Donating an Easement
The property owner who donates a conservation easement may receive a tax benefit in return under current tax laws. The value of the donation qualifies as a charitable contribution, which is deductible for federal and D.C. income, estate, and gift tax purposes.
The deduction – equal to the diminution in value resulting from burdening the property with the easement’s restrictions – is determined by a professional appraiser selected and hired by the donor. How much is the typical deduction? Because each property is unique, there is no set formula for estimating the value – it depends on the property and the nature of the restrictions that the easement imposes.
Does My Building Qualify?
Generally, a property either listed on the National Register of Historic Places or granted Part I Certification (greater than 50 years old and in a registered historic district) will qualify for the tax deduction associated with donation. Because tax law is complex and certain qualifications or exceptions could apply to your situation you should consult your tax advisor before donating. The L’Enfant Trust reserves the right to accept or decline any proposed donation.
If You Wish to Donate
If donation is for you, let us help you. Follow the 10 steps as outlined in our Donation Procedures Form and Checklist. You may download all documents you’ll need for donation by clicking below. Or, if you prefer, contact The L’Enfant Trust at 202-483-4880 and we will mail you an application packet.
Application Forms in PDF format
Donation Procedures Form and Checklist
Part I Certification Application
(If you are unable to view the fillable form above, please click on the download button in the upper right hand corner of the screen and save it to your computer. Once saved, you should be able to open the document using Abode Acrobat 8 or higher.)
Part I Certification Guidelines
Standard Deed of Gift
Dear Lender Letter
Donor Statement of Understanding
Finding an Appraiser
Please see a list of appraisers at:
If you are too busy or otherwise disinclined to complete the donation yourself, you may want to contact one of the listed easement processors.*
David Brooks Consulting
Kelsey & Associates
Paul K. Williams
*The L’Enfant Trust does not endorse any particular processor. These are the names of local processors who have submitted easement donation documents on behalf of their clients.