IRS admits zeal, but takes exception to ‘inexperience’

BVWireIssue #59-5
August 29, 2007

Although the final item on “flair market value” in last week’s BVWire was “no doubt made in jest, I must take exception to your characterization of IRS agents as not having ‘had any real world business experience’," says Howard Lewis, National Program Manager for the Engineering and Valuation Program at the Internal Revenue Service.  In his current position, Lewis is responsible for the training, professional responsibility, and all work-related matters pertaining to federal tax appraisers and valuation issues within the IRS: 

I have worked very hard, as has my entire senior leadership and management team, to build an increasingly effective staff of professionals.  We have worked to improve their knowledge, skills and abilities.  A significant percentage of our staff are licensed, certified, or otherwise accredited by one or more international valuation societies.  We participate in society activities, very often being called upon to present technical and program information at society annual meetings and conferences.  We have been eminently successful and respected as qualified experts in litigation, and I am proud of our accomplishments and our entire staff of professionals. 

Many of the Service’s valuators also have substantial "real world business experience," Lewis adds (whose opinions are his own, and not those of the IRS).  “That, coupled with the special skills necessary to be an effective agent”—including zeal, which he characterizes as a positive trait—“enables us to fulfill our agency's mission to provide the best possible professional service to our country and all its citizens.”   

As for any “greed” among lawyers, “I will defer to the legal profession to defend itself,“ Lewis says.  “But I would hope that, before maligning the professionalism of our public servants, you would pause and think of the special skills and significant contributions they make every day under what are, very often, extremely difficult circumstances.” 

‘How to stay out of trouble with the IRS’: That’s what Jay Fishman and Michael Gregory, ASA, AVA, PE (IRS) are calling their session at the ASA 2007 Advanced BV Conference in San Diego this October; BVWire has already reserved a spot.  Early-bird pricing for member and non-member registrants is still available here through September 14, 2007.

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