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acquisition or the unit market value on March 1, 1913, if acquired prior thereto. The unit market value as of March 1, 1913, shall be the unit price at which the standing timber in its then condition and in view of its then environment could have been sold for cash or its equivalent. The amount of the deduction for depletion in any taxable year shall be the product of the number of feet of stumpage cut during the year multiplied by such unit cost or market value of the stumpage. (Art. 229.)
REVALUATION OF STUMPAGE NOT ALLOWED.
REGULATION. The fair market value of stumpage when determined as of March 1, 1913, for the purpose of depletion allowances in the case of timber acquired prior thereto, shall be the basis for determining the depletion deduction for each year during the continuance of the ownership under which the fair market value of the stumpage was fixed, and during such ownership there can be no redetermination of the fair market value of the stumpage for such purpose. However, the unit market value of stumpage adopted by the taxpayer may subsequently be changed if from any cause such value, if continued as a basis of depletion, should upon evidence satisfactory to the Commissioner be found inadequate or excessive for the extinguishment of the fair market value of the timber as of March 1, 1913. (Art. 230.)
Revaluations based on discoveries after March 1, 1913, are not permitted as in the case of mines and oil wells.
STATEMENT TO BE ATTACHED TO RETURN.
REGULATION. To the return of the taxpayer claiming a deduction for depletion or depreciation or both there should be attached a statement setting out (a) whether the owner is an owner in fee or a lessee or both; (b) a description of the property owned in fee, if any, and a description of the leasehold property, if any, including the date of acquisition and the date of expiration of the lease; (c) the cost of the freehold and the leasehold property; (d) the number of feet of timber removed and sold during the year for which the return was made; (c) the total amount deducted on account of depletion and on account of depreciation, stated separately, up to the taxable year during the ownership of the taxpayer; and (f) any other data which would be helpful in determining the reasonableness of the depletion and depreciation deductions claimed in the return. The taxpayer shall keep accurate ledger accounts as outlined in article 216, and in general should comply with the requirements of the foregoing articles relating to the depletion of mines and oil and gas wells so far as applicable. (Art. 233.)
DETERMINATION OF FAIR MARKET VALUE OF TIMBER. —
REGULATION. Where the fa'r market value of the property at a specified date in lieu of the cost thereof is the basis for depletion and depreciation deductions such value must be determined, subject to approval or revision by the Commissioner, by the owner of the property in the light of the most reliable and accurate information with reference to the condition of the property as it existed at that date, regardless of all subsequent changes such as changes in surrounding circumstances, in methods of exploitation, in degree of utilization, etc. The value sought should be that established assuming a transfer between a willing seller and a willing buyer as of that particular date. No rule or method of determining the fair market value of timber property is prescribed, but the Commissioner will give due weight and consideration to any and all facts and evidence having a bearing on the market value, such as cost, actual sales and transfers of similar properties, market value of stock or shares, royalties and rentals, value fixed by the owner for purposes of the capital stock tax, valuation for local or State taxation, partnership accountings, records of litigation in which the value of the property was in question, the amount at which the property may have been inventoried in probate court, disinterested appraisals by approved methods, and other factors. For depletion purposes the cost of the timber or its fair market value at a specified date shall not include any part of the cost or value of the land. (Art. 234.)
DETERMINATION OF QUANTITY OF TIMBER.—
REGULATION. Each taxpayer claiming a deduction for depletion is required to estimate with respect to each separate timber account the total units (feet board measure, cords, or other units) of timber reasonably known or on good evidence believed to have existed on the ground on March 1, 1913, or on the date of acquisition of the property, as the case may be. The taxpayer, according to his best knowledge and belief and in the light of the most accurate and reliable information, will estimate the number of units of timber actually present upon the specified date; this estimate will state the number of units which would have been found present by a careful estimate made on the specified date with the object of determining 100 per cent of the quantity of timber which the area would have produced on that date if all of the merchantable timber had been cut and utilized in accordance with the standards of utilization prevailing in that region at that time. If subsequently during the ownership of the taxpayer making the return additional units of timber are found to be available for utilization as the result of the growth of the timber, of closer utilization of the timber, of the utilization of species of trees not formerly utilized, of underestimates of the quantity of timber available on the specified date, etc., which were not taken into account in estimating the number of units for purposes of depletion, or if it shall be found in the course of operation that timber included in the estimate is not merchantable as the result of deterioration through rot or otherwise, or that the original estimate was too great, a new estimate of the recoverable units of timber (but not of the cost or the fair market value at a specified date) shall be made and when made shall thereafter constitute a basis for depletion. In the selection of the unit or units of estimate the custom applicable to the given type of timber in the given region should be considered. (Art. 235. Articles 234 and 235 appeared as T. D. 2916, September 5, 1919.)