right to use land (an “easement”) to a public or private nonprofit group for one of the approved uses below. The gift must be permanent (assured in perpetuity). The land can never be developed for another use.

The approved land uses are:  

  • Agricultural use
  • Forest use
  • Natural resource and biodiversity conservation
  • Historic preservation
  • Natural resource based outdoor recreation and education
  • Watershed prevention
  • Preservation of scenic open space
  • Conservation and open space designated by local governments

Nonprofit groups that you give the land or easement to must be classified as 501(c)3 nonprofits by the IRS.

What is it?

An income tax credit equal to 40% of the fair market value of the land at the time of the donation, as determined by a qualified appraiser

Is there a cap?

Yes. Virginia Tax can issue no more than $75 million in land preservation tax credits each year. We issue these on a first come, first served basis. Each taxpayer can claim up to $20,000 in land preservation tax credits per year. For individual limits for earlier years, please see Schedule CR Instructions.

To apply for the credit:

We can only issue $75 million in land preservation tax credits each year. To receive credits, you must apply by December 31 of the 2nd year following the year the donation was recorded.

Please allow up to 90 days for processing. We can’t guarantee that an application postmarked after November 1 will be processed by the end of the year, so apply early.  

All applications must include:

  • 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 of the full appraisal
  • A signed statement or notarized affidavit from the appraiser
  • Baseline Documentation Report (BDR) 

Requests over $1 Million: All credit requests of $1 million or more must be submitted to us and the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). We can’t issue credits for more than $1 million until DCR verifies them. Visit the DCR website for more information.

Using this credit

Claim the land preservation tax credits by completing Schedule CR and attaching it to your Virginia income tax return. If you were the one who originally gave the land or granted the easement, the "donor," you may carry forward any unused credits for up to 10 years, for most taxpayers. If you received the credit from someone else, the carry forward period is up to 11 years from the date that the credit was originally issued.

Leaving your credits to a designated beneficiary

You can leave your unused credits to someone you name in your will, bequest, or other document, regardless of when the donor earned the credits. If a donor dies without a will, any unused credits will transfer to the next person who is eligible to receive them according to Virginia law.

These credits are also transferrable. See Transferring a Land Preservation Tax Credit for more information.