Tenth Circuit deals blow to donor of conservation easement on land subject to mortgage

Dollar sign and wooden hammer.

Last week, the Tenth Circuit upheld the Tax Court’s decisions Mitchell v. Commissioner, 138 T.C. No. 16 (2012), mot. for reconsideration denied, T.C. Memo 2013-204, to completely deny the taxpayer’s deduction for the donation of a conservation easement where the donor failed to subordinate the mortgage on the property to the conservation easement.  A copyRead More

Fourth Circuit disallows $10 million conservation easement deduction by imposing a strict requirement that property boundaries be fixed perpetually, and Court disregards the easement’s savings clause

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Last month, the Fourth Circuit handed down its decision in Belk v. Comm’r, which is the first Appellate court opinion to interpret the Section 170(b)(2) requirement of a “qualified real property interest” in the context of donating a conservation easement.  The Fourth Circuit held that to be a “qualified real property interest,” an easement mustRead More

Favorable conservation easement bill passes: Rules for deductions extended

Time For Legal Services

We have decided that our fearless leader, David Wooldridge, is much like the biblical character Joseph, who had a dream about something happening and then it occurred. Thankfully, David’s prediction from his dream had to do with the tax extender bill that passed the Senate Tuesday night and nothing to do with droughts. That allRead More

Correction of previous conservation easement article in The Preserver

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This morning’s article “Favorable conservation easement deduction rules extended for one year” has an error. We made a mistake and jumped the gun. While we pride ourselves in being as perfect as possible, sometimes we cannot even preserve our perfection.  We are hopeful that the tax extender’s legislation will pass soon and we will be sureRead More

Favorable conservation easement deduction rules extended for one year

Irs Tax Code

Information in this blog has since been corrected. View the most recent updates here. The present rules for deductions for conservation easements are being extended retroactively for this calendar year (2014 only) under the spending bill (H.R. 5771) passed by Congress on December 13.  President Obama is expected to sign the legislation.  These rules includeRead More

Façade easement deduction denied where taxpayer promised to grant easements in exchange for assistance in seeking zoning variances from local planning board

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In Seventeen Seventy Sherman Street v. Comm’r (T.C. Memo 2014-124), the Tax Court held that an understanding between the taxpayer and a development company under which the taxpayer would grant certain conservation easements if the development company assisted in obtaining variances constituted a quid pro quo, resulting in a complete loss of the deduction forRead More

Tax Court determines donors of façade easement are entitled to limited deduction; Appraisal and tax return “substantially complied” with Treasury Regulations

Dollar sign and wooden hammer.

In Zarlengo, et al v. Commissioner (T.C. Memo. 2014-161) (Vasquez, J.), the Tax Court issued a limited “win” for the taxpayer, holding that substantial compliance with the substantiation regulations was sufficient to support the taxpayer’s claim for a façade easement donation.  The Tax Court did, however, disallow the charitable deductions claimed in the year theRead More