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Two U.S. Tax Court decisions in the cases of Pine Mountain Preserve (2018) and Carter (2020) raised questions regarding the permitted extent, use, size and location of building rights in deductible conservation easements, including bargain sales. Donors, their attorneys and land trusts must take these decisions into account when deciding whether and how to permit appropriate building rights, including siting building areas and permitting structures and surface alterations outside of building areas.

The Land Trust Alliance has taken steps to address this situation on behalf of its members both with the IRS and the U.S. Treasury, and by filing friend of the court briefs in Tax Court and appellate courts. While we continue to press our case in the courts, please evaluate your easement template with your land trust attorney in light of the issues and options.

Full Title: Pointers for Balancing Risk When Permitting Structures on Deductible Conservation Easements After Tax Court and Appellate Decisions

Updated 10/27/20

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Land Trust Alliance

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