26 CFR 31.3121(b)(10)-2 - Services performed by certain students in the employ of a school, college, or university, or of a nonprofit organization auxiliary to a school, college, or university.

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§ 31.3121(b)(10)-2 Services performed by certain students in the employ of a school, college, or university, or of a nonprofit organization auxiliary to a school, college, or university.
(a) General rule.
(1) Services performed in the employ of a school, college, or university within the meaning of paragraph (c) of this section (whether or not the organization is exempt from income tax) are excepted from employment, if the services are performed by a student within the meaning of paragraph (d) of this section who is enrolled and is regularly attending classes at the school, college, or university.
(2) Services performed in the employ of an organization which is—
(i) Described in section 509(a)(3) and § 1.509(a)-4;
(ii) Organized, and at all times thereafter operated, exclusively for the benefit of, to perform the functions of, or to carry out the purposes of a school, college, or university within the meaning of paragraph (c) of this section; and
(iii) Operated, supervised, or controlled by or in connection with the school, college, or university; are excepted from employment, if the services are performed by a student who is enrolled and regularly attending classes within the meaning of paragraph (d) of this section at the school, college, or university. The preceding sentence shall not apply to services performed in the employ of a school, college, or university of a State or a political subdivision thereof by a student referred to in section 218(c)(5) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 418(c)(5)) if such services are covered under the agreement between the Commissioner of Social Security and such State entered into pursuant to section 218 of such Act. For the definitions of “operated, supervised, or controlled by”, “supervised or controlled in connection with”, and “operated in connection with”, see paragraphs (g), (h), and (i), respectively, of § 1.509(a)-4.
(b) Statutory tests. For purposes of this section, if an employee has the status of a student within the meaning of paragraph (d) of this section, the amount of remuneration for services performed by the employee, the type of services performed by the employee, and the place where the services are performed are not material. The statutory tests are:
(1) The character of the organization in the employ of which the services are performed as a school, college, or university within the meaning of paragraph (c) of this section, or as an organization described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, and
(2) The status of the employee as a student enrolled and regularly attending classes within the meaning of paragraph (d) of this section at the school, college, or university within the meaning of paragraph (c) of this section by which the employee is employed or with which the employee's employer is affiliated within the meaning of paragraph (a)(2) of this section.
(c) School, College, or University. An organization is a school, college, or university within the meaning of section 3121(b)(10) if its primary function is the presentation of formal instruction, it normally maintains a regular faculty and curriculum, and it normally has a regularly enrolled body of students in attendance at the place where its educational activities are regularly carried on. See section 170(b)(1)(A)(ii) and the regulations thereunder.
(d) Student Status—general rule. Whether an employee has the status of a student performing the services shall be determined based on the relationship of the employee with the organization employing the employee. In order to have the status of a student, the employee must perform services in the employ of a school, college, or university within the meaning of paragraph (c) of this section at which the employee is enrolled and regularly attending classes in pursuit of a course of study within the meaning of paragraphs (d)(1) and (2) of this section. In addition, the employee's services must be incident to and for the purpose of pursuing a course of study within the meaning of paragraph (d)(3) of this section at such school, college, or university. An employee who performs services in the employ of an affiliated organization within the meaning of paragraph (a)(2) of this section must be enrolled and regularly attending classes at the affiliated school, college, or university within the meaning of paragraph (c) of this section in pursuit of a course of study within the meaning of paragraphs (d)(1) and (2) of this section. In addition, the employee's services must be incident to and for the purpose of pursuing a course of study within the meaning of paragraph (d)(3) of this section at such school, college, or university.
(1) Enrolled and regularly attending classes. An employee must be enrolled and regularly attending classes at a school, college, or university within the meaning of paragraph (c) of this section at which the employee is employed to have the status of a student within the meaning of section 3121(b)(10). An employee is enrolled within the meaning of section 3121(b)(10) if the employee is registered for a course or courses creditable toward an educational credential described in paragraph (d)(2) of this section. In addition, the employee must be regularly attending classes to have the status of a student. For purposes of this paragraph (d)(1), a class is an instructional activity led by a faculty member or other qualified individual hired by the school, college, or university within the meaning of paragraph (c) of this section for identified students following an established curriculum. Traditional classroom activities are not the sole means of satisfying this requirement. For example, research activities under the supervision of a faculty advisor necessary to complete the requirements for a Ph.D. degree may constitute classes within the meaning of section 3121(b)(10). The frequency of these and similar activities determines whether an employee may be considered to be regularly attending classes.
(2) Course of study. An employee must be pursuing a course of study in order to have the status of a student. A course of study is one or more courses the completion of which fulfills the requirements necessary to receive an educational credential granted by a school, college, or university within the meaning of paragraph (c) of this section. For purposes of this paragraph, an educational credential is a degree, certificate, or other recognized educational credential granted by an organization described in paragraph (c) of this section. A course of study also includes one or more courses at a school, college or university within the meaning of paragraph (c) of this section the completion of which fulfills the requirements necessary for the employee to sit for an examination required to receive certification by a recognized organization in a field.
(3) Incident to and for the purpose of pursuing a course of study.
(i) General rule. An employee's services must be incident to and for the purpose of pursuing a course of study in order for the employee to have the status of a student. Whether an employee's services are incident to and for the purpose of pursuing a course of study shall be determined on the basis of the relationship of the employee with the organization for which such services are performed as an employee. The educational aspect of the relationship between the employer and the employee, as compared to the service aspect of the relationship, must be predominant in order for the employee's services to be incident to and for the purpose of pursuing a course of study. The educational aspect of the relationship is evaluated based on all the relevant facts and circumstances related to the educational aspect of the relationship. The service aspect of the relationship is evaluated based on all the relevant facts and circumstances related to the employee's employment. The evaluation of the service aspect of the relationship is not affected by the fact that the services performed by the employee may have an educational, instructional, or training aspect. Except as provided in paragraph (d)(3)(iii) of this section, whether the educational aspect or the service aspect of an employee's relationship with the employer is predominant is determined by considering all the relevant facts and circumstances. Relevant factors in evaluating the educational and service aspects of an employee's relationship with the employer are described in paragraphs (d)(3)(iv) and (v) of this section respectively. There may be facts and circumstances that are relevant in evaluating the educational and service aspects of the relationship in addition to those described in paragraphs (d)(3)(iv) and (v) of this section.
(ii) Student status determined with respect to each academic term. Whether an employee's services are incident to and for the purpose of pursuing a course of study is determined separately with respect to each academic term. If the relevant facts and circumstances with respect to an employee's relationship with the employer change significantly during an academic term, whether the employee's services are incident to and for the purpose of pursuing a course of study is reevaluated with respect to services performed during the remainder of the academic term.
(iii) Full-time employee. The services of a full-time employee are not incident to and for the purpose of pursuing a course of study. The determination of whether an employee is a full-time employee is based on the employer's standards and practices, except regardless of the employer's classification of the employee, an employee whose normal work schedule is 40 hours or more per week is considered a full-time employee. An employee's normal work schedule is not affected by increases in hours worked caused by work demands unforeseen at the start of an academic term. However, whether an employee is a full-time employee is reevaluated for the remainder of the academic term if the employee changes employment positions with the employer. An employee's work schedule during academic breaks is not considered in determining whether the employee's normal work schedule is 40 hours or more per week. The determination of an employee's normal work schedule is not affected by the fact that the services performed by the employee may have an educational, instructional, or training aspect.
(iv) Evaluating educational aspect. The educational aspect of an employee's relationship with the employer is evaluated based on all the relevant facts and circumstances related to the educational aspect of the relationship. The educational aspect of an employee's relationship with the employer is generally evaluated based on the employee's course workload. Whether an employee's course workload is sufficient in order for the employee's employment to be incident to and for the purpose of pursuing a course of study depends on the particular facts and circumstances. A relevant factor in evaluating an employee's course workload is the employee's course workload relative to a full-time course workload at the school, college or university within the meaning of paragraph (c) of this section at which the employee is enrolled and regularly attending classes.
(v) Evaluating service aspect. The service aspect of an employee's relationship with the employer is evaluated based on the facts and circumstances related to the employee's employment. Services of an employee with the status of a full-time employee within the meaning of paragraph (d)(3)(iii) of this section are not incident to and for the purpose of pursuing a course of study. Relevant factors in evaluating the service aspect of an employee's relationship with the employer are described in paragraphs (d)(3)(v)(A), (B), and (C) of this section.
(A) Normal work schedule and hours worked. If an employee is not a full-time employee within the meaning of paragraph (d)(3)(iii) of this section, then the employee's normal work schedule and number of hours worked per week are relevant factors in evaluating the service aspect of the employee's relationship with the employer. As an employee's normal work schedule or actual number of hours worked approaches 40 hours per week, it is more likely that the service aspect of the employee's relationship with the employer is predominant. The determination of an employee's normal work schedule and actual number of hours worked is not affected by the fact that some of the services performed by the employee may have an educational, instructional, or training aspect.
(B) Professional employee. (1) If an employee has the status of a professional employee, then that suggests the service aspect of the employee's relationship with the employer is predominant. A professional employee is an employee—
(i) Whose primary duty consists of the performance of work requiring knowledge of an advanced type in a field of science or learning customarily acquired by a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction and study, as distinguished from a general academic education, from an apprenticeship, and from training in the performance of routine mental, manual, or physical processes;
(ii) Whose work requires the consistent exercise of discretion and judgment in its performance; and
(iii) Whose work is predominantly intellectual and varied in character (as opposed to routine mental, manual, mechanical, or physical work) and is of such character that the output produced or the result accomplished cannot be standardized in relation to a given period of time.
(2) Licensed, professional employee. If an employee is a licensed, professional employee, then that further suggests the service aspect of the employee's relationship with the employer is predominant. An employee is a licensed, professional employee if the employee is required to be licensed under state or local law to work in the field in which the employee performs services and the employee is a professional employee within the meaning of paragraph (d)(3)(v)(B)(1) of this section.
(C) Employment Benefits. Whether an employee is eligible to receive one or more employment benefits is a relevant factor in evaluating the service aspect of an employee's relationship with the employer. For example, eligibility to receive vacation, paid holiday, and paid sick leave benefits; eligibility to participate in a retirement plan or arrangement described in sections 401(a), 403(b), or 457(a); or eligibility to receive employment benefits such as reduced tuition (other than qualified tuition reduction under section 117(d)(5) provided to a teaching or research assistant who is a graduate student), or benefits under sections 79 (life insurance), 127 (qualified educational assistance), 129 (dependent care assistance programs), or 137 (adoption assistance) suggest that the service aspect of an employee's relationship with the employer is predominant. Eligibility to receive health insurance employment benefits is not considered in determining whether the service aspect of an employee's relationship with the employer is predominant. The weight to be given the fact that an employee is eligible for a particular employment benefit may vary depending on the type of benefit. For example, eligibility to participate in a retirement plan is generally more significant than eligibility to receive a dependent care employment benefit. Additional weight is given to the fact that an employee is eligible to receive an employment benefit if the benefit is generally provided by the employer to employees in positions generally held by non-students. Less weight is given to the fact that an employee is eligible to receive an employment benefit if eligibility for the benefit is mandated by state or local law.
(e) Examples. The following examples illustrate the principles of paragraphs (a) through (d) of this section:
Example 1.
(i) Employee C is employed by State University T to provide services as a clerk in T's administrative offices, and is enrolled and regularly attending classes at T in pursuit of a B.S. degree in biology. C has a course workload during the academic term which constitutes a full-time course workload at T. C is considered a part-time employee by T during the academic term, and C's normal work schedule is 20 hours per week, but occasionally due to work demands unforeseen at the start of the academic term C works 40 hours or more during a week. C is compensated by hourly wages, and receives no other compensation or employment benefits.
(ii) In this example, C is employed by T, a school, college, or university within the meaning of paragraph (c) of this section. C is enrolled and regularly attending classes at T in pursuit of a course of study. C is not a full-time employee based on T's standards, and C's normal work schedule does not cause C to have the status of a full-time employee, even though C may occasionally work 40 hours or more during a week due to unforeseen work demands. C's part-time employment relative to C's full-time course workload indicates that the educational aspect of C's relationship with T is predominant. Additional facts supporting this conclusion are that C is not a professional employee, and C does not receive any employment benefits. Thus, C's services are incident to and for the purpose of pursuing a course of study. Accordingly, C's services are excepted from employment under section 3121(b)(10).
Example 2.
(i) Employee D is employed in the accounting department of University U, and is enrolled and regularly attending classes at U in pursuit of an M.B.A. degree. D has a course workload which constitutes a half-time course workload at U. D is considered a full-time employee by U under U's standards and practices.
(ii) In this example, D is employed by U, a school, college, or university within the meaning of paragraph (c) of this section. In addition, D is enrolled and regularly attending classes at U in pursuit of a course of study. However, because D is considered a full-time employee by U under its standards and practices, D's services are not incident to and for the purpose of pursuing a course of study. Accordingly, D's services are not excepted from employment under section 3121(b)(10).
Example 3.
(i) The facts are the same as in Example 2, except that D is not considered a full-time employee by U, and D's normal work schedule is 32 hours per week. In addition, D's work is repetitive in nature and does not require the consistent exercise of discretion and judgment, and is not predominantly intellectual and varied in character. However, D receives vacation, sick leave, and paid holiday employment benefits, and D is eligible to participate in a retirement plan maintained by U described in section 401(a).
(ii) In this example, D's half-time course workload relative to D's hours worked and eligibility for employment benefits indicates that the service aspect of D's relationship with U is predominant, and thus D's services are not incident to and for the purpose of pursuing a course of study. Accordingly, D's services are not excepted from employment under section 3121(b)(10).
Example 4.
(i) Employee E is employed by University V to provide patient care services at a teaching hospital that is an unincorporated division of V. These services are performed as part of a medical residency program in a medical specialty sponsored by V. The residency program in which E participates is accredited by the Accreditation Counsel for Graduate Medical Education. Upon completion of the program, E will receive a certificate of completion, and be eligible to sit for an examination required to be certified by a recognized organization in the medical specialty. E's normal work schedule, which includes services having an educational, instructional, or training aspect, is 40 hours or more per week.
(ii) In this example, E is employed by V, a school, college, or university within the meaning of paragraph (c) of this section. However, E's normal work schedule calls for E to perform services 40 or more hours per week. E is therefore a full-time employee, and the fact that some of E's services have an educational, instructional, or training aspect does not affect that conclusion. Thus, E's services are not incident to and for the purpose of pursuing a course of study. Accordingly, E's services are not excepted from employment under section 3121(b)(10) and there is no need to consider other relevant factors, such as whether E is a professional employee or whether E is eligible for employment benefits.
Example 5.
(i) Employee F is employed in the facilities management department of University W. F has a B.S. degree in engineering, and is completing the work experience required to sit for an examination to become a professional engineer eligible for licensure under state or local law. F is not attending classes at W.
(ii) In this example, F is employed by W, a school, college, or university within the meaning of paragraph (c) of this section. However, F is not enrolled and regularly attending classes at W in pursuit of a course of study. F's work experience required to sit for the examination is not a course of study for purposes of paragraph (d)(2) of this section. Accordingly, F's services are not excepted from employment under section 3121(b)(10).
Example 6.
(i) Employee G is employed by Employer X as an apprentice in a skilled trade. X is a subcontractor providing services in the field in which G wishes to specialize. G is pursuing a certificate in the skilled trade from Community College C. G is performing services for X pursuant to an internship program sponsored by C under which its students gain experience, and receive credit toward a certificate in the trade.
(ii) In this example, G is employed by X. X is not a school, college or university within the meaning of paragraph (c) of this section. Thus, the exception from employment under section 3121(b)(10) is not available with respect to G's services for X.
Example 7.
(i) Employee H is employed by a cosmetology school Y at which H is enrolled and regularly attending classes in pursuit of a certificate of completion. Y's primary function is to carry on educational activities to prepare its students to work in the field of cosmetology. Prior to issuing a certificate, Y requires that its students gain experience in cosmetology services by performing services for the general public on Y's premises. H is scheduled to work and in fact works significantly less than 30 hours per week. H's work does not require knowledge of an advanced type in a field of science or learning, nor is it predominantly intellectual and varied in character. H receives remuneration in the form of hourly compensation from Y for providing cosmetology services to clients of Y, and does not receive any other compensation and is not eligible for employment benefits provided by Y.
(ii) In this example, H is employed by Y, a school, college or university within the meaning of paragraph (c) of this section, and is enrolled and regularly attending classes at Y in pursuit of a course of study. Factors indicating the educational aspect of H's relationship with Y is predominant are that H's hours worked are significantly less than 30 per week, H is not a professional employee, and H is not eligible for employment benefits. Based on the relevant facts and circumstances, the educational aspect of H's relationship with Y is predominant. Thus, H's services are incident to and for the purpose of pursuing a course of study. Accordingly, H's services are excepted from employment under section 3121(b)(10).
Example 8.
(i) Employee J is a graduate teaching assistant at University Z. J is enrolled and regularly attending classes at Z in pursuit of a graduate degree. J has a course workload which constitutes a full-time course workload at Z. J's normal work schedule is 20 hours per week, but occasionally due to work demands unforeseen at the start of the academic term J works more than 40 hours during a week. J's duties include grading quizzes and exams pursuant to guidelines set forth by the professor, providing class and laboratory instruction pursuant to a lesson plan developed by the professor, and preparing laboratory equipment for demonstrations. J receives a cash stipend and employment benefits in the form of eligibility to make elective employee contributions to an arrangement described in section 403(b). In addition, J receives qualified tuition reduction benefits within the meaning of section 117(d)(5) with respect to the tuition charged for the credits earned for being a graduate teaching assistant.
(ii) In this example, J is employed by Z, a school, college, or university within the meaning of paragraph (c) of this section, and is enrolled and regularly attending classes at Z in pursuit of a course of study. J's full-time course workload relative to J's normal work schedule of 20 hours per week indicates that the educational aspect of J's relationship with Z is predominant. In addition, J is not a professional employee because J's work does not require the consistent exercise of discretion and judgment in its performance. On the other hand, the fact that J receives employment benefits in the form of eligibility to make elective employee contributions to an arrangement described in section 403(b) indicates that the employment aspect of J's relationship with Z is predominant. Balancing the relevant facts and circumstances, the educational aspect of J's relationship with Z is predominant. Thus, J's services are incident to and for the purpose of pursuing a course of study. Accordingly, J services are excepted from employment under section 3121(b)(10).
(f) Effective date. Paragraphs (a), (b), (c), (d) and (e) of this section apply to services performed on or after April 1, 2005.
(g) For provisions relating to domestic service performed by a student in a local college club, or local chapter of a college fraternity or sorority, see § 31.3121(b)(2)-1.
[T.D. 6516, 25 FR 13032, Dec. 20, 1960; 25 FR 14021, Dec. 31, 1960, as amended by T.D. 7373, 40 FR 30958, July 24, 1975; T.D. 9167, 69 FR 76407, Dec. 21, 2004]

Title 26 published on 2013-04-01

The following are only the Rules published in the Federal Register after the published date of Title 26.

For a complete list of all Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices view the Rulemaking tab.

  • 2014-10-27; vol. 79 # 207 - Monday, October 27, 2014
    1. 79 FR 63811 - Removal of the Qualified Payment Card Agent Program
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      DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY, Internal Revenue Service
      Final regulations.
      These regulations are effective October 27, 2014.
      26 CFR Parts 31 and 301

Title 26 published on 2013-04-01

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 26 CFR 31 after this date.

  • 2014-10-27; vol. 79 # 207 - Monday, October 27, 2014
    1. 79 FR 63811 - Removal of the Qualified Payment Card Agent Program
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY, Internal Revenue Service
      Final regulations.
      These regulations are effective October 27, 2014.
      26 CFR Parts 31 and 301