IRS Issues Safe Harbor Provisions for Conservation Easements With Compliance Deadline of July 24, 2023

April 14, 2023 |

Summer sunset with a red barn and silos in rural Montana with Rocky Mountains in the background.

On April 10, 2023, the IRS issued Notice 2023-30, which sets forth safe harbor deed language for conservation easement deeds and provides a limited window of time for noncompliant taxpayers to amend their conservation easement deeds to correct certain easement clauses.  A copy of Notice 2023-30 can be found at this link [Notice 2023-30].  There has been substantial administrative tax controversy and litigation in recent years surrounding a variety of technical requirements for conservation easements involving charitable contributions, leading to uncertainty as to whether a deed satisfies the requirements of the Internal Revenue Code and Treasury Regulations.

On December 29, 2022, Congress enacted the SECURE 2.0 Act directing the IRS to publish safe harbor deed language for extinguishment clauses and boundary line adjustments within 120 days after enactment of the SECURE 2.0 Act.

Notice 2023-30 gives affected taxpayers until July 24, 2023, to sign and record amended conservation easement deeds that satisfy the safe harbors for extinguishment clauses and boundary line adjustments clauses, two provisions which have led to confusion in conservation easement litigation.

If you have a conservation easement involving a charitable contribution tax deduction, please contact our office for assistance in evaluating whether you may benefit from utilizing the safe harbor provisions during this limited window that expires on July 24, 2023.