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Fri Jan 3, 2020, 05:22 PM

The IRS Tried to Crack Down on Rich People Using an "Abusive" Tax Deduction. It Hasn't Gone So Well.

The tax agency, Justice Department and Congress have all taken aim at a much-abused deduction exploited by wealthy investors. Yet the crackdown is having minimal impact, costing the Treasury billions.

by Peter Elkind Jan. 3, 5 a.m. EST

In March 2019, the IRS added a scheme to its annual “Dirty Dozen” list of “the worst of the worst tax scams.” That same scheme was targeted, just weeks earlier, when the U.S. Department of Justice filed a fraud lawsuit against a handful of promoters allegedly responsible for generating more than $2 billion in improper tax write-offs. And the Senate Finance Committee has been investigating that very same racket, recently demanding thousands of pages of documents from six promoters. Lawmakers from both parties have introduced legislation to halt the same practice.

The scheme they’re all trying to kill is what’s called a “syndicated conservation easement,” which the IRS calls “abusive” and says has resulted in bogus deductions for the rich that have cost the U.S. Treasury billions in revenues.

A conservation easement, in its original, legitimate form, is granted when a landowner permanently protects pristine land from development. In that scenario, the public enjoys the benefit of undeveloped land and the taxpayer gets a charitable deduction. By contrast, the syndicated form, created and packaged by profit-seeking middlemen known as “promoters,” involves buying up land, finding an appraiser willing to declare that it has huge development value and thus is worth many times the purchase price, then selling stakes in the deal to wealthy investors who extract tax deductions that are often five or more times what they put in. (ProPublica investigated syndicated easements in the 2017 article “The Billion-Dollar Loophole.”)

But the multifront crackdown seems to be having, at best, a limited effect. There were signs that the pace of syndicated deals has eased, according to an IRS letter to Congress in July 2018 that cited incomplete data; that’s the most recent official statement from the agency, which declined to comment for this article. And some entities doing syndicated projects have seen their business drop or have even left the field. But IRS commissioner Chuck Rettig offered a different picture to the Senate Finance Committee this spring. “Syndicated transactions have absolutely not declined,” he testified. “They’re still there.”

https://www.propublica.org/article/the-irs-tried-to-crack-down-on-rich-people-using-an-abusive-tax-deduction-it-hasnt-gone-so-well

And while this is going on, over at Treasury, Mnuchin was letting the taxpayers "get" some more trickle down tax scam ..............by that asshole Paul Ryan and his libertarian BS.......................

and then we have this.........................

https://www.democraticunderground.com/1017563351

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Reply The IRS Tried to Crack Down on Rich People Using an "Abusive" Tax Deduction. It Hasn't Gone So Well. (Original post)
turbinetree Jan 3 OP
Wounded Bear Jan 3 #1
turbinetree Jan 3 #2

Response to turbinetree (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2020, 05:24 PM

1. Like they said: It's easier to crack down on poor folks...nt

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 3, 2020, 05:36 PM

2. Yepper spot on...............this next election there is going to be a new reckoning............

on this stuff.......................it's been going on for over 40+ years...................

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