Stephen J. Small, Esq.

Stephen J. Small is a tax attorney at his own firm, the Law Office of Stephen J. Small, Esq., P.C, in Boston. He is the author of:

The Preserving Family Lands books have sold more than 90,000 copies.

Stephen J. Small is recognized as the nation's leading authority on private land protection options and strategies. Before authoring the Federal Tax Law of Conservation Easements and Preserving Family Lands: Book I, Book II, and Book III, and he wrote the Federal Income Tax Regulations on Conservation Easements as attorney-advisor in the Office of Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service.

Steve currently represents and advises numerous corporate, individual, and family owners on complex land planning for their properties. He also directs project teams on extensive and complex planning for maximum income tax benefits in connection with conservation easements. Steve advises government agencies and non-profits on leveraging land acquisition dollars.

In addition to representing clients and writing books, Steve Small also tours the United States delivering speeches and leading workshops on the importance of income tax and estate tax planning and land preservation.

Before going into private practice, Mr. Small was an attorney-advisor in the Office of Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service in Washington, D.C., where he wrote the federal income tax regulations on conservation easements. 

Mr. Small advises landowners on federal income and estate tax planning to help preserve valued family land, including planning for the next generation of ownership. He has worked with private landowners around the country to preserve a wide range of property, from small family parcels, timberland, and dairy farms, to western ranches, Atlantic coast barrier islands, farmland, and wildlife habitat. 

Mr. Small has given more than two hundred fifty speeches, seminars, and workshops around the country on tax planning for landowners, succession planning for family lands, and tax incentives for land conservation. He is a member of the Massachusetts and District of Columbia Bars.


  • Representing numerous corporate, individual, and family owners of ranchland, farmland, forestland, and historic property in conservation and preservation easement projects and succession planning for family properties; consultation with local counsel
  • advising government agencies and non-profits on how to leverage acquisition dollars and related tax and legal planning for property owners
  • advising and planning for conservation and preservation buyers; planning for and creating family private foundations and charitable remainder trusts; structuring bargain sales of easements and properties to conservation and preservation organizations and government agencies
  • coordinating project teams on extensive and complex planning for maximum income tax benefits in connection with high-value easements
  • counsel to non-profits in property transactions, the law of tax-exempt organizations and the drafting and use of legal conservation documentation

Contact Stephen J. Small, Esq.

REMINDER: This listing is a free service of LandCAN.
Stephen J. Small, Esq. is not employed by or affiliated with the Land Conservation Assistance Network, and the Network does not certify or guarantee their services. The reader must perform their own due diligence and use their own judgment in the selection of any professional.

Contact Stephen J. Small, Esq.

Law Office of Stephen J. Small, Esq., P.C.
955 Massachusetts Avenue
PMB 310
Cambridge, Massachusetts  02139
Phone: 617-357-4012
Fax: 617-357-1857


Service Area

National service provider

Create an Account to make additions or corrections to your profile.
3 Introductory articles were found for Stephen J. Small, Esq.

Appraisals and Valuations - How the Gift is Valued


For purposes of the tax rules, the "value" of a property is equal to what it would sell for if it were put to the most valuable economic use that is possible under the circumstances.  In many cases (though not all), with land that is generally undeveloped or only partially developed, the "value" for estate tax purposes is equal to the highest amount someone would pay for it if it were sold for development.  


Conserving Habitat Through the Federal Farm Bill, a Guide for Land Trusts and Landowners

A new report by Defenders of Wildlife Gives an in-depth summary of 2008 Farm Bill Conservation Provisions and programs. If you care about private land conservation, you can’t afford not to know the federal Farm Bill, the single greatest source of private land conservation funding in the United States.


Test your knowledge of Conservation Purposes


It is important to emphasize that not every easement restricting the future development of property will meet the tax law requirements. The tax law requires that the gift be "for conservation purposes." As a rule, the following generalization works: the more significant the land is, the more it adds to the public good, the more likely it is that you will qualify for the deduction. If you are protecting a large tract of primarily undeveloped property or ranchland or farmland, or a smaller parcel of land with scenic or open space qualities, if you are protecting habitat for an important or threatened animal or plant species, if you are preserving a scenic view on a long stretch of roadside that is threatened with subdivision, if you are contributing to a greenbelt around a city or preserving a watershed by a scenic brook or river or lake, your donation is more likely to qualify for a deduction.