CONSERVATION EASEMENT SPECIALISTS
“Keeping America Green Again”
Protecting the Environment & Significant Tax Savings
A Win-Win, But You Must Do It Right
How would you like to help protect the beauty and future of the environment, while at the same time receiving a large tax benefit to do so? Sound to good to be true? It isn’t. Conservation Easements offer taxpayers the ability to do this, but its critical that you follow all the rules and work with a reputable sponsor to help you arrange this transaction.
You may be asking yourself what is a Conservation Easement? If you live in the Northeast, you’re not alone. These transactions have been quite popular in the South and out West, but many of us “Yankees” are not as familiar with the concept. Basically, under section 170(h) of the tax code, landowners can agree not to ever develop a piece of their land, thereby preserving its natural state by creating a permanent easement and transferring the easement to a qualified land trust. They can then deduct the reduced value of that land from their income and potentially save a large amount in taxes.
If you don’t personally own land to donate right now, not to worry. You can enter into a real estate partnership or syndicate that finds the land, works with a land trust, and whose managers do a significant amount of work to make sure the subject properties and the transactions comply with all the requirements of section 170(h).
There is one issue, however. The potential for significant tax benefits that accompany this concept have attracted unscrupulous promoters who have exploited Conservation Easements by vastly overvaluing properties, taking very unrealistic tax deductions, and generally breaking the rules. These promoters have gone so far that the IRS has targeted them by making this a “Listed Transaction”. Taxpayers who take this charitable deduction must fill out a form and report the fact that they are a partner in a Conservation Easement.
For individuals and partnerships doing it the right way, this is not a problem though. The IRS has yet to prevail in a case where the taxpayer has followed all the rules. This makes is critically important to consider who is sponsoring, analyzing, and preparing the documentation for any proposed easement.
At the National Network of Accountants we have a decade long track record of helping our clients find Conservation Easement transactions that are suitable and help them reap all the tax and environmental benefits available. If you are interested, the transaction must be completed by year end to qualify for tax benefits in 2019, so please contact us at (516) 629-9063 or click below as soon as possible.