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Tax Counsel Deborah M. Beers wrote an article, “No Charitable Deduction for Easement Given as ‘Quid Pro Quo’ for Zoning Approval,” that was recently published in the BNA – Tax Management Weekly Report. The article discusses what constitutes a “charitable deduction” for purposes of section 170, specifically in the case of Pollard v. Comr.

Typically, the burden is on the taxpayer to prove and substantiate the existence and amount of a charitable contribution. In Pollard v. Comr., Beer explains that the U.S. Tax Court decided that the taxpayer granted conservation easements to Boulder County as part of a quid pro quo exchange for Boulder County’s approval of a subdivision request placed by the taxpayer.

The U.S. Tax Court determined that the conservation easement did not qualify as a charitable contribution or gift pursuant of section 170(a).