Down the Rabbit Hole With the IRS’ Challenge to Perpetual Conservation Easements, Part One

27 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2021

See all articles by Jessica Jay

Jessica Jay

Vermont Law School; University of Denver Sturm College of Law

Date Written: February 1, 2021

Abstract

When the Internal Revenue Service began disallowing gifts of perpetual conservation easements for claimed failures of perpetuity requirements, it tumbled land trusts, landowners, and the U.S. Tax Court down the rabbit hole to a baffling land below. The Service’s drop into matters beyond valuation and into elements intended and necessary for easement durability and flexibility has caused a confusing array of Tax Court decisions. Part One of this two-part Article examines how the Service lures the land conservation community and the Tax Court into Wonderland distortions, and the precarious tower of cards upon which its legal theories rest. Part Two, in the next issue, will identify the fundamental elements of law and the process of law to topple the Service’s card construct, and awaken and return everyone to the world above ground.

Keywords: conservation easement, perpetuity, perpetual, charitable contribution, IRS, Service, U.S. Tax Court, tax deduction, taxes, deductible

Suggested Citation

Jay, Jessica, Down the Rabbit Hole With the IRS’ Challenge to Perpetual Conservation Easements, Part One (February 1, 2021). Environmental Law Reporter, Vol. 51, No. 2, 10136, 2021, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3778017

Jessica Jay (Contact Author)

Vermont Law School ( email )

68 North Windsor Street
P.O. Box 60
South Royalton, VT 05068
United States

University of Denver Sturm College of Law ( email )

2255 E. Evans Avenue
Denver, CO 80208
United States

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