Tax Court: Facade Easement Denied on Summary Judgment

The Tax Court rejected a pro se taxpayer’s deduction for the contribution of a facade easement on the government’s motion for summary judgment.

The court found in favor of respondent as a matter law based on its decision in Kaufman v. Commissioner, 134 T.C. 182 (2010). Kaufman held that where the subordination agreement to the mortgagee under the easement does not grant the donee a priority interest in the distribution of proceeds upon involuntary conversion or foreclosure, then the easement fails the perpetuity requirement of Treas. Reg. Sec. 170A-14(g)(6). Kaufman was reheard on a motion for reconsideration with the same result, 136 T.C. No. 13, and currently is under appeal to the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals.

In a final note on this decision, the respondent conceded penalties in its motion for summary judgment, which would have required a trial to satisfy the government’s burden of proof, in order to meet the requirement for summary judgment under Tax Ct. R. 121 that no material facts are in dispute.

Read the opinion here:
Wall v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo 2012-169

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