9th Circuit Rules That Auction House Appraisal is “Not Adequate” for I.R.S.

Just in from Appraising Association of America: “The Appraisal Foundation, the nation’s authority on valuation services, applauds the recent 9th Circuit Court ruling that agreed with a U.S. Tax Court opinion that found an appraisal from an esteemed auction house is not adequate assurance of appraisal expertise or competency. With this ruling, the professionalism of personal property appraisers has been confirmed for the second time by the judicial system in the United States. This is game-changer for the primacy of the personal property appraisal profession, and protecting consumers from biased and uninformed appraisals that can result in significant financial repercussions……”

“Consumers are the biggest beneficiaries of this ruling. Personal property assets will be better protected when a qualified and independent appraiser is retained to value one’s personal property assets, said John Brenan, vice president of appraisal services of The Appraisal Foundation. “This also means wealth managers and estate attorneys now have a greater fiduciary duty to their clients to fully understand appraiser qualification criteria and appraisal standards when vetting personal property appraisal experts.

“The ruling arises from the case of Estate of Kollsman vs. Commissioner. The Estate hired a premiere auction house to conduct an appraisal of the estate’s art collection. The U.S. Tax Court rejected the valuation of the auction house expert because of bias and a lack of objective evidence. The IRS appraisal expert found two of the paintings were significantly undervalued. The court also found that the auction house expert had a conflict of interest as the appraiser in question also sought to represent the paintings at auction. The 9th Circuit Court took the case up on appeal and agreed with U.S. Tax Court opinion.”