January 24, 2012

Governor Brown’s State of the State

Governor Brown’s State of the State 

Last week Governor Jerry Brown presented the State of the State speech to the legislature. In his remarks, he highlighted his commitment to build a statewide high-speed train project:


“Just as bold is our plan to build a high-speed rail system, connecting the Northern and Southern parts of our state. This is not a new idea. As governor the last time, I signed legislation to study the concept. Now thirty years later, we are within weeks of a revised business plan that will enable us to begin initial construction before the year is out.


President Obama strongly supports the project and has provided the majority of funds for this first phase. It is now your decision to evaluate the plan and decide what action to take. Without any hesitation, I urge your approval.


If you believe that California will continue to grow, as I do, and that millions more people will be living in our state, this is a wise investment. Building new runways and expanding our airports and highways is the only alternative. That is not cheaper and will face even more political opposition.


Those who believe that California is in decline will naturally shrink back from such a strenuous undertaking. I understand that feeling but I don’t share it, because I know this state and the spirit of the people who choose to live here. California is still the Gold Mountain that Chinese immigrants in 1848 came across the Pacific to find. The wealth is different, derived as it is, not from mining the Sierras but from the creative imagination of those who invent and build and generate the ideas that drive our economy forward.


Critics of the high-speed rail project abound as they often do when something of this magnitude is proposed. During the 1930’s, The Central Valley Water Project was called a “fantastic dream” that “will not work.” The Master Plan for the Interstate Highway System in 1939 was derided as “new Deal jitterbug economics.” In 1966, then Mayor Johnson of Berkeley called BART a “billion dollar potential fiasco.” Similarly, the Panama Canal was for years thought to be impractical and Benjamin Disraeli himself said of the Suez Canal: “totally impossible to be carried out.” The critics were wrong then and they’re wrong now.”


For a full transcript of his speech, visit:


Business Plan

In November 2011, the California High-Speed Rail Authority released a draft of its 2012 Business Plan which provides a comprehensive outlook on the financial, governance, and phasing plans for the statewide high-speed train project. The plan also outlines the alternatives that exist to upgrade our current transit system for the growing California population. A final Business Plan will be approved by the Board in 2012.


To review the Business Plan, please visit:


Bakersfield - Palmdale Section

The Bakersfield to Palmdale regional team has continued to refine the proposed alignments in the Edison, Tehachapi and Antelope Valley sub-segments in preparation of presenting a Supplemental Alternatives Analysis Report to the California High-Speed Rail Board in February 2012. Refinements to the proposed alignments focus on value engineering along the entire segment.


For more information on the Bakersfield-Palmdale section, visit:


Palmdale - Los Angeles Section

The Supplemental Alternatives Analysis for the Palmdale to Sylmar section will be presented to the Board in April 2012. Following discussions with area stakeholders, more than ten alternatives were investigated throughout Acton, Agua Dulce and Santa Clarita/Sand Canyon. Upon further review by the Authority, the regional team will recommend to the Board alignment alternatives from Palmdale to Sylmar for study in the environmental review process.


For more information on the Palmdale-Los Angeles section, visit:


I-5 Conceptual Study

In May 2011, the California High-Speed Rail Authority Board requested that the regional team assess potential alternatives along the I-5 to determine if new conditions and factors exist that would justify reconsidering the 2005 Program EIR/EIS decision to drop the I-5 corridor in favor of the Antelope Valley corridor.


The final study, released last week, reinforced the 2005 Program EIR/EIS. It concluded that the Antelope Valley corridor still has fewer potential environmental impacts and greater connectivity than the I-5 corridor. The Board agreed with staff recommendations at their January 2012 board meeting and requested that a proposed route through Palmdale be moved forward in the environmental review process. 


For more information on the study, visit:


Los Angeles – Anaheim Section

In March 2011, the California High-Speed Rail Board approved further study of a phased implementation plan for the Los Angeles to Anaheim section of the statewide high-speed train system.  This phased approach may bring early benefits to existing rail and commuter services and could improve mobility and rail safety for the local region.  This blended approach is being incorporated into the environmental document, as teams continue to work with the corridor cities, agency partners and stakeholders to develop the best solutions for the Los Angeles to Anaheim rail section.


For more information on the Los Angeles-Anaheim section, visit:


Los Angeles - San Diego Section

In October 2011, AB 615 (Bonnie Lowenthal) was signed into law by Governor Brown, allocating $4 million in state funds to continue the environmental studies being completed throughout the Los Angeles to San Diego region.  This allows for further technical analysis to be completed in the areas of the section with multiple corridors under consideration.  We could not have achieved this funding without the support from various corridor stakeholders and agencies with an interest in seeing the planning work continue between Los Angeles and San Diego.  Further analysis and outreach to key stakeholders will continue with the submittal of a Supplemental Alternatives Analysis by the end of 2012. 


For more information on the Los Angeles-San Diego section, visit:



The staff and board members of Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) recently drafted the 2012 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP), a long-range transportation plan that is developed and updated by SCAG every four years. The California high-speed train is included in this long-term vision for the region, with the goal that early investment in existing passenger rail corridors identified for future high-speed train use will improve travel times and safety throughout Southern California. We want to thank the staff and committee members who have worked tirelessly to ensure high-speed rail is included in the 2012 RTP Constrained Plan.


For more information, visit:
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December 22, 2011

Yet another tax reform proposal targets discounts for lack of marketability–at least for non-business assets

BVWire News


Yet another tax reform proposal targets discounts for lack of marketability–at least for non-business assets

Posted: 20 Dec 2011 11:11 AM PST

The latest tax reform proposal, which Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) introduced last month as the “Sensible Estate Tax Act  of 2011,” would raise the maximum estate and gift tax rate to 55% and lower the  applicable exclusion amount to $1 million. It would also eliminate valuation discounts on investment assets, such that:

the value of any nonbusiness assets held by the [passive] entity shall be determined as if the transferor had transferred such assets directly to the  transferee (and no valuation discount shall be allowed with respect to such nonbusiness assets).

Few authorities predict that H.R. 3467 will pass as currently drafted. However, most pundits agree that tax reform in 2012 is as certain as—well—taxes, and that any proposal will attempt to capture the enormous wealth transfer of aging baby boomers. Stay tuned…



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December 16, 2011



TO COUNTY ASSESSORS: ASSESSORS' HANDBOOK SECTION 534, RURAL BUILDING COSTS The 2012 revision of Assessors' Handbook Section 534 (AH 534), Rural Building Costs, updates costs contained in previous editions and includes new data. The 2012 revision of AH 534 is available only on the Board's website. The entire text, photographs, and drawings of AH 534 are posted to the Board's website at The compilation of cost factors and specifications for AH 534 is a continuous process. Your comments and input will help to make this handbook a more useful product. If you have any questions or comments regarding this handbook, please contact Mr. Ken King at 916-274-3359 or at Sincerely, /s/ David J. Gau David J. Gau Deputy Director Property and Special Taxes Department DJG:mds

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LTA No. 2011/046, Assessors' Handbook Section 534, Rural Building Costs,

State Board of Equalization



Notice of Letters to Assessors



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LTA No. 2011/046, Assessors' Handbook Section 534, Rural Building Costs,

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December 13, 2011

The next public meeting of the Appraisal Standards Board (ASB) is approaching.  Please take the time to register for this meeting if you plan to attend.



   DoubleTree by Hilton

   Savannah Historic District

   411 West Bay Street
   Savannah, GA 31401


   Friday, February 10, 2012
   9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Meeting Agenda:


The Appraisal Standards Board (ASB) is moving forward with its work plan to examine potential revisions for the 2014-15 edition of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). 


Among other potential revisions to USPAP, the Board continues to examine changes necessary to address Communication and Reporting. Although the Board had commenced working on this issue in recent years, the issue was deemed so significant that the Board determined it would be in the best interest of the profession to spend considerably more time examining it. 


The Board intends to publish a document regarding proposed revisions to the 2014-15 edition of USPAP in January 2012, and plans to accept written comments through March 2012. In addition, the Board will be accepting oral comments at this public meeting.



You may make a reservation with the DoubleTree, 411 West Bay Street, Savannah, GA 31401, by contacting them directly at
(912) 790-7000Please note that The Appraisal Foundation no longer reserves “room blocks” for meeting attendees. Therefore, meeting attendees are responsible for making their own lodging arrangements at the best available rates.


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November 26, 2011

CA Supreme Court Grants Prop 8 Backers Right to Sue

CA Supreme Court Grants Prop 8 Backers Right to Sue
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The California Supreme Court, answering a question from the Ninth Circuit, has ruled that initiative backers in California have the right to participate in a lawsuit to defend an initiative when state officials have declined to do so. This decision should allow backers of Proposition 8 to continue their defense of the amendment against constitutional challenges.
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November 01, 2011

Book Value was 2% of Fair Market Value in NJ Buyout Case

In Estate of Cohen v. Booth Computers (421 N.J. Super. 134, 22A. 3d 991, July 13, 2011), the question addressed was whether a family partnership agreement that provides for a buyout based on net book value may be enforced when the disparity between book value and fair market value is substantial. In this case, book value was less than 2% of fair market value.


Booth Computers was a family partnership established by Robert Cohen for his three children, Claudia, Michael and James. The Partnership Agreement provided that in the event of the death of a partner, the remaining partners were obliged to buy out the interest of the deceased partner,  and the estate of the exiting partner was obliged to sell. The Agreement specified that the buyout price was to be equal to the partner's share of the Partnership's value. This value was defined in the Agreement as net book value as shown on the Partnership's most recent financial statement, plus $50,000.

The principal assets of the Partnership were two warehouses in Egg Harbor, New Jersey, acquired in 1980 and 1984, and a 45% LP interest in a limited partnership which owned an oceanfront estate in Palm Beach, Florida. The Florida LP interest was acquired in by the Partnership in 1978 for a capital contribution of $90,000. The Partnership's assets were carried on the Partnership's books at cost.

The First Buyout

Michael Cohen died in 1997. James and Claudia invoked the buyout provision, and Michael's estate was paid $35,000 for his 1/3 interest in the Partnership, based on the formula in the Partnership Agreement.

[Read More]

IRS Circular 230 disclosure: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, we inform you that any tax advice contained in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding any penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction(s) or tax-related matter(s) addressed herein.
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October 04, 2011



Executive Summary

Treasury Regulation 1.170A-13(c) (3) (E) requires that, in order for an appraisal report to be considered a “qualified appraisal”, it must include "The name, address, and... the identifying number of the qualified appraiser; and, if the qualified appraiser is acting in his or her capacity as a partner in a partnership [or] an employee of any person (whether an individual, corporation, or partnerships)... the name, address and taxpayer identification number...of the partnership or the person who employs or engages the qualified appraiser."

This has been interpreted by taxpayers and/or their agents to require the appraiser’s signature and Social Security Number (SSN) on their appraisal reports in order for those reports to be considered as “qualified appraisals”. Additionally, an appraiser’s SSN is required to be entered on Form 8283 in Part III, “Declaration of Appraiser”. These requirements invite identity theft.


It has been interpreted by many taxpayers and/or their agents that current IRS Regulations( Treasury Regulation 1.170A-13(c)(3)(E) require that, in order for an appraisal for any tax purpose to be considered a “qualified” appraisal, the appraisers must include his or her signature and Social Security Number on the appraisal reports. IRS is aware of the tax-related identity theft issues and, in fact, recently took action to address this issue for tax practitioners, but not for appraisers preparing reports to be used in connection with tax returns. This is an issue of great concern to many appraisers who work for companies offering appraisal services.

Unlike sole practitioners, appraisers employed by others have not been eligible for a separate Tax ID Number. Accordingly, to meet service requirements for a “qualified appraisal”, they are being asked to include their personal social security Number on written appraisal reports.

The IRS has recently attempted to remedy this problem. A provision in regulations (REG-140029-07) on “Substantiation and Reporting Requirements for Cash and Non-Cash Charitable Contribution Deductions” states “if an appraiser is employed by a firm, the firm’s employer identification number should be used”, thereby eliminating the need for an appraiser performing the work to include his or her personal social security number. The proposed rules also clarify that appraisers who are sole practitioners may obtain an employer identification (EIN) even if they do not have any employees.

Unfortunately this solution carries with it a host of different problems. The purpose for including the “identifying number of the Qualified Appraiser” is to identify the person responsible for the appraisal, not his or her employer. While the proposed provisions may solve the immediate identity theft problem it may create an identification problem. Appraiser employees who use their firm’s employer identification number may not be identifiable once they leave the firm, and a single appraiser who works for several firms could be submitting appraisals under several different identification numbers.

In lieu of using their firm’s Employer Identification Number, appraiser/employees might avail themselves of the ability to apply for their own EIN. Appraiser employees who have their own (EIN) blur the distinction between employee and independent contractor. This could encourage a bad business practice.


  1. IRS should take immediate action to eliminate all existing requirements that appraisers include their social security numbers on written appraisal reports, on IRS Form 8283, and on any other documents that could expose them to the threat of identity theft.
  2. IRS should permit appraisers to apply for an expanded Preparer Tax Identification Number (“PTIN”) or for an equivalent discreet number that will permit the service to identify their work without exposing them to the possibility of identity theft.
  3. The proposed regulations (REG-140029-07) should be modified to include providing an expanded PTIN or an equivalent discreet number to identify appraisers, and then be adopted.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: October 12, 2010

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August 12, 2011

Notice of Letters to Assessors



You have subscribed to the State Board of Equalization Notice of Letters

to Assessors (LTAs).



LTA No. 2011/030 - Solar Energy Property Tax Incentive -- Recent

Legislation, dated August 12, 2011, has been posted to our website.



It can be viewed at:



All other LTA's issued for the current year can be accessed through



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August 10, 2011

Time Value of Money - Six Functions of a Dollar

Time Value of Money - Six Functions of a Dollar

Appraisal Training: Self-Paced Online Learning Session

Welcome to the State Board of Equalization's self-paced online learning session on the Time Value of Money (commonly referred to as the six functions of a dollar). Please view the video and read the introduction below before proceeding to the lessons in the self-study session.


The purpose of this learning session is to explain the compound interest functions presented in Assessors’ Handbook Section 505, Capitalization Formulas and Tables, the key concepts of the time value of money, and its relationship to appraisal.

This learning session consists of 10 modules; each module provides discussion of the function or concept and shows practical examples of the calculation or method. The objectives of this learning session are to:

  • Provide a basic understanding of the time value of money
  • Demonstrate how to use the factor tables and each compound interest function in Assessors' Handbook Section 505.

By the end of the session, you will understand:

  • The function and derivation of each of the compound interest functions presented in Assessors' Handbook Section 505
  • The appraisal application of the compound interest functions.

There are six compound interest functions presented in Assessors' Handbook Section 505:

We hope that you find the information presented in this learning session beneficial. Links to the Assessors’ Handbook Section 505 (AH 505), Capitalization Formulas and Tables are available throughout this presentation and is also available on the Board's website.

Training Credit for Certified Appraisers
If you are a certified property tax appraiser working for a California county assessor's office or Board of Equalization, you can obtain training credit for taking this self-paced online learning session. If you wish to obtain training credit, you must complete the Certified Appraisers Examination at the end of this learning session and submit your answers to the State Board of Equalization's County Assessed Properties Division using the 'Submit' button at the end of the exam.

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November 09, 2010

Notice of Letters to Assessors

State Board of Equalization



Notice of Letters to Assessors



You have subscribed to the State Board of Equalization Notice of Letters to Assessors (LTAs).


LTA No. 2010/060 - Pipeline Rights-of-Way - Extension of Sunset Date, dated November 9, 2010, has been posted to our website.


It can be viewed at:                    
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November 08, 2010

Guidelines for Appraiser Certification and Training

State Board of Equalization

Notice of Letters to Assessors

You have subscribed to the State Board of Equalization Notice of Letters to Assessors (LTAs).

LTA No. 2010/061 - Guidelines for Appraiser Certification and Training, dated November 8, 2010, has been posted to our website.

It can be viewed at:


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September 05, 2010

The Best Ways to Challenge a Property Tax Assessment

The Best Ways to Challenge a Property Tax Assessment

Did you know that nationally about 1/3 of the people who challenge their property taxes actually win?  It’s very possible for you to do the exact same thing.  If you have found that your home has been assessed at a value far above its current  market value then you need to seriously consider challenging the assessment.  This has a lot of positive effects none more significant than you saving money immediately on your taxes.  Since you are reading this article I’ll assume that you are either in the real estate or related industry OR you are contemplating challenging your property tax assessment and are looking for ideas to support your case.  You will find a lot of similar articles on the Internet so we will work hard to dig a little deeper and get you off to at least a good start on a winning strategy.

Tip 1 – First take a step back and analyze how far off of the real market value you think the assessment might be.  If you feel like it is 10% or more higher than what the true value of your home is then it is probably worth pursuing a challenge.  If you think it is off by less than that given your chances of winning (1/3) along with the total tax savings will most likely not be worth your time and may actually end up costing you in the end.

Tip 2 – When determining the actual market value of your property you need to find comparable homes that were sold in your surrounding community.  There are several ways you can do that including taking advantage of some online services.  One that is super easy and a quick reality check is from and is located here: REMOVED  You can also contact a local realtor and get exact comps from them which is actually the ideal answer plus it’s possible that they have been in the comp homes making it easier for them to help you compare them to your house.

Tip 3 – Take a good look at the tax assessment for any errors about your home.  You would be surprised what they might have wrong.  Maybe they listed your home as having a pool and it doesn’t, or the wrong size, number of bedrooms, etc.  This is extremely common and is also an easier way to get your assessment reduced (because it’s painfully clear it should be).  This should be seen as something you HAVE to do rather than just a tip.

Tip 4 – Find out who the tax assessor is and who can help you get the assessment changed.  Be courteous and setup an appointment to visit with them in person.  Don’t suck up to them too much as they have heard every complement a thousand times.  You just want to be courteous and respectful and if you are lucky they will help you understand the best way to combat the assessment.  So when in doubt, ask.

Tip 5 – Either in person, over the phone, via email, or any other way of communication with the assessor make sure you sell the needed improvement and/or problems you are having with your home.  Yeah we have a pool but the pump is broken, the drain doesn’t work, the concrete is all cracked, etc.  Be descriptive and let them know that the house isn’t worth the current valuation they have in mind.

Tip 6 – Talk to your neighbors to see if they have any issues with their assessments and if any of them have been successful at getting their property taxes reduced.  It’s very likely that they will either be in a similar situation or will have already won an appeal or lost one.  Either way you can get some invaluable advice.  In the worst case you will either get them thinking or at least get some sympathy/empathy going.  It’s true that with property taxes misery loves company.

Tip 7 – Hire a real estate professional or attorney that focuses on fighting property taxes.  This only makes sense if you think the assessment is way off (greater than 10%) otherwise it ‘s very possible that the costs of fighting the assessment is more than the savings.  With that said, another reason to consider is that even if it costs you more this year to fight an assessment you could reap benefits for years to come making it potentially still viable.

Finally, one of the most important tips that we can give you is really more of an encouragement.  If over 1/3 of the people are successful at getting their property taxes reduced nation-wide, you really do have an excellent chance of making it happen if you get informed and stick to your guns/take a stand.

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August 26, 2010

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June 03, 2010

Procedures for Implementing the Penalty for the Substantial and Procedures for Implementing the Penalty for the Substantial and
Gross Valuation Misstatements Attributable to Incorrect  IRC Section 6695A
The purpose of this memorandum is to provide interim guidae all of our
examiners are aware of the procedures for assertion of the IRC section 6695A Penalty.
The Service has authority to assert penalties and to seek enjoinment of appraisers.
Prior to the passage of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (Pub. L. No. 109-280),
appraisers could only be subject to penalties under IRC section 6700 or IRC section
Section 1219 of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 added new IRC section 6695A,
Substantial and Gross Valuation Misstatements Attributable to Incorrect Appraisals.
This new penalty provision allows the Service to assert a penalty against any person
who prepared an appraisal of the value of property and who knew, or reasonably should
have known, the appraisal would be used in connection with a return or claim for refund
and that appraisal results in a substantial valuation misstatement (within the meaning of
IRC section 6662(e)), a substantial estate or gift tax valuation understatement (within
the meaning of IRC section 6662(g)), or a gross valuation misstatement (within the
meaning of IRC section 6662(h)) with respect to such property.
<a href="IRSAppraiser.pdf "></a>
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May 30, 2010


Local and regional private land trusts are among the most important and most numerous

conservation actors in contemporary America, and conservation easements

are perhaps the key land conservation tools used by these trusts. In recent decades,

privately held conservation easements and local and regional private land trusts

have grown at a rapid and increasing rate, and the total acreage protected by privately

held conservation easements is now larger than some states. The early

growth of privately held conservation easements met widespread approval, but more

recently, contemporary conservation easement practice has attracted many critics,

based in part on well-publicized national scandals involving fraudulent donations of

conservation easements for tax purposes and in part on more general concerns

about the potential inefficiency of these easements. To date, however, legal scholars

have not adequately tested or examined these concerns against the details of contemporary

conservation easement practice. This Article addresses this gap in the current

debate by examining various criticisms and proposals for reform of current

conservation easement practice in light of a detailed survey of conservation easements

held by local and regional land trusts in Massachusetts. More specifically,

the Article provides important detail on contemporary conservation easement practice,

considers the interaction between contemporary practice and the abstract concerns

raised in the academic debate, and offers some suggestions for reform and

further study.

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Tax Treatment of Real Estate

Tax Treatment of Real Estate

Position: IREM and CCIM Institute believe that it is in our nation’s best interest for

Congress to encourage real estate investment in the United States by creating a tax system

that recognizes inflation and a tax differential in the calculation of capital gains from real

estate; while stimulating economic investment; and consequently leveling the playing field

for those who choose to invest in commercial real estate.

Status: Many of the Bush tax cuts are due to expire at the end of 2010. In addition, given

the current budget crisis, changes to the Tax Code could be used to pay for new or existing

programs. IREM and CCIM Institute have a number of areas of concern with respect to the

tax treatment of real estate. A number of proposals are circulating that would make real

estate a less attractive investment.

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May 27, 2010

What You Need to Know About the 2010 IRS Nationwide Tax Forums

What You Need to Know About the 2010 IRS Nationwide Tax Forums

The 2010 IRS Nationwide Tax Forums are about to begin! The tax forums are three-day events that provide tax professionals with the most up-to-date information on federal and state tax issues presented by IRS experts and partner organizations.

Here are nine things enrolled agents, certified public accountants, certified financial planners and other tax professionals need to know about the 2010 IRS Nationwide Tax Forums.

  1. Forums are held June through August in Atlanta, Chicago, Orlando, New York, Las Vegas and San Diego.
  2. Those who sign up early can qualify for discounted enrollment costs. The first forum, in Atlanta, begins on June 22 and the early registration deadline is June 8. 
  3. Forums offer an opportunity to receive up to 18 continuing education credits through a variety of training seminars and workshops.
  4. Forums will offer 43 separate seminars and workshops on valuable and relevant tax topics.
  5. Forums will also feature a two-day expo with representatives from the IRS as well as other tax, financial, and business communities offering their products, services, and expertise. 
  6. Attendees can sign up to become an Authorized IRS e-file Provider.
  7. Tax professionals attending a forum can bring their toughest unresolved case to meet with IRS personnel who may be able to help. 
  8. Registering for a tax forum is easy!  Register by internet, fax or mail.
  9. For more information or to register visit


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May 11, 2010

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Dear Curtis,
Over the past several days NH&RA has met with several key House and Senate staffers on the tax writing, banking/financial services and appropriations committees to discuss critical legislation impacting affordable housing, historic rehabilitation and New Markets Tax Credit development.  We are pleased to report that Congress is poised to take action on several key pieces of legislation in the next several days. Here is a taste of what we learned...

Tax Legislation On The Move...

The Tax Extenders Legislation is still on track to be enacted before Memorial Day. House and Senate negotiators are working out the final details as we speak. Prospects seem very positive for a one-year extension of the 1602/Exchange program for 9% LIHTC, as well as extensions of the New Markets Tax Credit and GO Zone Historic Credits/Bonus Depreciation. It is also looking increasingly likely that the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund will finally get funded in the Tax Extenders Legislation bringing in much a needed new source of gap financing for affordable housing transactions.  Compromise legislation could move in the House of Representatives as soon as this week.

Unfortunately, there is still a great deal of uncertainty on other key legislative initiatives. Budget constraints and the the mid-term elections have created a shortened legislative calendar and a heightened partisan atmosphere. There are still legislative vehicles to move forward our agenda but it is a a very challenging legislative environment.

Learn More...

Find out what this means for your business by joining us in Washington next week (May 20-21) for the NH&RA Spring Policy Forum to get all the latest updates from key legislative staffers and regulators on the extenders legislation and also learn about the prospects for other key programs and provisions still on the table including:

  • Expanding the 1602/Exchange Program to 4% LIHTC transactions
  • 5-Year Carry-Back
  • New Markets Tax Credit AMT Fix
  • Historic Tax Credit Amendments
  • Preservation Legislation
  • Transformation of Rental Assistance
  • FY-2011 HUD Appropriations
  • Choice Neighborhoods Initiative
  • Build America Bonds
  • Mid-West Flooding/Disaster Credits Extension
  • Taxing Carried Interest
  • Section 202/811 Funding and Fixes
  • ...and more

NH&RA Spring Policy Forum
May 20-21, 2010
The Liaison Hotel
Washington, DC

Click here to view the conference agenda
Click here to register online
Click here to reserve your hotel room

Questions about the legislation or the meeting? Can't attend both days? We have a limited number of one-day registrations available. Contact Thom Amdur at 202-939-1753 or

NH&RA Thanks Our Gold Conference Sponsor:


You are receiving this email because you subscribed to Housing Online Weekly at

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March 26, 2010

California Practitioner Liaison Meetings and Seminars

California Practitioner Liaison Meetings and Seminars


If you live near a state line, please look for meetings in nearby cities of the bordering state.

Check out the Nationwide link for additional events. These events include phone forums held at multiple times to accommodate practitioners nationwide.


Meeting: CSEA Orange County Chapter Dinner Meeting
Date(s): March 16, 2010
Time: 5:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Location: Phoenix Club, 1340 S Sanderson Avenue, Anaheim, CA 92806
Contact: Russell Fox; Phone: (714) 225-7877; E-mail:
Event Information: The Orange County CSEA will be holding their monthly dinner meeting at the Phoenix Club in Anaheim, California. The Internal Revenue Service will be presenting information regarding the Practitioner Review and tax law updates.
Sponsored by: The Orange County Chapter CSEA


Meeting: 2010 North Orange County Business Expo
Date(s): March 26, 2010
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Location: California State University, Fullerton Titan Student Union, 800 N. State College Blvd., Fullerton, CA
Contact: Theresa Harvey; Phone: (714) 871-3100; E-mail:
Event Information: Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.; Parking $8.

FREE admission to:

*Workshops: 9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Expo and Job Fair: 1:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Luncheon: 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., $35
Featuring keynote speaker, Jan Norman, Orange County Register small-business columnist, "Small-Business Guide to Success in a Stormy Economy"

*9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. Workshops:

  • Financial Recording Keeping
    Presenter: Nancy LeBlanc, Internal Revenue Service
  • Successful Marketing Campaigns Using Social Media
    Presenter: Rayanne Thorn, A Thorn's Point
  • Establishing and Maintaining Banking Relationships
    Presenter: Farmers & Merchants Bank

*10:15 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. Workshops:

  • Employee vs. Independent Contractor
    Presenters: Dan Breece, Internal Revenue Service
    Michelle McElrea, EDD
  • Finding the Right Employees for the Job
    Presenter: Chris Strom, Orange County Business Service Center
  • Finding Capital for Your Growing Business
    Presented by: Fullerton, Brea, La Habra, Placentia and Yorba Linda Chambers of Commerce

Sponsored in part by: Farmers & Merchants Bank, Fullerton Community Bank,
MG Disposal, Pacific Credit Union and Southern California Edison
Sponsored by: Fullerton, Brea, La Habra, Placentia and Yorba Linda Chambers of Commerce


Meeting: Everything You Wanted to Know About the EA Exam
Date(s): Available 24 hours a day/7 days a week
Location: Online-Self Study
Contact: CSEA; Phone: (916) 366-6646; E-mail:
Sponsored by: California Society of Enrolled Agents

Meeting: Getting Your Business Act Together; You Can Still Reduce Your Business Taxes
Date(s): Available 24 hours a day/7 days a week
Location: Online-Self Study
Contact: Just click on the Self Study title to download the information FREE.
Sponsored by: Intuit

Meeting: QuickBooks Basics - The Top 15 Bookkeeping Errors Small Business Owners Make
Date(s): Available 24 hours a day/7 days a week
Location: Online-Self Study
Contact: Just click on the Self Study title to download the information FREE.
Sponsored by: Intuit


Meeting: Tax Preparation Tips for Gift Tax Preparers
Date(s): May 6, 2010
Time: 6:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Location: Grosvenor Hotel, 380 South Airport Blvd. South, San Francisco, CA 94080
Contact: Don Gundry; Phone: (650) 573-5800 ext. 302; E-mail:
Event Information: The California Society of Enrolled Agents (CSEA) Golden Gate Chapter is hosting the IRS as their guest speaker for their May chapter dinner meeting. Kyle Martin, Estate and Gift Tax Group Manager, will be presenting practical and timely information on Tax Preparation Tips for Gift Tax Preparers. The cost of the event will include dinner, and CPE credit is available. Networking begins at 6:00 p.m. with dinner served at 6:45 p.m. and the one-hour presentation at 7:30 p.m. For more information and to register for this event, please visit the CSEA Golden Gate Chapter Web site. Any fees charges are by the hosting organization and not the Internal Revenue Service.
Sponsored by: California Society of Enrolled Agents - Golden Gate Chapter

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March 24, 2010

Real Estate Owners May Lose Capital Gains Tax Shelter


Real Estate Owners May Lose Capital Gains Tax Shelter

By Julia Caputo Stift
March 3, 2010
Currently real estate owners can avoid paying state and federal capital gains taxes on profits from the sale of real estate if they reinvest or exchange the investment funds under Federal Tax Codes.  The so-called 1031 exchanges and 1033 conversions, however, may no longer protect property owners from state capital gains taxes if the California legislature passes AB 2640. If enacted, the bill would take effect retroactively as of 1/1/10.
AB 2640 introduces legislation intended to address the California budget deficit by increasing tax revenues by eliminating certain advantageous characterizations, which can be accomplished with a majority vote of the California legislature, whereas the imposition of new taxes requires the vote of super majorities of the legislature and the Governor's signature. 

This proposal would have major repercussions for California real estate owners.  While transactions that qualify under Section 1031 or 1033 of the Federal Tax Code would continue to be exempt from the federal income tax on capital gains (generally a maximum 15%), such transactions would no longer be exempt from state taxation equal to approximately 10% of the gain.  There are unanswered questions as to whether the affected owners may have access to the exchange funds to pay the proposed California tax.

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March 17, 2010

Issue Number: N-2010-18

Issue Number:    N-2010-18

Inside This Issue

Notice 2010-18 assists State Housing Credit Agencies in determining how to reduce the low-income housing tax credit ceiling under § 42(h)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code when credits are exchanged for funds pursuant to section 1602 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009.  The Notice also provides guidance concerning the affect of section 1602 funds on building basis and taxpayer income.     

Notice 2010-18 will be published in Internal Revenue Bulletin 2010-14 on April 5, 2010.

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March 09, 2010

Additional Standard Deduction for Real Estate Taxes

Additional Standard Deduction for Real Estate Taxes

The IRS wants taxpayers who pay state or local real estate taxes but don’t qualify to itemize their tax deductions, to know that they may qualify for an increased standard deduction. This is the last year that the higher standard deduction for real estate taxes is available.

Here are six things you need to know about the higher standard deduction for real estate taxes:

  1. The additional deduction amount is equal to the amount of real estate taxes paid, or $500 for single filers or $1,000 for joint filers, whichever is less.
  2. The taxes must be imposed on you.
  3. You must have paid the taxes during your tax year.
  4. The taxes must be levied for general public welfare on the assessed value of the real property and charged uniformly on all property under the jurisdiction of the taxing authority. Many states and counties also impose local benefit taxes for improvements to property, such as assessments for streets, sidewalks and sewer lines. These taxes usually cannot be deducted.
  5. Real estate taxes paid on foreign or business property do not qualify for the increased standard deduction.
  6. You must file a Form 1040 or 1040A and attach Schedule L, Standard Deduction for Certain Filers, to claim the increased deduction. When claiming the higher standard deduction for real estate taxes, be sure to check the box on line 40b of Form 1040 or line 24b of Form 1040A.

For more information, see Form 1040 or 1040A Instructions and Schedule L instructions. The forms and instructions can be downloaded at or ordered by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).



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February 03, 2010

Abbott & Kindermann Land Use Law Blog] The Fight Over Property Taxes Continues: School District Entitled to Larger Share of Property Tax Increment

Counties and cities must let go of another share of property tax revenues to school districts under the redevelopment law's distribution of the property tax increment.

View the entire entry:

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January 15, 2010

New Homebuyer Credit - Claim It

New Homebuyer Credit - Claim It: English | Spanish
New Homebuyer Credit – Military:
For these and other videos:

IR-2010-6, Jan. 15, 2010

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today released the new form that eligible homebuyers need to claim the first-time homebuyer credit this tax season and announced processing of those tax returns will begin in mid-February. The IRS also announced new documentation requirements to deter fraud related to the first-time homebuyer credit.

The new form and instructions follow major changes in November to the homebuyer credit by the Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009. The new law extended the credit to a broader range of home purchasers and added new documentation requirements to deter fraud and ensure taxpayers properly claim the credit.

With the release of Form 5405, First-Time Homebuyer Credit and Repayment of the Credit, and the related instructions, eligible homebuyers can now start to file their 2009 tax returns. Taxpayers claiming the homebuyer credit must file a paper tax return because of the added documentation requirements.

The IRS expects to start processing 2009 tax returns claiming the homebuyer credit in mid-February after it completes the updating and testing of systems to meet the law’s new requirements. The updates allow the IRS to put in place critical systemic checks to deter fraud related to the homebuyer credit.

Some of these early taxpayers claiming the homebuyer credit may see tax refunds take an additional two to three weeks.

In addition to filling out a Form 5405, all eligible homebuyers must include with their 2009 tax returns one of the following documents in order to receive the credit:

  • A copy of the settlement statement showing all parties' names and signatures, property address, sales price, and date of purchase. Normally, this is the properly executed Form HUD-1, Settlement Statement.
  • For mobile home purchasers who are unable to get a settlement statement, a copy of the executed retail sales contract showing all parties' names and signatures, property address, purchase price and date of purchase.
  • For a newly constructed home where a settlement statement is not available, a copy of the certificate of occupancy showing the owner’s name, property address and date of the certificate.

In addition, the new law allows a long-time resident of the same main home to claim the homebuyer credit if they purchase a new principal residence. To qualify, eligible taxpayers must show that they lived in their old homes for a five-consecutive-year period during the eight-year period ending on the purchase date of the new home. The IRS has stepped up compliance checks involving the homebuyer credit, and it encouraged homebuyers claiming this part of the credit to avoid refund delays by attaching documentation covering the five-consecutive-year period:

  • Form 1098, Mortgage Interest Statement, or substitute mortgage interest statements,
  • Property tax records or
  • Homeowner’s insurance records.

The IRS also reminded homebuyers that the new documentation requirements mean that taxpayers claiming the credit cannot file electronically and must file paper returns. Taxpayers can still use IRS Free File to prepare their returns, but the returns must be printed out and sent to the IRS, along with all required documentation.

Normally, it takes about four to eight weeks to get a refund claimed on a complete and accurate paper return where all required documents are attached. For those homebuyers filing early, the IRS expects the first refunds based on the homebuyer credit will be issued toward the end of March.

The IRS encourages taxpayers to use direct deposit to speed their refund. In addition, taxpayers can use Where's My Refund? on to track the status of their refund.

More details on claiming the credit can be found in the instructions to Form 5405, as well as on the First-Time Homebuyer Credit page on

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August 11, 2009

LIHTC Appraiser

INSIDE THE DEAL: Marcus & Millichap Participates in Active LIHTC Property Sales Market
Published: August 11, 2009

By Keat Foong, Executive Editor LIHTC Appraiser

Frederick, Md.—The secondary market in Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) properties is still attracting buyers despite the economic downturn.

Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services Co. recently completed the $6.65 million sale of the 120-unit Creekside at Tasker’s Chance. The LIHTC property for seniors is located in a newer development of single-family homes off the Golden Mile.

Confidential marketing of the property was conducted to local, regional and national investors for about 30 days, and received high demand, said Marcus & Millichap.

Jeff Kunitz, director of the The Tax Credit Group of Marcus & Millichap, says that the benefits to investors of purchasing LIHTC properties is reduced competition from other buyers and possibly higher returns, compared to market-rate properties.

“Chances are, buyers would not pay as much as they would for market-rate properties so yields may tend to be higher,” he said.

The property received five offers, including ones from experienced LIHTC players, says Kunitz. The new buyer will hold and maintain the property for its cash flow and management contract.

Creekside at Tasker’s Chance sold at a 7.63 percent cap rate. Conventional apartment cap rates in the market may be about 7 to 7.25 percent, says Kunitz. He said LIHTC apartment properties in the market may fetch a 50-70 basis point spread over comparable market-rate ones.

“Frederick is a very desirable, low velocity and high barrier to entry sub-market of Washington, D.C. and Baltimore,” stated local Washington, D.C. Marcus & Millichap agent David Weber. “Therefore, demand from investors that understand the value and limited opportunities in this market were aggressively pursuing this acquisition.”

The purchaser has to sign a guarantee with the original tax credit investors to protect the investors from potential recapture of tax credits that would occur if the property falls out of LIHTC compliance.

In some states, purchasers of LIHTC property have to be approved by the state housing finance authority, but not in Maryland. Kunitz said that being an experienced LIHTC developer/manager is not necessarily a prerequisite to purchasing the LIHTC properties. Companies can be prepared for the task. Marcus & Millichap, he says, converts about five buyers per year to becoming LIHTC buyers.

The Tax Credit Group of Marcus & Millichap of Kunitz, Robert Sheppard, Armand Tiberio and Spencer Hurst based out of the firm’s Seattle office, along with local agent David Weber in the Washington, D.C., office represented the seller in the transaction.

The purchase was financed through an agency loan, says Kunitz. The property’s occupancy was close to 94 percent, he said. The property has to remain afforable through Dec. 31, 2025.

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August 06, 2009

Cost Segregation - Case Law, History and Methodologies

Case Law, History and Methodologies
2 CE Hours (CPA/EA)
Friday August 14, 2009 8am - 10am PDT

Cost Segregation - Case Law, History and Methodologies
Theoretical overview and understanding of some of the most important cost segregation fundamentals including: relevant legal history, engineering steps, and the IRS's treatment of the acceptable techniques. You will receive critical in-depth information on the IRS's Audit Techniques Guide (ATG) while addressing the different methodologies recognized by the IRS. Additionally, we will be reviewing several qualifying tests used to determine 1245 property. You will become familiar with the process utilized during the completion of a cost segregation study and review the appropriate deliverables, their formats and the feasibility study process.

Our program is designed for both CPAs and EAs seeking CE hours; as well as Financial and Real Estate professionals who are new to cost segregation and EPAct - and those seeking to refresh and update their working knowledge of a growing tax planning strategy.

Register Below
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July 26, 2009

commercial appraiser commercial appraisal

Following are a few of the over 1,200 available properties that can be found at commercial appraiser commercial appraisalTM1031Exchange. Current market conditions continue to produce buy opportunities not seen in recent memory.

REO Properties/Debt
Purchase commercial, multi-family and residential properties or debt at 50% to 60% discounts. Utilize TM 1031 Exchange’s property receiver/bank network to find the property you are looking for. Click REO to find out more.
Tenant in Common (TIC)
 Medical, multi-family, retail, office offerings providing
strong cash flow up to 9.5%. Minimum investment starting
at $50,000. Click Tenant in Common for a list.
Non Tenant in Common Properties
Bradenton, Florida
Price: $672,000
Cap Rate: 9.1%
Comments: 2 six-unit buildings located on a residential, single family home street
Pueblo, Colorado
Price: $1,000,000
Cap Rate: 9.07%
Comments: Dollar General corporate signed a 10 Year NN Lease scheduled to commence on August 15th, 2009. 9,000 sf building being built on an acre of land. Over 100,000 people within 5 miles.
St. Petersburg, Florida
Price: $1,275,000
Cap Rate: 12.1%
Comments: 90% Occupied. $32,692 per unit. Amenity Close including a new middle school, post office and down town St Petersburg.
Tampa, Florida
Price: $1,402,258
Cap Rate: 6.2%
Comments: 15% increases every 5 years. 15 of 20 yrs remaining on lease. Over 230,000 within 5 miles
Newport News, VA
Price: $1,550,000
Cap Rate: 9.5%
Comments: National Tenant with over 1,000 locations, 6 years remaining on the existing lease. 3% lease rate increases every 3 years. Upside in renting 5,500 vacant retail space. Possible seller financing. Excellent demographics and economic diversity.
Holly Hill (Daytona MSA), Florida
Price: $1,625,000
Cap Rate: 8.75%
Comments: Over 100,000 within 5 miles. Heavily traveled corridor. Close to Daytona Motor Speedway.
Evergreen, Colorado
Price: $3,270,000
Cap Rate: 8.04%
Comments: $176 per square foot. 100% leased to Bank of America with new
5 yr lease renewal
Saint Joseph, Missouri
Price: $8,900,000
Cap Rate: 9.5%
Comments: 94.4% Occupied with predominantly national tenants. All NNN leases. Assumable non-recourse financing with 6.5 years remaining, a 77% LTV at a 5% interest rate.
Various Cities, Illinois
Price: $12,800,000
Cap Rate: 11%
Comments: Portfolio of 7 Applebee’s (Franchisee) in Illinois2% Annual Increases. Seller motivated.
Houston, Texas
Price: $15,000,000
Cap Rate: 13.33% Actual
Comments: 88% Occupied on 40 plus acres
Various Cities and States
Price: $18,200,000
Cap Rate: 11%
Comments: 28 locations in Alabama, Florida and Georgia. Aggregate building sf of 60,767 sf and over 528,000 sf of land.
If you would like further information for any of these opportunities please reply to this email or call us toll free at 1-877-486-1031 (001 310 264 0497 International).
Visit us at TM 1031 Exchange for a complete list of currently available investment properties. 
commercial appraiser commercial appraisal
Tim Marshall
TM 1031 Exchange, Inc.
(877) 4 TM 1031 (Toll Free)
Please feel free to click on the forward e-mail link below to send to other interested investors.
To ensure that you receive all property information from TM 1031 Exchange, please add to your email Contacts/Address Book or Safe List." 
Information obtained from sources deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Investors should conduct their own independent investigations and rely only on those results
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July 25, 2009

Commercial Appraiser Commercial APpraiser

When a closely-held business changes hands, substantial tax dollars may be at stake. However, valuing such a company is an inexact science. Commercial Appraiser Commercial APpraiser

Therefore, if you or one of your clients inherits a family business, here are two important considerations:

Get a thorough appraisal from a respected professional and go to court if necessary.
Fight for a lower value for tax purposes, as long as you have a solid argument.

That's the lesson learned from the Estate of Simplot. In this case, the business contained both Class A voting shares and Class B non-voting shares. The estate held 23 percent of the voting stock in the Idaho company, which was involved in processing frozen food potatoes and other businesses. The IRS assessed a "control premium" and the Tax Court agreed. But the family fought back and lowered its tax bill.


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Commercial Appraiser, Commercial Appraisal

The CPA vs. The Cost Segregation Study, Commercial Appraiser, Commercial Appraisal

Many if not most tax advisors are reluctant to perform cost segregation studies. With new technology however, the tax benefits of such studies far outweigh the obstacles to completion - even for clients who own smaller investment properties.

In brief, cost segregation studies separate personal property and land improvements that depreciate in five and 15 years from real property that depreciates, in the case of residential rental property, in 27.5 years. Seeking out faster write-offs through cost segregation results in greater cash flow, since the payment of federal and state income taxes is deferred. Cost segregation studies also let taxpayers write off obsolete components and can even lower local realty-transfer taxes.

Example of First Year* Savings Before and After Cost Segregation Study


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November 20, 2008

California Tax Credit Allocation Committee

California Tax Credit Allocation Committee


commercial appraiser, commercial appraisal

The Tax Credit Allocation Committee (TCAC) has been approached by several parties expressing concerns about TCAC conducting a first round competition in 2009 during a time of such great uncertainty in the tax credit investment market. TCAC is interested in hearing from tax credit stakeholders on this matter, and is therefore conducting a brief poll. Specifically, TCAC seeks your input as to the merits of holding a single funding round, rather than two, in 2009.

Please take a moment and complete the attached survey by Noon on Wednesday, November 26th. Click on the following link and to submit your response. Thank you for your participation. commercial appraiser, commercial appraisal

Important Survey Poll

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