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Former IRS Chief Counsel Attorney

Cal Bomar helps clients in syndicated conservation easement IRS audits, Tax Court, penalty abatement and promoter responsibility to pay damages caused to their clients.  While most other tax attorneys who do conservation easement tax cases represent promoters (and the partnerships they created), our firm only represents investors who purchased interests in the easements.  Some of the parties who may have been involved in syndicated conservation easement deals that flag audit and other investigations include:

  • Aprio, LLP f/k/a Habif, Arogeti & Wynne, LLP
  • Ornstein-Schuler Investments, LLC (OSI)
  • Strategic Group / (Ricky Novak & James Freeman)
  • Inland Capital (Jack Fisher / Agee, Fisher, Barrett, LLC)
  • Sixty West, LLC (a.k.a. 60 West)
  • Webb Creek Management Group, LLC
  • Evrgreen Management Group, Inc.  (aka Evergreen)(Matt Campbell)
  • EvrSource Capital (aka Eversource)(Chip Pearson)
  • Ecovest Capital, Inc.
  • GBX Group, LLC (formerly Global X)
  • Eco Terra Management, LLC
  • Effingham Managers, LLC
  • Greencone Investments, LLC
  • Awahili Alliance, LLC / (Jim Adams)
  • Old Ivy Capital Partners / (Steve Bush & Dan Carbonaro)
  • Forever Forests, LLC (Nancy Zak)
  • Credo Financial Services, LLC
  • Emerald Property Investors, LLC / (Kowan, Cordon & Graham)
  • PeachCap
  • Piedmont Private Equity
  • Sequence Financial Specialists, LLC
  • Large & Gilbert, Inc.
  • Bennett Thrasher, LLC
  • The Private Client Law Group
  • Kyle Carney
  • Carney Conservation Easement Consultants, LLC
  • Southern Conservation Group, LLC
  • Capital Conservation Consultants, LLC
  • Joseph McDonough
  • Ron Martin
  • Thomas Free

Bomar Law Firm’s principal office is in Atlanta, GA, but the firm helps clients throughout the United States in tax cases.  We place an extremely high priority on getting each client to the best result.

Conservation Easement Cases And The IRS

Conservation easement cases have become a primary focus of the IRS. IRS Commissioner Koskinen’s letter to the Senate Finance Committee confirmed that the IRS believes that most syndicated easement donation transactions are patently abusive

The cases can result in enormous tax assessments, interest and draconian penalties imposed. In some cases, there can be criminal exposure.  Two Georgia CPAs recently pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Defraud the United States and admitted to $1.2 Billion in fraudulent deductions while promoting syndicated conservation easements.

Likewise, the attorneys or others who were marketing and setting up these transactions may be targeted by the IRS for severe penalties and other actions.

In Notice 2017-10, the IRS has put taxpayers and practitioners on notice that it considers certain syndicated conservation easement transactions to be tax avoidance transaction, identifying the transactions as “listed transactions,” meaning they could be considered abusive.

Section 170(e)(1) of the Tax Code allows a deduction for a qualified conservation contribution, which is a contribution of a qualified real property interest to a qualified organization exclusively for conservation purposes. The contribution should include a restriction, granted in perpetuity on the use that can be made of the real property.

The IRS asserts that some promoters are syndicating conservation easement transactions that purport to give investors the opportunity to obtain charitable contribution deductions in amounts that significantly exceed the amount invested. In those transactions, a promoter offers prospective investors in a partnership or another pass-through entity the possibility of a charitable contribution deduction for donation of a conservation easement.

The IRS will challenge the purported tax benefits from such transactions based on the overvaluation of the conservation easement. The IRS has indicated that it may also challenge the purported tax benefits from the transaction based on the partnership anti-abuse rule, economic substance, or other rules or doctrines.

Contact Us Today

The IRS will be initiating a large number of syndicated conservation easement cases over the next few years. For a detailed analysis by a former IRS Chief Counsel lawyer of your conservation easement audit, litigation, post-settlement relief and the promoter’s responsibility to pay your damages that they caused, contact Bomar Law Firm at 404-841-6561. Cal Bomar represents taxpayers in conservation cases as well as other tax controversies. Our tax attorneys focus on guiding clients to the best possible result.