Wednesday, January 25, 2012

IRS Conservation Easement Audit Techniques Guide

The IRS has issued a Conservation Easement Audit Techniques Guide. The Guide provides that it is not an official pronouncement of the law or the position of the IRS, and it cannot be used, cited, or relied upon as such. The Guide nonetheless provides a summary of many of the requirements that must be met to be eligible for a federal charitable income tax deduction for the donation of a conservation easement under IRC § 170(h). The Guide also alerts readers to issues that may be considered and raised on audit. The Guide is periodically updated to reflect case law and other developments.

For a general discussion of the IRS’s use of Audit Techniques Guides, see Charles P. Rettig, IRS Audit Techniques Guides and Current Tax Enforcement Priorities. Rettig explains that “[t]he IRS Audit Techniques Guides (ATGs) focus on developing highly trained examiners for a particular market segment or issue.”


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