On July 30, 2021, the Office of Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released a Chief Counsel Advice Memorandum 202130014 on the requirements of I.R.C. Section 170(h) and Treas. Reg. Section 1.170A014(g)(6)(ii) for an extinguishment proceeds clause in a conservation easement.  Citing PBBM-Rose Hill, Ltd. v. Commissioner and Coal Property Holdings, LLC v.

On June 23, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in TOT Property Holdings upheld the denial of a charitable deduction for a conservation easement on the grounds that the donated  conservation easement was not protected in perpetuity under I.R.C. § 170(h)(5)(A).  The denial was based once again on an improper proceeds

Today the Biden Administration released a preliminary report to the National Climate Task Force titled Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful.  The report provides a vision and plan to preserve at least 30% of the country’s land and waters by 2030 with a locally led America the Beautiful campaign.
Continue Reading America the Beautiful Campaign: The Next Step for the 30×30 Goal

On April 19, 2021, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced the formation of the Office of Promoter Investigations (OPI) (IR-2021-88) to increase the focus of the IRS on the promoters of abusive tax avoidance transactions, including abusive syndicated conservation easements.  The new OPI will coordinate the efforts of various business divisions, including Large

In a previous post, we noted that the Colorado Department of Revenue (CDOR) was considering revisions to conservation easement tax credit regulations, and on March 17, 2021, those revisions were adopted.  Rule 39-22-104(3)(g), Rule 39-22-304(2)(f) and Rule 39-22-522 will become effective on April 30, 2021.  As a reminder, the amendments are intended to conform the regulations to House Bill 19-1264 signed into law on June 3, 2019, which included a number of substantive revisions to the conservation easement enabling statute (C.R.S. § 38-30.5-101, et seq.) and the conservation easement tax credit program in Colorado.
Continue Reading Colorado Department of Revenue Adopts Revised Conservation Easement Tax Credit Regulations

Bloomberg reported today about the criminal prosecutions of two promoters of syndicated conservation easements.  The article details the guilty pleas of two brothers, Stein Agee and Corey Agee, to federal tax-fraud conspiracy charges.  Their scheme involved classic syndication collaboration with lawyers, accountants and appraisers to sell shares in entities donating conservations easements and then overvaluing

On February 17, 2021, Douglas Land Conservancy (DLC) and Douglas County partnered to protect 2,558 acres with perpetual conservation easements on two Douglas County open space properties.  Sandstone Ranch (2,038 acres) and the Schmidt Construction Open Space (520 acres) were both acquired by Douglas County in cooperation with the Chatfield Reservoir Mitigation Company to provide mitigation for the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse as part of the Chatfield Storage Reallocation Project.  The purchase of Sandstone Ranch was also completed with funding from Great Outdoors Colorado
Continue Reading Douglas Land Conservancy Protects 2,558 Acres in Douglas County