Taxpayers appealing to the State Board of Equalization may represent themselves, be represented by a member of the taxpayer's immediate family, or be assisted by anyone they choose, although the degree of assistance may be regulated by the administrative judge or the rules of appeal. Taxpayers who send another on their behalf are deemed to have designated that person as their agent, but only the following persons may act as an agent in a property tax appeal before the State Board of Equalization:
- Regular officers, directors, or employees of a taxpayer that is a corporation or other artificial entity
- Certified public accountants, if the only issue is the valuation of tangible personal property, or
- Agents who have pre-qualified and registered with the State Board of Equalization
Board-registered agents must qualify on the basis of appraisal training (120 classroom hours) and experience (four years) and register with the State Board of Equalization. In addition, prospective agents must pass the Tennessee Certified Assessor exam given by the state Division of Property Assessments.
Registered Agents must present satisfactory evidence that the person has:
- Not less than four (4) years of experience in real property appraisal and/or assessment valuation; and
- Successfully complete all of the following:
- not less than one hundred twenty (120) classroom hours of academic instruction in subjects of which the primary substance relates to property appraisal or assessment of property from a college or university, or from a nationally recognized appraisal or assessment organization approved by the board;
- Passed the examination for Tennessee certified assessor as administered by the office of the Comptroller of the Treasury; and
- No person shall be required to meet the additional registration qualifications required by this section if such person has registered or applied for registration prior to June 30, 2002.
Alternatively, a person seeking to become a registered agent may in lieu of the evidence required above, present either:
- a Certified Member designation from the Institute of Professionals in Taxation; or
- the Accredited Senior Appraiser (ASA) designation of the American Society of Appraiser.
Other organizations conferring professional designations must apply to the State Board of Equalization for recognition of a particular designation.
A corporation engaged in the business of evaluation of property may be registered if its principal officer is registered, but only employees of the corporation who are registered shall be permitted to act as agents for taxpayers.
All agents' registrations issued by the board expire on June 30 of each even-numbered year, and are invalid after that date unless renewed. Registrations may be renewed on or before the expiration date by remitting to the board the biennial registration fee of two hundred dollars ($200) and evidence of twenty (20) hours of continuing education credit hours. Courses recognized by the Tennessee Real Estate Appraiser Commission qualify for continuing education credit hours for purposes of agent registration renewal.
An agent's registration may be renewed through SBOE's online agent registration system:
- On or before the expiration date, by remitting the biennial registration fee of two hundred dollars ($200) and verification of twenty (20) continuing education credit hours; or
- Within a period of one (1) year after the expiration date, by remitting to the board the biennial registration fee of two hundred dollars ($200) plus a late renewal fee of fifty dollars ($50.00).
Any person whose registration has lapsed for more than one (1) year must reapply for registration.
Any written solicitation of a business, by letter, advertisement, or otherwise, by any registered agent other than an attorney, must contain in type large enough to be easily readable, a disclaimer stating substantially as follows:
“Taxpayer agents who are not lawyers may only appear on your behalf before the State Board of Equalization on matters of classification, assessment, and/or valuation, and may not represent you in a court of law.”