26 CFR § 1.1402(a)-4 - Rentals from real estate.

§ 1.1402(a)-4 Rentals from real estate.

(a)In general. Rentals from real estate and from personal property leased with the real estate (including such rentals paid in crop shares) and the deductions attributable thereto, unless such rentals are received by an individual in the course of a trade or business as a real-estate dealer, are excluded. Whether or not an individual is engaged in the trade or business of a real-estate dealer is determined by the application of the principles followed in respect of the taxes imposed by sections 1 and 3. In general, an individual who is engaged in the business of selling real estate to customers with a view to the gains and profits that may be derived from such sales is a real-estate dealer. On the other hand, an individual who merely holds real estate for investment or speculation and receives rentals therefrom is not considered a real-estate dealer. Where a real-estate dealer holds real estate for investment or speculation in addition to real estate held for sale to customers in the ordinary course of his trade or business as a real-estate dealer, only the rentals from the real estate held for sale to customers in the ordinary course of his trade or business as a real-estate dealer, and the deductions attributable thereto, are included in determining net earnings from self-employment; the rentals from the real estate held for investment or speculation, and the deductions attributable thereto, are excluded. Rentals paid in crop shares include income derived by an owner or lessee of land under an agreement entered into with another person pursuant to which such other person undertakes to produce a crop or livestock on such land and pursuant to which (1) the crop or livestock, or the proceeds thereof, are to be divided between such owner or lessee and such other person, and (2) the share of the owner or lessee depends on the amount of the crop or livestock produced. See, however, paragraph (b) of this section.

(b)Special rule for “includible farm rental income” -

(1)In general. Notwithstanding the rules set forth in paragraph (a) of this section, there shall be included in determining net earnings from self-employment for taxable years ending after 1955 any income derived by an owner or tenant of land, if the following requirements are met with respect to such income:

(i) The income is derived under an arrangement between the owner or tenant of land and another person which provides that such other person shall produce agricultural or horticultural commodities on such land, and that there shall be material participation by the owner or tenant in the production or the management of the production of such agricultural or horticultural commodities; and

(ii) There is material participation by the owner or tenant with respect to any such agricultural or horticultural commodity.

Income so derived shall be referred to in this section as “includible farm rental income”.

(2)Requirement that income be derived under an arrangement. In order for rental income received by an owner or tenant of land to be treated as includible farm rental income, such income must be derived pursuant to a share-farming or other rental arrangement which contemplates material participation by the owner or tenant in the production or management of production of agricultural or horticultural commodities.

(3)Nature of arrangement.

(i) The arrangement between the owner or tenant and the person referred to in subparagraph (1) of this paragraph may be either oral or written. The arrangement must impose upon such other person the obligation to produce one or more agricultural or horticultural commodities (including livestock, bees, poultry, and fur-bearing animals and wildlife) on the land of the owner or tenant. In addition, it must be within the contemplation of the parties that the owner or tenant will participate in the production or the management of the production of the agricultural or horticultural commodities required to be produced by the other person under such arrangement to an extent which is material with respect either to the production or to the management of production of such commodities or is material with respect to the production and management of production when the total required participation in connection with both is considered.

(ii) The term “production”, wherever used in this paragraph, refers to the physical work performed and the expenses incurred in producing a commodity. It includes such activities as the actual work of planting, cultivating, and harvesting crops, and the furnishing of machinery, implements, seed, and livestock. An arrangement will be treated as contemplating that the owner or tenant will materially participate in the “production” of the commodities required to be produced by the other person under the arrangement if under the arrangement it is understood that the owner or tenant is to engage to a material degree in the physical work related to the production of such commodities. The mere undertaking to furnish machinery, implements, and livestock and to incur expenses is not, in and of itself, sufficient. Such factors may be significant, however, in cases where the degree of physical work intended of the owner or tenant is not material. For example, if under the arrangement it is understood that the owner or tenant is to engage periodically in physical work to a degree which is not material in and of itself and, in addition, to furnish a substantial portion of the machinery, implements, and livestock to be used in the production of the commodities or to furnish or advance funds or assume financial responsibility for a substantial part of the expense involved in the production of the commodities, the arrangement will be treated as contemplating material participation of the owner or tenant in the production of such commodities.

(iii) The term “management of the production”, wherever used in this paragraph, refers to services performed in making managerial decisions relating to the production, such as when to plant, cultivate, dust, spray, or harvest the crop, and includes advising and consulting, making inspections, and making decisions as to matters such as rotation of crops, the type of crops to be grown, the type of livestock to be raised, and the type of machinery and implements to be furnished. An arrangement will be treated as contemplating that the owner or tenant is to participate materially in the “management of the production” of the commodities required to be produced by the other person under the arrangement if the owner or tenant is to engage to a material degree in the management decisions related to the production of such commodities. The services which are considered of particular importance in making such management decisions are those services performed in making inspections of the production activities and in advising and consulting with such person as to the production of the commodities. Thus, if under the arrangement it is understood that the owner or tenant is to advise or consult periodically with the other person as to the production of the commodities required to be produced by such person under the arrangement and to inspect periodically the production activities on the land, a strong inference will be drawn that the arrangement contemplates participation by the owner or tenant in the management of the production of such commodities. The mere undertaking to select the crops or livestock to be produced or the type of machinery and implements to be furnished or to make decisions as to the rotation of crops generally is not, in and of itself, sufficient. Such factors may be significant, however, in making the overall determination of whether the arrangement contemplates that the owner or tenant is to participate materially in the management of the production of the commodities. Thus, if in addition to the understanding that the owner or tenant is to advise or consult periodically with the other person as to the production of the commodities and to inspect periodically the production activities on the land, it is also understood that the owner is to select the type of crops and livestock to be produced and the type of machinery and implements to be furnished and to make decisions as to the rotation of crops, the arrangement will be treated as contemplating material participation of the owner or tenant in the management of production of such commodities.

(4)Actual participation. In order for the rental income received by the owner or tenant of land to be treated as includible farm rental income, not only must it be derived pursuant to the arrangement described in subparagraph (1) of this paragraph, but also the owner or tenant must actually participate to a material degree in the production or in the management of the production of any of the commodities required to be produced under the arrangement, or he must actually participate in both the production and the management of the production to an extent that his participation in the one when combined with his participation in the other will be considered participation to a material degree. If the owner or tenant shows that he periodically advises or consults with the other person, who under the arrangement produces the agricultural or horticultural commodities, as to the production of any of these commodities and also shows that he periodically inspects the production activities on the land, he will have presented strong evidence of the existence of the degree of participation contemplated by section 1402(a)(1). If, in addition to the foregoing, the owner or tenant shows that he furnishes a substantial portion of the machinery, implements, and livestock used in the production of the commodities or that he furnishes or advances funds, or assumes financial responsibility, for a substantial part of the expense involved in the production of the commodities, he will have established the existence of the degree of participation contemplated by section 1402(a)(1) and this paragraph.

(5)Employees or agents. An agreement entered into by an employee or agent of an owner or tenant and another person is considered to be an arrangement entered into by the owner or tenant for purposes of satisfying the requirement set forth in paragraph (b)(2) that the income must be derived under an arrangement between the owner or tenant and another person. For purposes of determining whether the arrangement satisfies the requirement set forth in paragraph (b)(3) that the parties contemplate that the owner or tenant will materially participate in the production or management of production of a commodity, services which will be performed by an employee or agent of the owner or tenant are not considered to be services which the arrangement contemplates will be performed by the owner or tenant. Services actually performed by such employee or agent are not considered services performed by the owner or tenant in determining the extent to which the owner or tenant has participated in the production or management of production of a commodity. For taxable years beginning before January 1, 1974, contemplated or actual services of an agent or an employee of the owner or tenant are deemed to be contemplated or actual services of the owner or tenant under paragraphs (b)(3) and (b)(4) of this section.

(6)Examples.Application of the rules prescribed in this paragraph may be illustrated by the following examples:

Example (1).
After the death of her husband, Mrs. A rents her farm, together with its machinery and equipment, to B for one-half of the proceeds from the commodities produced on such farm by B. It is agreed that B will live in the tenant house on the farm and be responsible for the over-all operation of the farm, such as planting, cultivating, and harvesting the field crops, caring for the orchard and harvesting the fruit and caring for the livestock and poultry. It also is agreed that Mrs. A will continue to live in the farm residence and help B operate the farm. Under the agreement it is contemplated that Mrs. A will regularly operate and clean the cream separator and feed the poultry flock and collect the eggs. When possible she will assist B in such work as spraying the fruit trees, penning livestock, culling the poultry, and controlling weeds. She will also assist in preparing the meals when B engages seasonal workers. The agreement between Mrs. A and B clearly provides that she will materially participate in the over-all production operations to be conducted on her farm by B. In actual practice, Mrs. A performs such regular and intermittent services. The regularly performed services are material to the production of an agricultural commodity, and the intermittent services performed are material to the production operations to which they relate. The furnishing of a substantial portion of the farm machinery and equipment also adds support to a conclusion that Mrs. A has materially participated. Accordingly, the rental income Mrs. A receives from her farm should be included in net earnings from self-employment.
Example (2).
D agrees to produce a crop on C's cotton farm under an arrangement providing that C and D will each receive one-half of the proceeds from such production. C agrees to furnish all the necessary equipment, and it is understood that he is to advise D when to plant the cotton and when it needs to be chopped, plowed, sprayed, and picked. It is also understood that during the growing season C is to inspect the crop every few days to determine whether D is properly taking care of the crop. Under the arrangement, D is required to furnish all labor needed to grow and harvest the crop. C, in fact, renders such advice, makes such inspections, and furnishes such equipment. C's contemplated participation in management decisions is considered material with respect to the management of the cotton production operation. C's actual participation pursuant to the arrangement is also considered to be material with respect to the management of the production of cotton. Accordingly, the income C receives from his cotton farm is to be included in computing his net earnings from self-employment.
Example (3).
E owns a grain farm and turns its operation over to his son, F. By the oral rental arrangement between E and F, the latter agrees to produce crops of grain on the farm, and E agrees that he will be available for consultation and advice and will inspect and help to harvest the crops. E furnishes most of the equipment, including a tractor, a combine, plows, wagons, drills, and harrows; he continues to live on the farm and does some of the work such as repairing barns and farm machinery, going to town for supplies, cutting weeds, etc.; he regularly inspects the crops during the growing season; and he helps F to harvest the crops. Although the final decisions are made by F, he frequently consults with his father regarding the production of the crops. An evaluation of all of E's actual activities indicates that they are sufficiently substantial and regular to support a conclusion that he is materially participating in the crop production operations and the management thereof. If it can be shown that the degree of E's actual participation was contemplated by the arrangement, E's income from the grain farm will be included in computing net earnings from self-employment.
Example (4).
G owns a fully-equipped farm which he rents to H under an arrangement which contemplates that G shall materially participate in the management of the production of crops raised on the farm pursuant to the arrangement. G lives in town about 5 miles from the farm. About twice a month he visits the farm and looks over the buildings and equipment. G may occasionally, in an emergency, discuss with H some phase of a crop production activity. In effect, H has complete charge of the management of farming operations regardless of the understanding between him and G. Although G pays one-half of the cost of the seed and fertilizer and is charged for the cost of materials purchased by H to make all necessary repairs, G's activities do not constitute material participation in the crop production activities. Accordingly, G's income from the crops is not included in computing net earnings from self-employment.
Example (5).
I owned a farm several miles from the town in which he lived. He rented the farm to J under an arrangement which contemplated I's material participation in the management of production of wheat. I furnished one-half of the seed and fertilizer and all the farm equipment and livestock. He employed K to perform all the services in advising, consulting, and inspecting contemplated by the arrangement. I is not materially participating in the management of production of wheat by J. The work done by I's employee, K, is not attributable to I in determining the extent of I's participation. I's rental income from the arrangement is, therefore, not to be included in computing his net earnings from self-employment. For taxable years beginning before January 1, 1974, however, I's rental income would be includible in those earnings.
Example (6).
L, a calendar-year taxpayer, appointed M as his agent to rent his fully equipped farm for 1974. M entered into a rental arrangement with N under which M was to direct the planting of crops, inspect them weekly during the growing season, and consult with N on any problems that might arise in connection with irrigation, etc., while N furnished all the labor needed to grow and harvest the crops. M did in fact fulfill its responsibilities under the arrangement. Although the arrangement entered into by M and N is considered to have been made by L, M's services are not attributable to L, and L's furnishing of a fully equipped farm is insufficient by itself to constitute material participation in the production of the crops. Accordingly, L's rental income from the arrangement is not included in his net earnings from self-employment for that year. For taxable years beginning before January 1, 1974, however, L's rental income would be includible in those earnings.

(c)Rentals from living quarters -

(1)No services rendered for occupants.Payments for the use or occupancy of entire private residences or living quarters in duplex or multiple-housing units are generally rentals from real estate. Except in the case of real-estate dealers, such payments are excluded in determining net earnings from self-employment even though such payments are in part attributable to personal property furnished under the lease.

(2)Services rendered for occupants.Payments for the use or occupancy of rooms or other space where services are also rendered to the occupant, such as for the use or occupancy of rooms or other quarters in hotels, boarding houses, or apartment houses furnishing hotel services, or in tourist camps or tourist homes, or payments for the use or occupancy of space in parking lots, warehouses, or storage garages, do not constitute rentals from real estate; consequently, such payments are included in determining net earnings from self-employment. Generally, services are considered rendered to the occupant if they are primarily for his convenience and are other than those usually or customarily rendered in connection with the rental of rooms or other space for occupancy only. The supplying of maid service, for example, constitutes such service; whereas the furnishing of heat and light, the cleaning of public entrances, exits, stairways and lobbies, the collection of trash, and so forth, are not considered as services rendered to the occupant.

(3)Example. The application of this paragraph may be illustrated by the following example:

Example.
A, an individual, owns a building containing four apartments. During the taxable year, he receives $1,400 from apartments numbered 1 and 2, which are rented without services rendered to the occupants, and $3,600 from apartments numbered 3 and 4, which are rented with services rendered to the occupants. His fixed expenses for the four apartments aggregate $1,200 during the taxable year. In addition, he has $500 of expenses attributable to the services rendered to the occupants of apartments 3 and 4. In determining his net earnings from self-employment, A includes the $3,600 received from apartments 3 and 4, and the expenses of $1,100 ($500 plus one-half of $1,200) attributable thereto. The rentals and expenses attributable to apartments 1 and 2 are excluded. Therefore, A has $2,500 of net earnings from self-employment for the taxable year from the building.

(d)Treatment of business income which includes rentals from real estate. Except in the case of a real-estate dealer, where an individual or a partnership is engaged in a trade or business the income of which is classifiable in part as rentals from real estate, only that portion of such income which is not classifiable as rentals from real estate, and the expenses attributable to such portion, are included in determining net earnings from self-employment.

[T.D. 6691, 28 FR 12796, Dec. 3, 1963, as amended by T.D. 7710, 45 FR 50739, July 31, 1980]