More bombshells from the ASA-IRS Symposium

BVWireIssue #104-4
May 25, 2011

Just a few more of the “show-stopping” statements from Symposium speakers:
(Reminder: The views and opinions expressed are those of the presenter and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the IRS.)

  • A firm stance on tax-affecting. “I can answer this in a second,” said Miles Friedman, Associate Area Counsel in the IRS Office of Chief Counsel, giving his opinion on the always-debated topic of whether to tax-affect pass-through entities. “The [court] cases say no, the IRS says no,” he said. “Any questions?”
  • Expect more Daubert motions. The IRS’s success in excluding the taxpayer’s expert before trial in the recent Boltar decision (see BVWire #103-3) may be just the beginning. “I think you will see more of these [Daubert]motions,” Friedman said, “probably from both sides, hopefully with the effect of improving the overall quality” of expert reports.
  • Will enforcement ‘crush’ appraisers? “It’s no secret that the IRS has ongoing problems with valuation,” said Dennis Webb (Primus Valuations), conference organizer. “And they are accumulating tools to deal with appraisers,” such as Sec. 6695A penalties and an increasingly experienced staff. “The enforcement area is getting scarier, and... parts of our profession could be crushed out of existence. It’s time to change our thinking,” Webb said. “We don’t have to overdo tax benefits; they are real.” And without change, “the IRS will prevail.”
  • Which appraisers will never get a 6695A penalty? Those who attend professional conferences such as the ASA Symposium. “You care about your craft,” said Peter Crane, IRS Senior Appraiser. In his opinion, “If you follow your professional standards, do your due diligence, follow the commonly accepted methods of your peers, you will never have to worry about penalties.”
  • More guidance on penalties, FLPs. The Service has been promising to issue guidance on Sec. 6695A’s “more likely than not” standard for a while; that is still in the works, and should be final by the end of this year, Crane said. And look for the long-promised update of FLP Appeals Settlement standards “any day now,” according to John Schooler, IRS Appeals Team Manager. BVWire will alert readers the moment both releases appear.
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