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<Guy>
posted
From the CTLA's When a Tree is Damaged or Destroyed: on private property, difference in fair market value is used, but on business property, casualty losses are separate from re mkt value, so "In the absence of other means to determine loss, replacement costs can be used."

I'm wondering what the basis for this distinction was when the brochure was written--199?--, and if subsequent rulings and regs may have changed it.
Also, since many tree owners have home offices and conduct their business on their private property, does this make their property a "business property" so RC can apply?
 
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<Lew Bloch>
posted
Reply to post by Guy, on March 14, 2003 at 06:04:01:

I came to CTLA in 1994 and the brochure you refer to was quite a while before then...

Lew
 
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<Guy>
posted
Reply to post by lew bloch, on March 14, 2003 at 06:04:01:

So this news I'm handing out to people is over ten years old? Sounds like time for an update.
 
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<Scott>
posted
Reply to post by Guy, on March 14, 2003 at 17:58:13:

Well, an ISA-CTLA update might be informative to appraisers, if nothing but to confirm no change. But as tree appraisers we should not be giving "advice" on tax matters to anybody.

Whether a home office qualifies a residence as a business property for the purpose of casualty loss deduction should come from the IRS or an interpretation by the client's tax attorney or CPA.

For purposes of discussion I would guess that if a property is a business property then it would not be necessary to take a home office deduction. You take a home office deduction on a personal tax return for a particular partial use of a primary residence which by definition is not a business property.
 
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<Guy>
posted
Reply to post by Scott, on March 14, 2003 at 18:18:38:

Scott: But as tree appraisers we should not be giving "advice" on tax matters to anybody.

Very true, but just like some have said that tree appraisers are expected to know something about local case law and pass on that experience to clients, or as others have said outside their report they might pass on information about statutes providing for treble damages in the case of trespass or unfair trade practices, they might also be informed about applicable tax regs and pass on that information as well. The CTLA brochure was just one way, and I still wonder if there's really been no change in 10+ years.

It's not advice unless it's stated that the information applies to the case, right?

Scott: You take a home office deduction on a personal tax return for a particular partial use of a primary residence which by definition is not a business property.

Well, it does seem to be both; how big a part needs to be used for business for a property to be a "business property" for this purpose? 10%? 51%? Does a corporation qualify? Does an LLC? Sole proprietor? This is too fine a hair for me to split; not the tree appraiser's job. It'd be the client's call on what to submit; they can seek professional advice if they wish.
 
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<Scott>
posted
Reply to post by Guy, on March 15, 2003 at 12:25:39:

Guy wrote "It's not advice unless it's stated that the information applies to the case, right?"

It's "advice" if it's in any form that passes from you to client or any body else that they might rely on. Whether it's a tax interpretation or a legal requirement about value, it certainly makes sense to be well informed and you can even share that information but you need to be very clear what is within your expertise and is opinion to be relied on and what is perhaps helpful information but not to be relied on without other expert consulatation.
 
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