Do you own real estate property far from the suburban sprawl? If you donate a part of the property as a "conservation easement" to a qualified charity you can realize a big tax deduction without relinquishing ownership of the property. Depending on the nature of the easement, you might endure only minor intrusions or inconveniences as a result of your donation.
The IRS allows a deduction for conservation purposes in four specific situations:
There is one catch. If you donate a conservation easement to charity, it must be made "in perpetuity." This means that your heirs or any succeeding owners can't develop the land for other uses, such as a golf course or ski lodge. This restriction lasts forever, so weigh your options carefully if you are considering a charitable easement.
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