By: Fred Stokeld
May 9, 2018
Legislation to prevent abuse of a popular tax break for land donations is being hailed by a land conservation organization as a solution but criticized as misguided by another conservation group…
…There has been no action on H.R. 4459 or S. 2436 since they were introduced. Faeth said IRS reform bills currently before Congress would be good vehicles for the legislation.
But Randy Bampfield of the Partnership for Conservation, which was established to encourage private sector participation in land conservation, says the legislation does not address the underlying problem: valuation.
“To the extent that there are any challenges with respect to conservation easement donations, the problem is always in the valuation, in the appraisal,” Bampfield told Tax Analysts. “This legislation does nothing to look at the underlying appraisal to judge whether or not it is accurate and correctly done. It simply eliminates a certain class of donation regardless of the actual economic realities of the transaction and just casts them aside and says these are not permissible.”
Bampfield, a member of the IRS Conservation Easement Issue Management Team when he worked in the IRS Office of Chief Counsel, said the Partnership for Conservation is working on legislative proposals to enhance appraisal requirements…