Trying Times: Important Lessons to be Learned from Federal Tax Cases Involving Conservation Easement Donations

Texas Tech University School of Law Estate Planning & Community Property Law Journal, March 3, 2017

162 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2016 Last revised: 24 Jan 2018

See all articles by Nancy A. McLaughlin

Nancy A. McLaughlin

University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law

Stephen J. Small

Stephen J. Small, Esq., P.C.

Date Written: October 20, 2016

Abstract

Since 2005, the courts have collectively issued more than 80 opinions involving challenges to deductions claimed under IRC § 170(h) with regard to conservation and facade easement donations. This outline provides a brief history of developments in the deduction context, discusses the practical implications of the recent court decisions, and offers advice on how to file a tax return package to minimize the risk of audit. It also briefly notes various other important issues, such as the IRS's focus on valuation and syndicated deals, quid pro quo, and reserved development rights.

Keywords: conservation easement, 170(h), 8283, qualified appraisal, qualified appraiser, restricted gift, merger, bankruptcy, extinguishment, swap, recordation, valuation, syndication

JEL Classification: L31, N50, Q15, Q24, R14

Suggested Citation

McLaughlin, Nancy A. and Small, Stephen J., Trying Times: Important Lessons to be Learned from Federal Tax Cases Involving Conservation Easement Donations (October 20, 2016). Texas Tech University School of Law Estate Planning & Community Property Law Journal, March 3, 2017, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2808234 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2808234

Nancy A. McLaughlin (Contact Author)

University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law ( email )

332 South 1400 East, Rm 101
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0730
United States
801-581-5944 (Phone)
801-581-6897 (Fax)

Stephen J. Small

Stephen J. Small, Esq., P.C.

75 Federal Street, Suite 1100
Boston, MA 02110-1911
United States

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