26 CFR 1.170A-4A - Special rule for the deduction of certain charitable contributions of inventory and other property.

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§ 1.170A-4A Special rule for the deduction of certain charitable contributions of inventory and other property.
(a) Introduction. Section 170(e)(3) provides a special rule for the deduction of certain qualified contributions of inventory and certain other property. To be treated as a “qualified contribution”, a contribution must meet the restrictions and requirements of section 170(e)(3)(A) and paragraph (b) of this section. Paragraph (b)(1) of this section describes the corporations whose contributions may be subject to this section, the exempt organizations to which these contributions may be made, and the kinds of property which may be contributed. Under paragraph (b)(2) of this section, the use of the property must be related to the purpose or function constituting the ground for the exemption of the organization to which the contribution is made. Also, the property must be used for the care of the ill, needy, or infants. Under paragraph (b)(3) of this section, the recipient organization may not, except as there provided, require or receive in exchange money, property, or services for the transfer or use of property contributed under section 170(e)(3). Under paragraph (b)(4) of this section, the recipient organization must provide the contributing taxpayer with a written statement representing that the organization intends to comply with the restrictions set forth in paragraph (b) (2) and (3) of this section on the use and transfer of the property. Under paragraph (b)(5) of this section, the contributed property must conform to any applicable provisions of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (as amended), and the regulations thereunder, at the date of contribution and for the immediately preceding 180 days. Paragraph (c) of this section provides the rules for determining the amount of reduction of the charitable contribution under section 170(e)(3). In general, the amount of the reduction is equal to one-half of the amount of gain (other than gain described in paragraph (d) of this section) which would not have been long-term capital gain if the property had been sold by the donor-taxpayer at fair market value at the date of contribution. If, after this reduction, the amount of the deduction would be more than twice the basis of the contributed property, the amount of the deduction is accordingly further reduced under paragraph (c)(1) of this section. The basis of contributed property which is inventory is determined under paragraph (c)(2) of this section, and the donor's cost of goods sold for the year of contribution must be adjusted under paragraph (c)(3) of this section. Under paragraph (d) of this section, a deduction is not allowed for any amount which, if the property had been sold by the donor-taxpayer, would have been gain to which the recapture provisions of section 617, 1245, 1250, 1251, or 1252 would have applied. For purposes of section 170(e)(3) the rules of § 1.170A-4 apply where not inconsistent with the rules of this section.
(b) Qualified contributions—
(1) In general. A contribution of property qualifies under section 170(e)(3) of this section only if it is a charitable contribution:
(i) By a corporation, other than a corporation which is an electing small business corporation within the meaning of section 1371(b);
(ii) To an organization described in section 501(c)(3) and exempt under section 501(a), other than a private foundation, as defined in section 509(a), which is not an operating foundation, as defined in section 4942(j)(e);
(iii) Of property described in section 1221 (1) or (2);
(iv) Which contribution meets the restrictions and requirements of paragraph (b) (2) through (5) of this section.
(2) Restrictions on use of contributed property. In order for the contribution to qualify under this section, the contributed property is subject to the following restrictions in use. If the transferred property is used or transferred by the donee organization (or by any subsequent transferee that furnished to the donee organization the written statement described in paragraph (b)(4)(ii) of this section) in a manner inconsistent with the requirements of subdivision (i) or (ii) of this paragraph (b)(2) or the requirements of paragraph (b)(3) of this section, the donor's deduction is reduced to the amount allowable under section 170 of the regulations thereunder, determined without regard to section 170(e)(3) of this section. If, however, the donor establishes that, at the time of the contribution, the donor reasonably anticipated that the property would be used in a manner consistent with those requirements, then the donor's deduction is not reduced.
(i) Requirement of use for exempt purpose. The use of the property must be related to the purpose or function constituting the ground for exemption under section 501(c)(3) of the organization to which the contribution is made. The property may not be used in connection with any activity which gives rise to unrelated trade or business income, as defined in sections 512 and 513 and the regulations thereunder.
(ii) Requirement of use for care of the ill, needy, or infants—
(A) In general. The property must be used for the care of the ill, needy, or infants, as defined in this subdivision (ii). The property itself must ultimately either be transferred to (or for the use of) the ill, needy, or infants for their care or be retained for their care. No other person may use the contributed property except as incidental to primary use in the care of the ill, needy, or infants. The organization may satisfy the requirement of this subdivision by transferring the property to a relative, custodian, parent or guardian of the ill or needy individual or infant, or to any other individual if it makes a reasonable effort to ascertain that the property will ultimately be used primarily for the care of the ill or needy individual, or infant, and not for the primary benefit of any other person. The recipient organization may transfer the property to another exempt organization within the jurisdiction of the United States which meets the description contained in paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section, or to an organization not within the jurisdiction of the United States that, but for the fact that it is not within the jurisdiction of the United States, would be described in paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section. If an organization transfers the property to another organization, the transferring organization must obtain a written statement from the transferee organization as set forth in paragraph (b)(4) of this section. If the property is ultimately transferred to, or used for the benefit of, ill or needy persons, or infants, not within the jurisdiction of the United States, the organization which so transfers the property outside the jurisdiction of the United States must necessarily be a corporation. See section 170(c)(2) and § 1.170A-11(a). For purposes of this subdivision, if the donee-organization charges for its transfer of contributed property (other than a fee allowed by paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section), the requirement of this subdivision is not met. See paragraph (b)(3) of this section.
(B) Definition of the ill. An ill person is a person who requires medical care within the meaning of § 1.213-1(e). Examples of ill persons include a person suffering from physical injury, a person with a significant impairment of a bodily organ, a person with an existing handicap, whether from birth or later injury, a person suffering from malnutrition, a person with a disease, sickness, or infection which significantly impairs physical health, a person partially or totally incapable of self-care (including incapacity due to old age). A person suffering from mental illness is included if the person is hospitalized or institutionalized for the mental disorder, or, although the person is nonhospitalized or noninstitutionalized, if the person's mental illness constitutes a significant health impairment.
(C) Definition of care of the ill. Care of the ill means alleviation or cure of an existing illness and includes care of the physical, mental, or emotional needs of the ill.
(D) Definition of the needy. A needy person is a person who lacks the necessities of life, involving physical, mental, or emotional well-being, as a result of poverty or temporary distress. Examples of needy persons include a person who is financially impoverished as a result of low income and lack of financial resources, a person who temporarily lacks food or shelter (and the means to provide for it), a person who is the victim of a natural disaster (such as fire or flood), a person who is the victim of a civil disaster (such as a civil disturbance), a person who is temporarily not self-sufficient as a result of a sudden and severe personal or family crisis (such as a person who is the victim of a crime of violence or who has been physically abused), a person who is a refugee or immigrant and who is experiencing language, cultural, or financial difficulties, a minor child who is not self-sufficient and who is not cared for by a parent or guardian, and a person who is not self-sufficient as a result of previous institutionalization (such as a former prisoner or a former patient in a mental institution).
(E) Definition of care of the needy. Care of the needy means alleviation or satisfaction of an existing need. Since a person may be needy in some respects and not needy in other respects, care of the needy must relate to the particular need which causes the person to be needy. For example, a person whose temporary need arises from a natural disaster may need temporary shelter and food but not recreational facilities.
(F) Definition of infant. An infant is a minor child (as determined under the laws of the jurisdiction in which the child resides).
(G) Definition of care of an infant. Care of an infant means performance of parental functions and provision for the physical, mental, and emotional needs of the infant.
(3) Restrictions on Transfer of contributed property—
(i) In general. Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (ii) of this paragraph (b)(3), a contribution will not qualify under this section, if the donee-organization or any transferee of the donee-organization requires or receives any money, property, or services for the transfer or use of property contributed under section 170(e)(3). For example, if an organization provides temporary shelter for a fee, and also provides free meals to ill or needy individuals, or infants using food contributed under this section the contribution of food is subject to this section (if the other requirements of this section are met). However, the fee charged by the organization for the shelter may not be increased merely because meals are served to the ill or needy individuals or infants.
(ii) Exception. A contribution may qualify under this section if the donee-organization charges a fee to another organization in connection with its transfer of the donated property, if:
(A) The fee is small or nominal in relation to the value of the transferred property and is not determined by this value; and
(B) The fee is designed to reimburse the donee-organization for its administrative, warehousing, or other similar costs.
For example, if a charitable organization (such as a food bank) accepts surplus food to distribute to other charities which give the food to needy persons, a small fee may be charged to cover administrative, warehousing, and other similar costs. This fee may be charged on the basis of the total number of pounds of food distributed to the transferee charity but not on the basis of the value of the food distributed. The provisions of this subdivision (ii) do not apply to a transfer of donated property directly from an organization to ill or needy individuals, or infants.
(4) Requirement of a written statement—
(i) Furnished to taxpayer. In the case of any contribution made on or after March 3, 1982, the donee-organization must furnish to the taxpayer a written statement which:
(A) Describes the contributed property, stating the date of its receipt;
(B) Represents that the property will be used in compliance with section 170(e)(3) and paragraphs (b) (2) and (3) of this section;
(C) Represents that the donee-organization meets the requirements of paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section; and
(D) Represents that adequate books and records will be maintained, and made available to the Internal Revenue Service upon request.
The written statement must be furnished within a reasonable period after the contribution, but not later than the date (including extensions) by which the donor is required to file a United States corporate income tax return for the year in which the contribution was made. The books and records described in (D) of this subdivision (i) need not trace the receipt and disposition of specific items of donated property if they disclose compliance with the requirements by reference to aggregate quantities of donated property. The books and records are adequate if they reflect total amounts received and distributed (or used), and outline the procedure used for determining that the ultimate recipient of the property is an ill or needy individual, or infant. However, the books and records need not reflect the names of the ultimate individual recipients or the property distributed to (or used by) each one.
(ii) Furnished to transferring organization. If an organization that received a contribution under this section transfers the contributed property to another organization on or after March 3, 1982, the transferee organization must furnish to the transferring organization a written statement which contains the information required in paragraph (b)(4)(i) (A), (B) and (D) of this section. The statement must also represent that the transferee organization meets the requirements of paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section (or, in the case of a transferee organization which is a foreign organization not within the jurisdiction of the United States, that, but for such fact, the organization would meet the requirements of paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section). The written statement must be furnished within a reasonable period after the transfer.
(5) Requirement of compliance with the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act—
(i) In general. With respect to property contributed under this section which is subject to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (as amended), and regulations thereunder, the contributed property must comply with the applicable provisions of that Act and regulations thereunder at the date of the contribution and for the immediately preceding 180 days. In the case of specific items of contributed property not in existence for the entire period of 180 days immediately preceding the date of contribution, the requirement of this paragraph (b)(5) is considered met if the contributed property complied with that Act and the regulations thereunder during the period of its existence and at the date of contribution and if, for the 180 day period prior to contribution other property (if any) held by the taxpayer at any time during that period, which property was fungible with the contributed property, complied with that Act and the regulations thereunder during the period held by the taxpayer.
(ii) Example. The rule of this paragraph (b)(5) may be illustrated by the following example.
Example.
Corporation X a grocery store, contributes 12 crates of navel oranges. The oranges were picked and placed in the grocery store's stock two weeks prior to the date of contribution. The contribution satisfies the requirements of this paragraph (b)(5) if X complied with the Act and regulations thereunder for 180 days prior to the date of contribution with respect to all navel oranges in stock during that period.
(c) Amount of reduction—
(1) In general. Section 170(e)(3)(B) requires that the amount of the charitable contribution subject to this section which would be taken into account under section 170(a), without regard to section 170(e), must be reduced before applying the percentage limitations under section 170(b). The amount of the first reduction is equal to one-half of the amount of gain which would not have been long-term capital gain if the property had been sold by the donor-taxpayer at its fair market value on the date of its contribution, excluding, however, any amount described in paragraph (d) of this section. If the amount of the charitable contribution which remains after this reduction exceeds twice the basis of the contributed property, then the amount of the charitable contribution is reduced a second time to an amount which is equal to twice the amount of the basis of the property.
(2) Basis of contributed property which is inventory. For the purposes of this section, notwithstanding the rules of § 1.170A-1(c)(4), the basis of contributed property which is inventory must be determined under the donor's method of accounting for inventory for purposes of United States income tax. The donor must use as the basis of the contributed item the inventoriable carrying cost assigned to any similar item not included in closing inventory. For example, under the LIFO dollar value method of accounting for inventory, where there has been an invasion of a prior year's layer, the donor may choose to treat the item contributed as having a basis of the unit's cost with reference to the layer(s) of prior year(s) cost or with reference to the current year cost.
(3) Adjustment to cost of goods sold. Notwithstanding the rules of § 1.170A-1(c)(4), the donor of the property which is inventory contributed under this section must make a corresponding adjustment to cost of goods sold by decreasing the cost of goods sold by the lesser of the fair market value of the contributed item or the amount of basis determined under paragraph (c)(2) of this section.
(4) Examples. The rules of this paragraph (c) may be illustrated by the following examples:
Example 1.
During 1978 corporation X, a calendar year taxpayer, makes a qualified contribution of women's coats which were section 1221(1) property. The fair market value of the property at the date of contribution is $1,000, and the basis of the property is $200. The amount of the charitable contribution which would be taken into account under section 170(a) is the fair market value ($1,000). The amount of gain which would not have been long-term capital gain if the property had been sold is $800 ($1,000−$200). The amount of the contribution is reduced by one-half the amount which would not have been capital gain if the property had been sold ($800/2=-$400).
After this reduction, the amount of the contribution which may be taken into account is $600 ($1,000−$400). A second reduction is made in the amount of the charitable contribution because this amount (as first reduced to $600) is more than $400 which is an amount equal to twice the basis of the property. The amount of the further reduction is $200 [$600−(2×$200)], and the amount of the contribution as finally reduced is $400 [$1,00−($400 $200)]. X would also have to decrease its cost of goods sold for the year of contribution by $200.
Example 2.
Assume the same facts as set forth in Example 1 except that the basis of the property is $600. The amount of the first reduction is $200 (($1,000−$600)/2).
As reduced, the amount of the contribution which may be taken into account is $800 ($1,000−$200). There is no second reduction because $800 is less than $1,200 which is twice the basis of the property. However, X would have to decrease its cost of goods sold for the year of contribution by $600.
(d) Recapture excluded. A deduction is not allowed under section 170(e)(3) or this section for any amount which, if the property had been sold by the donor-taxpayer on the date of its contribution for an amount equal to its fair market value, would have been treated as ordinary income under section 617, 1245, 1250, 1251, or 1252. Thus, before making either reduction required by section 170(e)(3)(B) and paragraph (c) of this section, the fair market value of the contributed property must be reduced by the amount of gain that would have been recognized (if the property had been sold) as ordinary income under section 617, 1245, 1250, 1251, or 1252.
(e) Effective date. This section applies to qualified contributions made after October 4, 1976.
[T.D. 7807, 47 FR 4510, Feb. 1, 1982, as amended by T.D. 7962, 49 FR 27317, July 3, 1984]

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