Proper - and Improper - Deductions for Conservation Easement Donations, Including Developer Donations

Posted: 9 Oct 2004

Abstract

In this article, the author notes that a small number of bad conservation easement deals threaten to poison the well for otherwise successful, appropriate, and important private land conservation transactions if IRS enforcement is not targeted at the promoters, appraisers, and others engaged in the bad deals. Small also discusses the main tax and planning hurdles that make it difficult for a real estate developer to get a meaningful income tax deduction for the donation of a conservation easement, including the tricky question of whether a conservation easement is characterized as a capital asset or inventory. Finally, Small makes suggestions for better enforcement in this area, including presenting a list of questions the IRS might ask on a revised Form 8283, Noncash Charitable Contributions, or other reporting form. A shorter version of this article was originally written for Exchange, the quarterly publication of the Land Trust Alliance, and is scheduled to appear in the fall issue.

Suggested Citation

Small, Stephen J., Proper - and Improper - Deductions for Conservation Easement Donations, Including Developer Donations. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=602804

Stephen J. Small (Contact Author)

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

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

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