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Conservation Easement Tax Issues: Recent IRS Enforcement, Structuring and Defending Easement Transactions

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE/CPE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
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Conducted on Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE/CPE course will provide guidance to tax counsel and advisers on critical tax issues concerning conservation easement transactions. The panel will discuss critical elements in structuring conservation easement transactions to minimize IRS assessments and audits, recent IRS enforcement actions, and managing IRS examinations, as well as offer techniques in defending conservation easement transactions.


The IRS has significantly increased enforcement actions for syndicated conservation easements. This crackdown on conservation easement transactions forces taxpayers, tax counsel, and advisers to identify and recognize key tax issues in structuring these transactions.

A conservation easement is a legally enforceable perpetual land preservation agreement between a landowner and either a government agency or a qualified land protection organization (such as a land trust) for the conservation of the land and its resources. Grantors within these transactions can take advantage of significant tax benefits so long as the easement meets IRS approval where there is a donation.

Typically, charitable deductions are not allowed for these transactions, but IRC Sections 170(h)(1) through (h)(5) and Treas. Reg. 1.170A-14 provide for an exception. A charitable contribution deduction is allowed for the fair market value of the conservation easement donated to certain charitable organizations, subject to a limitation on the amounts.

Limitations on the deduction lead to the setup of syndications to purchase land for the conservation easements. This results in high deductions for taxpayers and heightened scrutiny by the IRS.

Listen as our authoritative panel of tax attorneys discusses critical elements in structuring conservation easement transactions, minimizing IRS assessments and audits, and recent IRS enforcement actions, as well as offers techniques in defending conservation easement transactions.



  1. Benefits and limitations of conservation easements
  2. Tax benefits for donors and applicable tax regulations
  3. IRS enforcement actions
  4. Defending and litigating conservation easement tax matters


The panel will review these and other crucial issues:

  • What are the key tax considerations for structuring conservation easements?
  • What are the income regulations applicable to conservation easement transactions?
  • What factors are considered by the IRS in reviewing conservation easement transactions?
  • How can taxpayers and their counsel effectively defend and litigate conservation easement tax issues?


Brown, Sandra
Sandra R. Brown

Hochman Salkin Toscher Perez

Ms. Brown’s practice focuses on individuals and organizations who are involved in criminal tax investigations,...  |  Read More

Stein, Michel
Michel R. Stein

Hochman Salkin Toscher Perez

Mr. Stein specializes in tax controversies, as well as tax planning for individuals, businesses and corporations. For...  |  Read More

Toscher, Steven
Steven (Steve) Toscher

Managing Principal
Hochman Salkin Toscher Perez

Mr. Toscher has been representing clients for more than 35 years before the Internal Revenue Service, the Tax Divisions...  |  Read More

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Strafford will process CLE credit for one person on each recording. CPE credit is not available on recordings. All formats include course handouts.

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