- The Trust shall honor privacy concerns of prospective donors.
- The Trust shall notify prospective land or easement donors who may claim a federal or state income tax deduction, or state tax credit, that the project must meet the requirements of Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 170 and the accompanying Treasury Department regulations and/or any other federal or state requirements.
- The Trust shall refrain from giving legal, financial, or tax advice, and shall recommend in writing that each party to a land or easement transaction obtain independent legal advice. The Trust shall not make any assurances as to whether a prospective easement or land donation will be deductible, what monetary value of the gift the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and/or state will accept, what the resulting tax benefits of the deduction will be, or whether a donor’s appraisal is accurate.
- The Trust shall make available to prospective fee interest or conservation easement donors, or direct them to, guidance from the IRS or other reputable sources, such as Land Trust Alliance (www.lta.org), Pennsylvania Land Trust Association (www.conserveland.org), or the Appraisal Standards Board of the Appraisal Foundation (www.appraisalfoundation.org), as to the requirements for a qualified appraisal for conservation easement or fee interest donations. Information about appraisers may be furnished to prospective donors if there is a clearly communicated disclaimer that the Trust is not requiring or recommending the employment of any particular appraiser.
5. The Trust shall inform prospective fee interest or conservation easement donors:
A) That representatives of the Trust and /or its counsel may, but are not obligated to, communicate directly with the appraiser selected by the donor and furnish information pertinent to the appraisal, either before or after delivery of the appraisal.
B) That the appraisal may, but need not, be reviewed for conformance with information pertinent to the property obtained by the Trust in the course of its conservation planning activities.
C) If the appraisal is based upon one or more assumptions that are, in the opinion of the Trust or counsel for the Trust, incorrect or materially misleading.
6. The Trust shall provide the following notifications in writing to prospective land or easement donors:
A) Internal Revenue Code requirements for a qualified appraisal prepared by a qualified appraiser for a gift of property valued at more than $5,000, including information on the timing of the appraisal.
B) That the donor is responsible for any determination of the value of the donation.
C) That the donor should use a qualified appraiser who follows the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice.
D) That the Trust will request a copy of the completed appraisal.
E) That the Trust will not knowingly participate in projects where it has significant concerns about the tax deduction.
Adopted by the Westmoreland Land Trust Board of Directors on September 24, 2008.
The mission of the Westmoreland Land Trust is to conserve and steward lands and waters of Westmoreland County that harbor ecological, scenic or recreational qualities to offer a healthier and more sustainable future for all.