The chairman and the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee have requested information including appraisals, promotional materials, and internal documents from 14 individuals involved in a tax avoidance scheme known as a syndicated easement. The IRS and the Justice Department are also investigating instances where individuals have received tax benefits in excess of their investment. “There are very legitimate purposes for the conservation easement provisions of the tax code,” Grassley said in a statement. “But when a handful of individuals cook up a scheme to cash in at the expense of federal revenue and in violation of Congress’s intent, something needs to change. There’s no reason that the rest of the taxpaying American public should be left with such a raw deal. This is just our first step in getting to the bottom of how these tax provisions are being abused, and it will inform what else ought to be done to fix the problem.”
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