Conservation Easement Tax Credit Certificates
- A conservation easement tax credit certificate is a document issued by the Division of Real Estate (Division) that allows a landowner who donated a conservation easement to claim a credit on their state income tax return. The tax credit is not a tax deduction, but rather is a dollar-for-dollar reduction of tax liability. The tax credit certificate is transferable and can be sold only once.
- Tax credit certificates are issued for up to 50% of the value of the donated easement up to $375,000.
- The process for applying for a conservation easement tax credit certificate changed in 2014 with the introduction of a pre-approval process under Senate Bill 13-221. Therefore, the process required to apply for the tax credit certificate depends on the year of the conservation easement donation.
- Prior to January 1, 2014, the Department of Revenue has the authority to determine whether a conservation easement donation generating a tax credit complies with the statutory and regulatory requirements.
- How to apply for a tax credit certificate if the conservation easement was donated in 2011, 2012 or 2013.
- For a list of the dates that individual tax credit certificates were issued by the Division for donations made in 2011, 2012 and 2013 click on the Tax Credit Certificate Issuance Date document below. Please note this listing is only periodically updated.
Tax Credit Certificate Issuance Date
- Senate Bill 13-221, went into effect January 2014 that authorizes the Division to review applications for a conservation easement tax credit certificate.
- Under Senate Bill 13-221, the Conservation Easement Oversight Commission (Commission) has the authority to assess whether conservation easement donations are qualified conservation contributions and, the Division Director has authority to determine whether the donation is supported by a credible appraisal.
- The Department of Revenue no longer has jurisdiction to disallow a tax credit for issues relating to the appraisal or conservation purposes.
- As a safeguard against abuse of the tax credit, the application and review process does not guarantee the issuance of a tax credit certificate, but depends upon a positive final determination by the Director and the Commission.
- Donations that meet both requirements are issued certificates in the order in which completed applications are received by the Division.
- To learn more about the new tax credit certificate application review and how to apply for a tax credit certificate for a conservation easement donated in 2014, go to the Steps to Apply for a 2014 Tax Credit Certificate page.
Landowners may also request an optional Preliminary Advisory Opinion (PAO) for a proposed conservation easement donation in advance of the tax credit certificate application. A PAO determines whether the anticipated donation is likely to be approved for a state income tax credit.
Fees associated with an application for a tax credit certificate and a preliminary advisory opinion are in effect for the 2014 calendar year and are subject to change each year.
The process for applying for a tax credit certificate changed in 2014 with the introduction of the pre-approval process under Senate Bill 13-221. Therefore, the form required to apply for the tax credit certificate depends on the year the conservation easement was donated. Please download the appropriate application form.
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