In Theodore R. Rolfs, et ux. V. Comm’r, 135 T.C. No. 24 (11/4/2010), the Tax Court denied a charitable contribution deduction for donation of a house to the local fire department where the value of the demolition services that the taxpayer would receive exceeded the value of the donated property. The taxpayers had bought the 3-acre property on which the house sat several years before they donated the house and decided to tear down the lake house and build a new house in its place. After donating the house to the local fire department for use in firefighter and police training exercises, and eventual demolition, the taxpayers claimed a $76,000 income tax charitable deduction, based on an appraisal that they received from a local realtor. The IRS’s experts, however, stated that the value of the home was de minimis when taken apart from the land. In analyzing the quid pro quo argument set forth by the IRS, the Tax Court was persuaded, in part, by the fact that the taxpayers had lacked donative intent – they had determined to burn the house down prior to deciding to donate it, so that they expected to receive a benefit. Thus, the court ruled that no deduction was allowed, as the value of the services that the taxpayers received was greater than the value of what they donated to charity.
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No charitable contribution deduction for donation of house to local fire department where value of demolition services exceeded value of property
- Proskauer Rose LLP
- Elaine Bucher, Albert W Gortz, George D Karibjanian, David Pratt, Mitchell M Gaswirth and Andrew M Katzenstein
- December 6 2010
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