The IRS and Treasury Department have become aware that some promoters are syndicating conservation easement transactions that purport to give investors the opportunity to claim charitable contribution deductions in amounts that significantly exceed the amount invested. In these syndicated conservation easement transactions, a promoter offers prospective investors in a partnership or other pass-through entity the possibility of a charitable contribution deduction for donation of a conservation easement.
The IRS says it intends to challenge the purported tax benefits from transactions that are the same or similar to the one described above based on the overvaluation of the conservation easement. The IRS may also challenge the tax benefits from this transaction based on the partnership anti-abuse rules, economic substance, or other rules or doctrines.
Notice 2017-10 provides that transactions that were entered into on or after January 1, 2010 are “listed transactions” subject to disclosure with the Office of Tax Shelter Analysis. In addition, material advisors (as defined by the IRS) to the transaction will also be required to file a Material Advisor Disclosure Statement with the Office of Tax Shelter Analysis.
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