New IRS guidance on tax preparer penalties

BVWireIssue #112-4
January 25, 2012

Nothing earth-shattering here, but the IRS just issued Rev. Proc. 2012-15, its annual guidance on disclosure procedures for reducing accuracy-related penalties and avoiding tax preparer penalties. In particular, its background section reminds BV appraisers (those who qualify as tax preparers) that:

Section 6694(a) imposes a penalty on a tax return preparer who prepares a return or claim for refund reflecting an understatement of liability due to an “unreasonable position” if the tax return preparer knew (or reasonably should have known) of the position.

A position . . . is generally treated as unreasonable unless (i) there is or was substantial authority for the position, or (ii) the position was properly disclosed in accordance with section 6662(d)(2)(B)(ii)(I) and had a reasonable basis. If the position is with respect to a tax shelter (as defined in section 6662(d)(2)(C)(ii)) or a reportable transaction to which section 6662A applies, the position is treated as unreasonable unless it is reasonable to believe that the position would more likely than not be sustained on the merits.

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