A tax-gaming tactic that former President Donald Trump is accused of using to reap millions of dollars in fraudulent tax breaks has been in the crosshairs of the IRS and lawmakers for years

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A lawsuit filed against Trump, family and his business conglomerate accuses the former president of artificially inflating land appraisals to get bigger tax breaks for keeping some land at his properties off limits for development.

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“Conservation easements,” as the donations are known in tax parlance, are perfectly legal and supported by conservation advocates who consider them a valuable tool for preserving open space for wildlife

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The IRS and lawmakers from both parties have been trying to rein in the fraud, mostly focusing on “syndicated” easement deals in which promoters, investors and appraisers team up to profit off the tax deduction

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“Syndicated easements have basically weaponized the technology for widespread sale. But a single individual with a lot of money or real estate can just achieve the same outcome without having to pay the middle man”

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Trump and his business “manipulated the appraisals to inflate the value of the donated development rights with respect to both conservation easements,” according to the suit

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Lawmakers in both parties agreed to carve $8 billion out of the tax break, by making it harder to claim, and use that money to finance a package of retirement-related breaks

Wyden said in a statement on Wednesday that he was particularly concerned about the conservation easement part of the lawsuit against the Trumps

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