The IRS has issued safe harbor deed language that may be used to amend eligible easement deeds intended to qualify for conservation contribution deductions under Code Sec. 170(f)(3)(B)(iii), to comply with changes to the law created by section 605(d) of the SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022. If a donor substitutes the prescribed safe harbor deed language for the corresponding language in the original eligible easement deed, and the amended deed is then signed by the donor and donee and recorded on or before July 24, 2023, the amended eligible easement deed will be treated as effective for purposes of Code Sec. 170 and section 605(d)(2) of the SECURE 2.0 Act. If these requirements are met, the amendment must be treated as effective from the date of the recording of the original easement deed.

The following are not considered an“eligible easement deed for purposes of this safe harbor – any easement deed relating to any contribution:

  • which is not treated as a qualified conservation contribution by reason of Code Sec. 170(h)(7);
  • which is part of a reportable transaction under Code Sec. 6707A(c)(1), or is described in Notice 2017-10;
  • if a deduction under Code Sec. 170 has been disallowed, the donor has contested such disallowance, and a case is docketed in federal court to resolve this dispute scheduled on a date before the date the amended deed is recorded by the donor; or
  • if a claimed contribution deduction under Code Sec. 170 resulted in an underpayment penalty under either Code Sec. 6662 or 6663, and such penalty has been finally determined administratively or by final court decision.

If the safe harbor language is substituted according to the requirements spelled out in this Notice, the amended eligible easement deed will be treated as effective as of the date the eligible easement deed was originally recorded for federal purposes, regardless of whether the amended eligible easement deed is effective retroactively under the relevant state law.