Lessons on Charitable Conservation Contributions from Scheidelman v. Commissioner

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On July 14, 2010, the U.S. Tax Court issued its opinion in Scheidelman v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2010-151, and the decision provides conservation easement professionals with two important lessons. First, it is critical to have a qualified appraisal that satisfies the requirements of the Treasury Regulations and adequately substantiates the value of the easement, by explaining the methodology used and the property-specific facts forming the basis of the valuation determination. Second, a cash payment by the taxpayer to the easement holder is not considered a deductible charitable contribution if the payment is required by the easement holder as a condition of accepting the easement.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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