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ASA, Eleven Other Organizations Urge Passage of the Charitable Conservation Easement Program Integrity Act

Nov 18, 2020

The American Society of Appraisers, along with eleven other organizations, signed a letter to congressional leaders calling for immediate passage of the Charitable Conservation Easement Program Integrity Act (S.4751). In September, the bipartisan Senate Finance Committee investigation confirmed reports of continued abuse of conservation easement tax deductions, despite steps taken to halt syndicated conservation easements. By passing S. 4751, the integrity of the conservation easement program will be preserved, taxpayers will save billions of dollars, and acres of irreplaceable lands will be protected from misuse.

Data released by the IRS shows the continuous and widespread scope of the abuse. From 2010 to 2017, $27 billion in syndicated easements were deducted. In 2016 the IRS issued a notice that warned promoters of potential repercussions due to involvement in these tax shelters. Despite the notice, reports indicate unwarranted deductions rose 53% from 2016 to 2018. While there is no available data for 2019, indications point towards an upwards trajectory as the promoters of these abusive transactions remain undeterred. Passage of the Charitable Conservation Easement Program Integrity Act is necessary to prevent these promoters from further abuse and costing tax payers billions of dollars.

ASA supports the passage of S. 4751. To read S. 4751, click here. To read the letter sent to congressional leaders from ASA, along with eleven other organizations, click here.