By Richard Rubin | The Wall Street Journal
WASHINGTON—Deals using tax breaks for land conservation are often based on inflated property appraisals and sham partnerships, a Senate panel found.
The bipartisan Finance Committee report, released Tuesday, calls for legislation to curb the deals and for even tougher enforcement from the Internal Revenue Service, which has been clamping down on the transactions for years.
The report draws on e-mails between investors and promoters to document how deals were engineered to generate tax breaks worth more than what people put in.
“It’s important to keep an eye on potential legislation meant to reform conservation easement. It seems that the impetus to do so is there considering that the Senate report’s finding received bipartisan support. Aside from potential caps on deductions, we will also be on the lookout for tougher enforcement penalties.”– Thomas Galvin, Rose Law Group Attorney