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An ESOP valuation or appraisal must be completed by an independent expert. The valuation is necessary to determine the contribution amounts to the ESOP. It is also necessary to "cash out" terminating and retiring employee participants. The appraisal is then reported to the IRS on the annual Form 5500 filing.
An ESOP or Employee Stock Option Plan, is a company or corporation sponsored retirement plan in which the employee participant contributes a percentage to the ESOP, and the company, or corporation, issues or transfer company, or corporate stock, to the employee participant. The company, or corporate stock, held by a ESOP compounds tax-deferred.
Due to the nature and purpose of an ESOP, in most situations the valuation should follow the guidelines set forth in Financial Accounting Standards, FAS 157.
The IRS, Dept. of Labor, and most auditors will only accept Valuations computed, and documented with supporting exhibits, from an independent expert. Valuations from the investor, the investment management, and the investment management's accounting firm, are not acceptable to the above agencies.