On August 18th, 2008, on behalf of the American Society of Appraisers and three other organizations, Jay Fishman, FASA, testified at the IRS hearings on proposed regulations regarding tax return preparer penalties (Proposed REG-1292423-07). Specifically, his testimony focused on the fact that, under the proposed rule, appraisers could potentially be considered non-signing tax return preparers, subject to penalties.
Fishman’s defense of the profession was strident on two key points: First, “[A]n appraiser could not know or reasonably expect to know whether the appraised value constitutes a ‘substantial portion’ of the tax return or claim for refund; and, would not, therefore, be [a] non-signing preparer." Second, Fishman points out that “appraisers already have comprehensive competency, ethics and accountability requirements established by the Pension Protection Act of 2006 and other provisions of the Code…to categorize appraisers as ‘non-signing return preparers’ would result in the imposition on appraisers of a second—and we believe gratuitous—layer of requirements and sanctions that would not produce any additional public policy benefits.”
The ASA, the Appraisal Institute, the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers, and the National Association of Independent Fee Appraisers, who all signed on to a letter in support of the testimony, are asking that the IRS clarify this issue in the final version of the rule. For more information on this issue, and for links to the full text of the testimony as well as the text of the jointly signed letter, click here.
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