REMEMBER THE AI MAI, APPRAISAL INSTITUTE APPRAISERS WERE FIRST WARNED ABOUT TAX FRAUD IN OVERVALUATION OF CONSERVATION EASEMENTS. THEY WERE THEN SUSPENDED FROM PRACTICING BEFORE THE IRS FOR THE SAME REASONS. THEY THEN WERE FORCED TO HAVE SEMINARS ON TAX VALUATIONS TO EDUCATE THEIR MEMBERS ON TAX ISSUES. THEN THE IRS REQUIRED TWO APPRAISALS IF ONE OF THEM WAS AN IRS APPRAISER, THE OTHER HAD TO BE UNAFFILIATED. THEY WERE THEN WARNED AGAIN IN 2016 AN 2017 TO CEASE AND DESIST THEIR FRAUDULENT PRACTICES. WHEN IS CONGRESS GOING TO GET IT? THESE FOLK ARE UNEDUCATED WILLFUL FRAUDS WHO WOULD DO ANYTHING FOR A BUCK.
Dear Congressional Leaders: The undersigned organizations urge swift enactment of the Charitable Conservation Easement Program Integrity Act (H.R. 4459/S. 2436) to help close an apparent loophole relating to abusive syndicated tax shelters. As you know, the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) designated syndicated conservation easement transactions as abusive tax shelters in Notice 2017-10, published in December 2016. This means that these tax shelters are officially recognized as among the most egregious abuses of U.S. tax law. According to the Notice, the promoters of these transactions are syndicating these schemes, promising investors the opportunity to obtain charitable contribution deductions in amounts that significantly exceed their investment.
Unfortunately, IRS Notice 2017-10 has not stopped these transactions. In July, the IRS reported that promoters completed 248 abusive tax shelter deals in 2016 alone, for which investors claimed $6 billion in overinflated charitable deductions. A total of approximately $20 billion in tax deductions have been claimed since 2010. We are alarmed that proponents of these transactions are reaching out regularly to land trusts across the country with offers to participate in these abusive deals, and the frequency is increasing as we approach the end of the tax year. The bipartisan legislation introduced by Representatives Mike Thompson and Mike Kelly and Senators Steve Daines and Debbie Stabenow is narrowly targeted to ensure that tax incentives for land conservation remain available for genuine philanthropists whose priority is conserving the land we need and love. We ask that this important legislation be enacted into law before the conclusion of the 115th Congress to close this apparent loophole and maintain the integrity of conservation easement donations. https://www.appraisalinstitute.org/file.aspx?DocumentId=2182
Bill Garber, Appraisal Institute, email@example.com