26 CFR § 1.1275-1 - Definitions.

§ 1.1275-1 Definitions.

(a) Applicability. The definitions contained in this section apply for purposes of sections 163(e) and 1271 through 1275 and the regulations thereunder.

(b) Adjusted issue price -

(1) In general. The adjusted issue price of a debt instrument at the beginning of the first accrual period is the issue price. Thereafter, the adjusted issue price of the debt instrument is the issue price of the debt instrument -

(i) Increased by the amount of OID previously includible in the gross income of any holder (determined without regard to section 1272(a)(7) and section 1272(c)(1)); and

(ii) Decreased by the amount of any payment previously made on the debt instrument other than a payment of qualified stated interest. See § 1.1275-2(f) for rules regarding adjustments to adjusted issue price on a pro rata prepayment.

(2) Bond issuance premium. If a debt instrument is issued with bond issuance premium (as defined in § 1.163-13(c)), for purposes of determining the issuer's adjusted issue price, the adjusted issue price determined under paragraph (b)(1) of this section is also decreased by the amount of bond issuance premium previously allocable under § 1.163-13(d)(3).

(3) Adjusted issue price for subsequent holders. For purposes of calculating OID accruals, acquisition premium, or market discount, a holder (other than a purchaser at original issuance) determines adjusted issue price in any manner consistent with the regulations under sections 1271 through 1275.

(c) OID. OID means original issue discount (as defined in section 1273(a) and § 1.1273-1).

(d) Debt instrument. Except as provided in section 1275(a)(1)(B) (relating to certain annuity contracts; see paragraph (j) of this section), debt instrument means any instrument or contractual arrangement that constitutes indebtedness under general principles of Federal income tax law (including, for example, a certificate of deposit or a loan). Nothing in the regulations under sections 163(e), 483, and 1271 through 1275, however, shall influence whether an instrument constitutes indebtedness for Federal income tax purposes. See § 1.385-3 for rules that treat certain instruments that otherwise would be treated as indebtedness as stock for Federal tax purposes.

(e) Tax-exempt obligations. For purposes of section 1275(a)(3)(B), exempt from tax means exempt from Federal income tax.

(f) Issue.

(1) Debt instruments issued on or after March 13, 2001.

(2) Debt instruments issued before March 13, 2001.

(3) Transition rule.

(4) Cross-references for reopening and aggregation rules.

(g) Debt instruments issued by a natural person. If an entity is a primary obligor under a debt instrument, the debt instrument is considered to be issued by the entity and not by a natural person even if a natural person is a co-maker and is jointly liable for the debt instrument's repayment. A debt instrument issued by a partnership is considered to be issued by the partnership as an entity even if the partnership is composed entirely of natural persons.

(h) Publicly offered debt instrument. A debt instrument is publicly offered if it is part of an issue of debt instruments the initial offering of which -

(1) Is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission; or

(2) Would be required to be registered under the Securities Act of 1933 (15 U.S.C. 77a et seq.) but for an exemption from registration -

(i) Under section 3 of the Securities Act of 1933 (relating to exempted securities);

(ii) Under any law (other than the Securities Act of 1933) because of the identity of the issuer or the nature of the security; or

(iii) Because the issue is intended for distribution to persons who are not United States persons.

(i) [Reserved]

(j) Life annuity exception under section 1275(a)(1)(B)(i) -

(1) Purpose. Section 1275(a)(1)(B)(i) excepts an annuity contract from the definition of debt instrument if section 72 applies to the contract and the contract depends (in whole or in substantial part) on the life expectancy of one or more individuals. This paragraph (j) provides rules to ensure that an annuity contract qualifies for the exception in section 1275(a)(1)(B)(i) only in cases where the life contingency under the contract is real and significant.

(2) General rule -

(i) Rule. For purposes of section 1275(a)(1)(B)(i), an annuity contract depends (in whole or in substantial part) on the life expectancy of one or more individuals only if -

(A) The contract provides for periodic distributions made not less frequently than annually for the life (or joint lives) of an individual (or a reasonable number of individuals); and

(B) The contract does not contain any terms or provisions that can significantly reduce the probability that total distributions under the contract will increase commensurately with the longevity of the annuitant (or annuitants).

(ii) Terminology. For purposes of this paragraph (j):

(A) Contract. The term contract includes all written or unwritten understandings among the parties as well as any person or persons acting in concert with one or more of the parties.

(B) Annuitant. The term annuitant refers to the individual (or reasonable number of individuals) referred to in paragraph (j)(2)(i)(A) of this section.

(C) Terminating death. The phrase terminating death refers to the annuitant death that can terminate periodic distributions under the contract. (See paragraph (j)(2)(i)(A) of this section.) For example, if a contract provides for periodic distributions until the later of the death of the last-surviving annuitant or the end of a term certain, the terminating death is the death of the last-surviving annuitant.

(iii) Coordination with specific rules. Paragraphs (j) (3) through (7) of this section describe certain terms and conditions that can significantly reduce the probability that total distributions under the contract will increase commensurately with the longevity of the annuitant (or annuitants). If a term or provision is not specifically described in paragraphs (j) (3) through (7) of this section, the annuity contract must be tested under the general rule of paragraph (j)(2)(i) of this section to determine whether it depends (in whole or in substantial part) on the life expectancy of one or more individuals.

(3) Availability of a cash surrender option -

(i) Impact on life contingency. The availability of a cash surrender option can significantly reduce the probability that total distributions under the contract will increase commensurately with the longevity of the annuitant (or annuitants). Thus, the availability of any cash surrender option causes the contract to fail to be described in section 1275(a)(1)(B)(i). A cash surrender option is available if there is reason to believe that the issuer (or a person acting in concert with the issuer) will be willing to terminate or purchase all or a part of the annuity contract by making one or more payments of cash or property (other than an annuity contract described in this paragraph (j)).

(ii) Examples. The following examples illustrate the rules of this paragraph (j)(3):

Example 1.
Facts. On March 1, 1998, X issues a contract to A for cash. The contract provides that, effective on any date chosen by A (the annuity starting date), X will begin equal monthly distributions for A's life. The amount of each monthly distribution will be no less than an amount based on the contract's account value as of the annuity starting date, A's age on that date, and permanent purchase rate guarantees contained in the contract. The contract also provides that, at any time before the annuity starting date, A may surrender the contract to X for the account value less a surrender charge equal to a declining percentage of the account value. For this purpose, the initial account value is equal to the cash invested. Thereafter, the account value increases annually by at least a minimum guaranteed rate.

Analysis. The ability to obtain the account value less the surrender charge, if any, is a cash surrender option. This ability can significantly reduce the probability that total distributions under the contract will increase commensurately with A's longevity. Thus, the contract fails to be described in section 1275(a)(1)(B)(i).

Example 2.
Facts. On March 1, 1998, X issues a contract to B for cash. The contract provides that beginning on March 1, 1999, X will distribute to B a fixed amount of cash each month for B's life. Based on X's advertisements, marketing literature, or illustrations or on oral representations by X's sales personnel, there is reason to believe that an affiliate of X stands ready to purchase B's contract for its commuted value.

Analysis. Because there is reason to believe that an affiliate of X stands ready to purchase B's contract for its commuted value, a cash surrender option is available within the meaning of paragraph (j)(3)(i) of this section. This availability can significantly reduce the probability that total distributions under the contract will increase commensurately with B's longevity. Thus, the contract fails to be described in section 1275(a)(1)(B)(i).

(4) Availability of a loan secured by the contract -

(i) Impact on life contingency. The availability of a loan secured by the contract can significantly reduce the probability that total distributions under the contract will increase commensurately with the longevity of the annuitant (or annuitants). Thus, the availability of any such loan causes the contract to fail to be described in section 1275(a)(1)(B)(i). A loan secured by the contract is available if there is reason to believe that the issuer (or a person acting in concert with the issuer) will be willing to make a loan that is directly or indirectly secured by the annuity contract.

(ii) Example. The following example illustrates the rules of this paragraph (j)(4):

Example:
Facts. On March 1, 1998, X issues a contract to C for $100,000. The contract provides that, effective on any date chosen by C (the annuity starting date), X will begin equal monthly distributions for C's life. The amount of each monthly distribution will be no less than an amount based on the contract's account value as of the annuity starting date, C's age on that date, and permanent purchase rate guarantees contained in the contract. From marketing literature circulated by Y, there is reason to believe that, at any time before the annuity starting date, C may pledge the contract to borrow up to $75,000 from Y. Y is acting in concert with X.

Analysis. Because there is reason to believe that Y, a person acting in concert with X, is willing to lend money against C's contract, a loan secured by the contract is available within the meaning of paragraph (j)(4)(i) of this section. This availability can significantly reduce the probability that total distributions under the contract will increase commensurately with C's longevity. Thus, the contract fails to be described in section 1275(a)(1)(B)(i).

(5) Minimum payout provision -

(i) Impact on life contingency. The existence of a minimum payout provision can significantly reduce the probability that total distributions under the contract will increase commensurately with the longevity of the annuitant (or annuitants). Thus, the existence of any minimum payout provision causes the contract to fail to be described in section 1275(a)(1)(B)(i).

(ii) Definition of minimum payout provision. A minimum payout provision is a contractual provision (for example, an agreement to make distributions over a term certain) that provides for one or more distributions made -

(A) After the terminating death under the contract; or

(B) By reason of the death of any individual (including distributions triggered by or increased by terminal or chronic illness, as defined in section 101(g)(1) (A) and (B)).

(iii) Exceptions for certain minimum payouts -

(A) Recovery of consideration paid for the contract. Notwithstanding paragraphs (j)(2)(i)(A) and (j)(5)(i) of this section, a contract does not fail to be described in section 1275(a)(1)(B)(i) merely because it provides that, after the terminating death, there will be one or more distributions that, in the aggregate, do not exceed the consideration paid for the contract less total distributions previously made under the contract.

(B) Payout for one-half of life expectancy. Notwithstanding paragraphs (j)(2)(i)(A) and (j)(5)(i) of this section, a contract does not fail to be described in section 1275(a)(1)(B)(i) merely because it provides that, if the terminating death occurs after the annuity starting date, distributions under the contract will continue to be made after the terminating death until a date that is no later than the halfway date. This exception does not apply unless the amounts distributed in each contract year will not exceed the amounts that would have been distributed in that year if the terminating death had not occurred until the expected date of the terminating death, determined under paragraph (j)(5)(iii)(C) of this section.

(C) Definition of halfway date. For purposes of this paragraph (j)(5)(iii), the halfway date is the date halfway between the annuity starting date and the expected date of the terminating death, determined as of the annuity starting date, with respect to all then-surviving annuitants. The expected date of the terminating death must be determined by reference to the applicable mortality table prescribed under section 417(e)(3)(A)(ii)(I).

(iv) Examples. The following examples illustrate the rules of this paragraph (j)(5):

Example 1.
Facts. On March 1, 1998, X issues a contract to D for cash. The contract provides that, effective on any date D chooses (the annuity starting date), X will begin equal monthly distributions for the greater of D's life or 10 years, regardless of D's age as of the annuity starting date. The amount of each monthly distribution will be no less than an amount based on the contract's account value as of the annuity starting date, D's age on that date, and permanent purchase rate guarantees contained in the contract.

Analysis. A minimum payout provision exists because, if D dies within 10 years of the annuity starting date, one or more distributions will be made after D's death. The minimum payout provision does not qualify for the exception in paragraph (j)(5)(iii)(B) of this section because D may defer the annuity starting date until his remaining life expectancy is less than 20 years. If, on the annuity starting date, D's life expectancy is less than 20 years, the minimum payout period (10 years) will last beyond the halfway date. The minimum payout provision, therefore, can significantly reduce the probability that total distributions under the contract will increase commensurately with D's longevity. Thus, the contract fails to be described in section 1275(a)(1)(B)(i).

Example 2.
Facts. The facts are the same as in Example 1 of this paragraph (j)(5)(iv) except that the monthly distributions will last for the greater of D's life or a term certain. D may choose the length of the term certain subject to the restriction that, on the annuity starting date, the term certain must not exceed one-half of D's life expectancy as of the annuity starting date. The contract also does not provide for any adjustment in the amount of distributions by reason of the death of D or any other individual, except for a refund of D's aggregate premium payments less the sum of all prior distributions under the contract.

Analysis. The minimum payout provision qualifies for the exception in paragraph (j)(5)(iii)(B) of this section because distributions under the minimum payout provision will not continue past the halfway date and the contract does not provide for any adjustments in the amount of distributions by reason of the death of D or any other individual, other than a guaranteed death benefit described in paragraph (j)(5)(iii)(A) of this section. Accordingly, the existence of this minimum payout provision does not prevent the contract from being described in section 1275(a)(1)(B)(i).

(6) Maximum payout provision -

(i) Impact on life contingency. The existence of a maximum payout provision can significantly reduce the probability that total distributions under the contract will increase commensurately with the longevity of the annuitant (or annuitants). Thus, the existence of any maximum payout provision causes the contract to fail to be described in section 1275(a)(1)(B)(i).

(ii) Definition of maximum payout provision. A maximum payout provision is a contractual provision that provides that no distributions under the contract may be made after some date (the termination date), even if the terminating death has not yet occurred.

(iii) Exception. Notwithstanding paragraphs (j)(2)(i)(A) and (j)(6)(i) of this section, an annuity contract does not fail to be described in section 1275(a)(1)(B)(i) merely because the contract contains a maximum payout provision, provided that the period of time from the annuity starting date to the termination date is at least twice as long as the period of time from the annuity starting date to the expected date of the terminating death, determined as of the annuity starting date, with respect to all then-surviving annuitants. The expected date of the terminating death must be determined by reference to the applicable mortality table prescribed under section 417(e)(3)(A)(ii)(I).

(iv) Example. The following example illustrates the rules of this paragraph (j)(6):

Example:
Facts. On March 1, 1998, X issues a contract to E for cash. The contract provides that beginning on April 1, 1998, X will distribute to E a fixed amount of cash each month for E's life but that no distributions will be made after April 1, 2018. On April 1, 1998, E's life expectancy is 9 years.

Analysis. A maximum payout provision exists because if E survives beyond April 1, 2018, E will receive no further distributions under the contract. The period of time from the annuity starting date (April 1, 1998) to the termination date (April 1, 2018) is 20 years. Because this 20-year period is more than twice as long as E's life expectancy on April 1, 1998, the maximum payout provision qualifies for the exception in paragraph (j)(6)(iii) of this section. Accordingly, the existence of this maximum payout provision does not prevent the contract from being described in section 1275(a)(1)(B)(i).

(7) Decreasing payout provision -

(i) General rule. If the amount of distributions during any contract year (other than the last year during which distributions are made) may be less than the amount of distributions during the preceding year, this possibility can significantly reduce the probability that total distributions under the contract will increase commensurately with the longevity of the annuitant (or annuitants). Thus, the existence of this possibility causes the contract to fail to be described in section 1275(a)(1)(B)(i).

(ii) Exception for certain variable distributions. Notwithstanding paragraph (j)(7)(i) of this section, if an annuity contract provides that the amount of each distribution must increase and decrease in accordance with investment experience, cost of living indices, or similar fluctuating criteria, then the possibility that the amount of a distribution may decrease for this reason does not significantly reduce the probability that the distributions under the contract will increase commensurately with the longevity of the annuitant (or annuitants).

(iii) Examples. The following examples illustrate the rules of this paragraph (j)(7):

Example 1.
Facts. On March 1, 1998, X issues a contract to F for $100,000. The contract provides that beginning on March 1, 1999, X will make distributions to F each year until F's death. Prior to March 1, 2009, distributions are to be made at a rate of $12,000 per year. Beginning on March 1, 2009, distributions are to be made at a rate of $3,000 per year.

Analysis. If F is alive in 2009, the amount distributed in 2009 ($3,000) will be less than the amount distributed in 2008 ($12,000). The exception in paragraph (j)(7)(ii) of this section does not apply. The decrease in the amount of any distributions made on or after March 1, 2009, can significantly reduce the probability that total distributions under the contract will increase commensurately with F's longevity. Thus, the contract fails to be described in section 1275(a)(1)(B)(i).

Example 2.
Facts. On March 1, 1998, X issues a contract to G for cash. The contract provides that, effective on any date G chooses (the annuity starting date), X will begin monthly distributions to G for G's life. Prior to the annuity starting date, the account value of the contract reflects the investment return, including changes in the market value, of an identifiable pool of assets. When G chooses the annuity starting date, G must also choose whether the distributions are to be fixed or variable. If fixed, the amount of each monthly distribution will remain constant at an amount that is no less than an amount based on the contract's account value as of the annuity starting date, G's age on that date, and permanent purchase rate guarantees contained in the contract. If variable, the monthly distributions will fluctuate to reflect the investment return, including changes in the market value, of the pool of assets. The monthly distributions under the contract will not otherwise decline from year to year.

Analysis. Because the only possible year-to-year declines in annuity distributions are described in paragraph (j)(7)(ii) of this section, the possibility that the amount of distributions may decline from the previous year does not reduce the probability that total distributions under the contract will increase commensurately with G's longevity. Thus, the potential fluctuation in the annuity distributions does not cause the contract to fail to be described in section 1275(a)(1)(B)(i).

(8) Effective dates -

(i) In general. Except as provided in paragraph (j)(8) (ii) and (iii) of this section, this paragraph (j) is applicable for interest accruals on or after February 9, 1998 on annuity contracts held on or after February 9, 1998.

(ii) Grandfathered contracts. This paragraph (j) does not apply to an annuity contract that was purchased before April 7, 1995. For purposes of this paragraph (j)(8), if any additional investment in such a contract is made on or after April 7, 1995, and the additional investment is not required to be made under a binding contractual obligation that was entered into before April 7, 1995, then the additional investment is treated as the purchase of a contract after April 7, 1995.

(iii) Contracts consistent with the provisions of FI-33-94, published at 1995-1 C.B. 920. See § 601.601(d)(2)(ii)(b) of this chapter. This paragraph (j) does not apply to a contract purchased on or after April 7, 1995, and before February 9, 1998, if all payments under the contract are periodic payments that are made at least annually for the life (or lives) of one or more individuals, do not increase at any time during the term of the contract, and are part of a series of distributions that begins within one year of the date of the initial investment in the contract. An annuity contract that is otherwise described in the preceding sentence does not fail to be described therein merely because it also provides for a payment (or payments) made by reason of the death of one or more individuals.

(k) Exception under section 1275(a)(1)(B)(ii) for annuities issued by an insurance company subject to tax under subchapter L of the Internal Revenue Code -

(1) Rule. For purposes of section 1275(a)(1)(B)(ii), an annuity contract issued by a foreign insurance company is considered as issued by an insurance company subject to tax under subchapter L if the insurance company is subject to tax under subchapter L with respect to income earned on the annuity contract.

(2) Examples. The following examples illustrate the rule of paragraph (k)(1) of this section. Each example assumes that the annuity contract is a contract to which section 72 applies and was issued in a transaction where there is no consideration other than cash or another qualifying annuity contract, pursuant to the exercise of an election under an insurance contract by a beneficiary thereof on the death of the insured party, or in a transaction involving a qualified pension or employee benefit plan. The examples are as follows:

Example 1.
Company X is an insurance company that is organized, licensed and doing business in Country Y. Company X does not have a U.S. trade or business and is not, under section 842, subject to U.S. income tax under subchapter L with respect to income earned on annuity contracts. A, a U.S. taxpayer, purchases an annuity contract from Company X in Country Y. The annuity contract is not excepted from the definition of a debt instrument by section 1275(a)(1)(B)(ii).
Example 2.
The facts are the same as in Example 1, except that Company X has a U.S. trade or business. A purchased the annuity from Company X's U.S. trade or business. Under section 842(a), Company X is subject to tax under subchapter L with respect to income earned on the annuity contract. Under these facts, the annuity contract is excepted from the definition of a debt instrument by section 1275(a)(1)(B)(ii).
Example 3.
The facts are the same as in Example 2, except that there is a tax treaty between Country Y and the United States. Company X is a resident of Country Y for purposes of the U.S.-Country Y tax treaty. Company X's activities in the U.S. do not constitute a permanent establishment under the U.S.-Country Y tax treaty. Because Company X does not have a U.S. permanent establishment, Company X is not subject to tax under subchapter L with respect to income earned on the annuity contract. Thus, the annuity contract is not excepted from the definition of a debt instrument by section 1275(a)(1)(B)(ii).
Example 4.
The facts are the same as in Example 1, except that Company X is a foreign insurance corporation controlled by a U.S. shareholder. Company X does not make an election 1 under section 953(d) to be treated as a domestic corporation. The controlling U.S. shareholder is required under sections 953 and 954 to include income earned on the annuity contract in its taxable income under subpart F. However, Company X is not subject to tax under subchapter L with respect to income earned on the annuity contract. Thus, the annuity contract is not excepted from the definition of a debt instrument by section 1275(a)(1)(B)(ii).
Example 5.
The facts are the same as in Example 4, except that Company X properly elects under section 953(d) to be treated as a domestic corporation. By reason of its election, Company X is subject to tax under subchapter L with respect to income earned on the annuity contract. Thus, the annuity contract is excepted from the definition of a debt instrument by section 1275(a)(1)(B)(ii).

(3) Effective date. This paragraph (k) is applicable for interest accruals on or after June 6, 2002. This paragraph (k) does not apply to an annuity contract that was purchased before January 12, 2001. For purposes of this paragraph (k), if any additional investment in a contract purchased before January 12, 2001, is made on or after January 12, 2001, and the additional investment is not required to be made under a binding written contractual obligation that was entered into before that date, then the additional investment is treated as the purchase of a contract after January 12, 2001.

[T.D. 8517, 59 FR 4825, Feb. 2, 1994, as amended by T.D. 8746, 62 FR 68183, Dec. 31, 1997; T.D. 8754, 63 FR 1057, Jan. 8, 1998; T.D. 8934, 66 FR 2815, Jan. 12, 2001; T.D. 8993, 67 FR 30548, May 7, 2002; T.D. 9790, 81 FR 72984, Oct. 21, 2016: T.D. 9880, 84 FR 59302, Nov. 4, 2019]