What kinds of actions are the IRS taking against appraisers? None, at least as of this week...

There are none against business appraisers as this date, under the vague and far reaching terms of Circular 230.  ”Most are against real property people, doing conversation easements,” said Karen Hawkins, head of the IRS’ Office of Professional Responsibility. “We have appraisers doing creative things with hunting trophies and things like that.”

Hawkins says that OPR’s benchmark is “willful conduct.”  ”We have not seen a single 6695-A referral from the field,” she says, and these actions are supposed to be negotiated between field agents and the OPR.

There’s a change in IRS language in 2011. As of next year, anything that involves submission to the IRS is “practice,” and subject to the impact of disqualifications that might be issued by OPR.

“We have not taken an appraisal case to completion,” says Hawkins.  ”The service often uses its engineers to resolve things like this because they can’t afford to bring in expensive experts.  But, I believe, if we went into a hearing against an appraiser, I would try to have the opinion of a reputable subject matter expert.”  Hawkins recognizes that she’d be unlikely be able to support a strong case against an appraiser without this kind of expert support.

Hear Hawkins speak on the subject here.  And, you can hear Diane Ryan, IRS Chief of Appeals, and other IRS valuation leaders at the BVR Tax and Valuation Summit on November 10.