IRS: Easement Audit Techniques Guide

The Internal Revenue Service publishes a “Conservation Easement Audit Techniques Guide” online at,,id=249135,00.html#_Toc223. The publication was last revised September 30, 2011, and last reviewed by the IRS November 22, 2011. The Guide begins with a table of contents in hypertext linked to the chapters of the Guide, reproduced below. In addition to summaries of the many requirements of the Internal Revenue Code and Treasury Regulations regarding qualified conservation easements, the contents includes chapters addressed to IRS personnel conducting audit examinations: “Preplanning the Examination”,”Conducting the Examination” and “Concluding the Examination”. The text includes references to court decisions to support various statements about the requirements of the Code and Regulations. The publication states, “This document is not an official pronouncement of the law or position of the Service and cannot be used, cited, or relied upon as such. This guide is current through the publication date.”

Thanks to James L. Olmsted, Esq. and Robert D. Keller for posting information about this Guide on the Land Trust Aliiance’s LANDTRUST-L Digest listserv. Jim Olmsted has also put a PDF version of the Guide on his website at

Table of contents of IRS Guide

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