Conservation easements monkey business: Colorado state audit staff recommends wholesale fixes to program

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From The Denver Post (David Migoya):

In a 107-page report, Auditor Dianne Ray said legislative efforts to fix the program since abuses were uncovered in 2007 haven’t been enough to ensure millions of dollars in tax credits are actually valid.

The Department of Revenue administers the program, which is intended to compensate individuals who donate their land to protect it from future development, but the agency hasn’t been able to prevent additional abuses, the report noted.

The agency’s tax examiners “do not sufficiently document their reviews of conservation easement tax credit claims and uses,” the report says. “More changes need to be made to strengthen the administration (of the program) to ensure that tax credits being claimed and used by taxpayers are valid.”

Agency officials agreed with 12 recommendations for change, saying the bulk of them would be in place by July 2013.

More conservation easements coverage here and here.

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