Eversheds Sutherland 11th Circuit Business Blog
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Conservation Easements with a Limited Reservation of Development Rights Are Potentially Deductible

In Pine Mountain Preserve LLLP v. Commissioner, 2020 WL 6193897 (11th Cir. Oct. 22, 2020), the Eleventh Circuit was asked whether a grantor’s reservation of limited development rights prevents a conservation easement from satisfying the requirements to claim a charitable deduction under the qualified conservation contribution rules of section 170(h) of the Internal Revenue Code. In an...

Existence of a Golf Course Does Not Prevent Tax Deduction for Conservation Easement

In Champions Retreat Golf Founders, LLC v. Commissioner, 2020 WL 2462534 (11th Cir. May 13, 2020), the Eleventh Circuit was asked to review whether the grant of a conservation easement over a golf course was made “exclusively for conservation purposes”—a requirement to receive a charitable contribution deduction. In an opinion by visiting Judge Robert L. Hinkle of the Northern District...

How Accountable Are You for Your Accountant’s Tax Fraud? The Eleventh Circuit Decides Not to Answer.

In Finnegan v. Commissioner, 2019 WL 2428109 (11th Cir. June 11, 2019), the Eleventh Circuit was asked to review whether a taxpayer may be indefinitely held responsible for the fraud of its paid tax return preparer. It is a question of special interest to small business owners that rely on an outside accountant to help with their taxes. Ultimately, the court chose not to answer the...

Eleventh Circuit Avoids Controversial Interpretative Question on S Corporation Taxation

In Meruelo v. Commissioner, 2019 WL 1986618 (11th Cir. May 6, 2019), the Eleventh Circuit was tasked with reviewing a controversial Tax Court decision regarding the basis created by a subchapter S corporation’s indebtedness to its shareholders. Meruelo v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2018-16. In Judge William Pryor’s opinion, the court determined the case on its facts, never addressing the...

Reinvestment of Tax Shelter Proceeds Is Not a Valid “Business Purpose”

The Eleventh Circuit last week decided a tax case exploring the appropriate scope of factual review for the economic substance and business purpose doctrines. Curtis Investment Co. v. Commissioner, 2018 WL 6380325 (11th Cir. Dec. 6, 2018). These two doctrines allow courts and the IRS to make a substance-over-form review of suspected tax avoidance activities. In order to claim a tax...

Forfeited Deposit Not Capital Gain in Real Estate Deal

In a case of first impression, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed that a taxpayer could not treat as long-term capital gain its retention of a nonrefundable deposit after a would-be buyer defaulted on an agreement to purchase real property used in the taxpayer’s trade or business. CRI-Leslie, LLC v. Comm’r, 882 F.3d 1026 (11th Cir. 2018). Under the facts of the case, the taxpayer,...

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