August 01, 2018
IRS Final Rules Define Qualified Appraisers, Standards Flexibility
The IRS on July 30 finalized rules for substantiating and reporting cash and noncash charitable deductions, stating that any tax deduction of more than $500,000 requires a qualified appraisal conducted in accordance with generally accepted appraisal standards. The rules take immediate effect.
“The final rules confirm that professionally designated appraisers, such as those conferred by the Appraisal Institute, are well positioned to satisfy the qualified appraiser requirements of the IRS,” said AI President James L. Murrett, MAI, SRA. “This is a highly contested area of tax law and appraisal practice, and users of appraisal services can remove doubt by turning to competent Appraisal Institute Designated Members.”
“We also are pleased to see the agency provide for standards flexibility to appraisers, recognizing generally recognized appraisal standards as opposed to strict adherence to one particular standard,” said Murrett. “This protects taxpayers and the public interest, while providing more flexibility to appraisers and taxpayers procuring real estate appraisals for conservation and historic preservation easement purposes.”
The IRS received mixed feedback about the standards issue, but ultimately sided with the Appraisal Institute’s position on standards flexibility, noting in the final rule:
Several commenters recommended that the final regulations require appraisal documents to be prepared “in accordance with USPAP” and not merely in accordance with the “substance and principles of USPAP.” Other commenters indicated that strict compliance with USPAP would eliminate use of all other appraisal standards, including some that are generally accepted in the appraisal industry. The Treasury Department and the IRS agree that it is beneficial to provide some flexibility by requiring conformity with appraisal standards that are consistent with the substance and principles of USPAP rather than requiring that all appraisals be prepared strictly in accordance with USPAP. Accordingly, the final regulations do not adopt the recommendation to require strict compliance with USPAP and retain the requirement of consistency with the substance and principles of USPAP.