26 CFR § 1.164-6 - Apportionment of taxes on real property between seller and purchaser.

§ 1.164-6 Apportionment of taxes on real property between seller and purchaser.

(a) Scope. Except as provided otherwise in section 164(f) and § 1.164-8, when real property is sold, section 164(d)(1) governs the deduction by the seller and the purchaser of current real property taxes. Section 164(d)(1) performs two functions: (1) It provides a method by which a portion of the taxes for the real property tax year in which the property is sold may be deducted by the seller and a portion by the purchaser; and (2) it limits the deduction of the seller and the purchaser to the portion of the taxes corresponding to the part of the real property tax year during which each was the owner of the property. These functions are accomplished by treating a portion of the taxes for the real property tax year in which the property is sold as imposed on the seller and a portion as imposed on the purchaser. To the extent that the taxes are treated as imposed on the seller and the purchaser, each shall be allowed a deduction, under section 164(a), in the taxable year such tax is paid or accrued, or treated as paid or accrued under section 164(d)(2) (A) or (D) and this section. No deduction is allowed for taxes on real property to the extent that they are imposed on another taxpayer, or are treated as imposed on another taxpayer under section 164(d). For the election to accrue real property taxes ratably see section 461(c) and the regulations thereunder.

(b) Application of rule of apportionment. (1)(i) For purposes of the deduction provided by section 164(a), if real property is sold during any real property tax year, the portion of the real property tax properly allocable to that part of the real property tax year which ends on the day before the date of the sale shall be treated as a tax imposed on the seller, and the portion of such tax properly allocable to that part of such real property tax year which begins on the date of the sale shall be treated as a tax imposed on the purchased. For definition of “real property tax year” see paragraph (c) of this section. This rule shall apply whether or not the seller and the purchaser apportion such tax. The rule of apportionment contained in section 164(d)(1) applies even though the same real property is sold more than once during the real property tax year. (See paragraph (d)(5) of this section for rule requiring inclusion in gross income of excess deductions.)

(ii) Where the real property tax becomes a personal liability or a lien before the beginning of the real property tax year to which it relates and the real property is sold subsequent to the time the tax becomes a personal liability or a lien but prior to the beginning of the related real property tax year -

(a) The seller may not deduct any amount for real property taxes for the related real property tax year, and

(b) To the extent that he holds the property for such real property tax year, the purchaser may deduct the amount of such taxes for the taxable year they are paid (or amounts representing such taxes are paid to the seller, mortgagee, trustee or other person having an interest in the property as security) or accrued by him according to his method of accounting.

(iii) Similarly, where the real property tax becomes a personal liability or a lien after the end of the real property tax year to which it relates and the real property is sold prior to the time the tax becomes a personal liability or a lien but after the end of the related real property tax year -

(a) The purchaser may not deduct any amount for real property taxes for the related real property tax year, and

(b) To the extent that he holds the property for such real property tax year, the seller may deduct the amount of such taxes for the taxable year they are paid (or amounts representing such taxes are paid to the purchaser, mortgagee, trustee, or other person having an interest in the property as security) or accrued by him according to his method of accounting.

(iv) Where the real property is sold (or purchased) during the related real property tax year the real property taxes for such year are apportioned between the parties to such sale and may be deducted by such parties in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (d) of this section.

(2) Section 164(d) does not apply to delinquent real property taxes for any real property tax year prior to the real property tax year in which the property is sold.

(3) The provisions of this paragraph may be illustrated by the following examples:

Example 1.
The real property tax year in County R is April 1 to March 31. A, the owner on April 1, 1954, of real property located in County R sells the real property to B on June 30, 1954. B owns the real property from June 30, 1954, through March 31, 1955. The real property tax for the real property tax year April 1, 1954-March 31, 1955 is $365. For purposes of section 164(a), $90 (90/365 × $365, April 1, 1954-June 29, 1954) of the real property tax is treated as imposed on A, the seller, and $275 (275/365 × $365, June 30, 1954-March 31, 1955) of such real property tax is treated as imposed on B, the purchaser.
Example 2.
In County S the real property tax year is the calendar year. The real property tax becomes a lien on June 1 and is payable on July 1 of the current real property tax year, but there is no personal liability for such tax. On April 30, 1955, C, the owner of real property in County S on January 1, 1955, sells the real property to D. On July 1, 1955, D pays the 1955 real property tax. On August 31, 1955, D sells the same real property to E. C, D, and E use the cash receipts and disbursements method of accounting. Under the provisions of section 164(d)(1), 119/365 (January 1-April 29, 1955) of the real property tax payable on July 1, 1955, for the 1955 real property tax year is treated as imposed on C, and, under the provisions of section 164(d)(2)(A), such portion is treated as having been paid by him on the date of sale. Under the provisions of section 164(d)(1), 123/365 (April 30-August 30, 1955) of the real property tax paid July 1, 1955, for the 1955 real property tax year is treated as imposed on D and may be deducted by him. Under the provisions of section 164(d)(1), 123/365 (August 31-December 31, 1955) of the real property tax due and paid on July 1, 1955, for the 1955 real property tax year is treated as imposed on E and, under the provisions of section 164(d)(2)(A) such portion is treated as having been paid by him on the date of sale.
Example 3.
In State X the real property tax year is the calendar year. The real property tax becomes a lien on November 1 of the preceding calendar year. On November 15, 1955, F sells real property in State X to G. G owns the real property through December 31, 1956. Under section 164(d)(1), the real property tax (which became a lien on November 1, 1954) for the 1955 real property tax year is apportioned between F and G. No part of the real property tax for the 1956 real property tax year may be deducted by F. The entire real property tax for the 1956 real property tax year may be deducted by G when paid or accrued, depending upon the method of accounting used by him. See subparagraph (6) of paragraph (d) and section 461(c) and the regulations thereunder.

(c) Real property tax year. As used in section 164(d), the term “real property tax year” refers to the period which, under the law imposing the tax, is regarded as the period to which the tax imposed relates. Where the State and one or more local governmental units each imposes a tax on real property, the real property tax year for each tax must be determined for purposes of applying the rule of apportionment of section 164(d)(1) to each tax. The time when the tax rate is determined, the time when the assessment is made, the time when the tax becomes a lien, or the time when the tax becomes due or delinquent does not necessarily determine the real property tax year. The real property tax year may or may not correspond to the fiscal year of the governmental unit imposing the tax. In each case the State or local law determines what constitutes the real property tax year. Although the seller and the purchaser may or may not make an allocation of real property taxes, the meaning of “real property tax year” in section 164(d) and the application of section 164(d) do not depend upon what real property taxes were allocated nor the method of allocation used by the parties.

(d) Special rules -

(1) Seller using cash receipts and disbursements method of accounting. Under the provisions of section 164(d), if the seller by reason of his method of accounting may not deduct any amount for taxes unless paid, and -

(i) The purchaser (under the law imposing the real property tax) is liable for the real property tax for the real property tax year, or

(ii) The seller (under the law imposing the real property tax) is liable for the real property tax for the real property tax year and the tax is not payable until after the date of sale, then the portion of the tax treated under section 164(d)(1) as imposed upon the seller (whether or not actually paid by him in the taxable year in which the sale occurs) shall be considered as having been paid by him in such taxable year. Such portion may be deducted by him for the taxable year in which the sale occurs, or, if at a later time, for the taxable year (which would be proper under the taxpayer's method of accounting) in which the tax is actually paid, or an amount representing such tax is paid to the purchaser, mortgagee, trustee, or other person having an interest in the property as security.

(2) Purchasers using the cash receipts and disbursements method of accounting. Under the provisions of section 164(d), if the purchaser by reason of his method of accounting may not deduct any amount for taxes unless paid and the seller (under the law imposing the real property tax) is liable for the real property tax for the real property tax year, the portion of the tax treated under section 164(d)(1) as imposed upon the purchaser (whether or not actually paid by him in the taxable year in which the sale occurs) shall be considered as having been paid by him in such taxable year. Such portion may be deducted by him for the taxable year in which the sale occurs, or, if at a later time, for the taxable year (which would be proper under the taxpayer's method of accounting) in which the tax is actually paid, or an amount representing such tax is paid to the seller, mortgagee, trustee, or other person having an interest in the property as security.

(3) Persons considered liable for tax. Where the tax is not a liability of any person, the person who holds the property at the time the tax becomes a lien on the property shall be considered liable for the tax. As to a particular sale, in determining:

(i) Whether the other party to the sale is liable for the tax or,

(ii) The person who holds the property at the time the tax becomes a lien on the property (where the tax is not a liability of any person),

prior or subsequent sales of the property during the real property tax year shall be disregarded.

(4) Examples. The provisions of subparagraphs (1), (2), and (3) of this paragraph may be illustrated as follows:

Example 1.
In County X the real property tax year is the calendar year. The real property tax is a personal liability of the owner of the real property on June 30 of the current real property tax year, but is not payable until February 28 of the following real property tax year. A, the owner of real property in County X on January 1, 1955, uses the cash receipts and disbursements method of accounting. On May 30, 1955, A sells the real property to B, who also uses the cash receipts and disbursements method of accounting. B retains ownership of the real property for the balance of the 1955 calendar year. Under the provisions of section 164(d)(1), 149/365 (January 1-May 29, 1955) of the real property tax payable on February 28, 1956, for the 1955 real property tax year is treated as imposed on A, the seller, and under the provisions of section 164(d)(2)(A) such portion is treated as having been paid by him on the date of sale and may be deducted by him for his taxable year in which the sale occurs (whether or not such portion is actually paid by him in that year) or for his taxable year in which the tax is actually paid or an amount representing such tax is paid. Under the provisions of section 164(d)(1), 216/365 (May 30-December 31, 1955) of the real property tax payable on February 28, 1956, for the 1955 real property tax year is treated as imposed on B, the purchaser, and may be deducted by him for his taxable year in which the tax is actually paid, or an amount representing such tax is paid.
Example 2.
In County Y, the real property tax year is the calendar year. The real property tax becomes a lien on January 1, 1955, and is payable on April 30, 1955. There is no personal liability for the real property tax imposed by County Y. On April 30, 1955, C, the owner of real property in County Y on January 1, 1955, pays the real property tax for the 1955 real property tax year. On May 1, 1955, C sells the real property to D. On September 1, 1955, D sells the real property to E. C, D, and E use the cash receipts and disbursements method of accounting. Under the provisions of section 164(d)(1), 120/365 (January 1-April 30, 1955) of the real property tax is treated as imposed upon C and may be deducted by him for his taxable year in which the tax is actually paid. Under section 164(d)(1), 123/365 (May 1-August 31, 1955) of the real property tax is treated as imposed upon D and, under the provisions of section 164(d)(2)(A), is treated as having been paid by him on May 1, 1955, and may be deducted by D for his taxable year in which the sale from C to him occurs (whether or not such portion is actually paid by him in that year), or for his taxable year in which an amount representing such tax is paid. Since, according to paragraph (d)(3) of this section, the prior sale by C to D is disregarded, under the provisions of section 164(d)(1), 122/365 (September 1-December 31, 1955) of the real property tax is treated as imposed on E and, under the provisions of section 164(d)(2)(A), is treated as having been paid by him on September 1, 1955, and may be deducted by E for his taxable year in which the sale from D to him occurs (whether or not such portion is actually paid by him in that year), or for his taxable year in which an amount representing such tax is paid.
Example 3.
In County X the real property tax year is the calendar year and the real property taxes are assessed and become a lien on June 30 of the current real property tax year, but are not payable until September 1 of that year. There is no personal liability for the real property tax imposed by County X. A, the owner on January 1, 1955, of real property in County X, uses the cash receipts and disbursements method of accounting. On July 15, 1955, A sells the real property to B. Under the provisions of section 164(d)(1), 195/365 (January 1-July 14, 1955) of the real property tax payable on September 1, 1955, for the 1955 real property tax year is treated as imposed on A, and may be deducted by him for his taxable year in which the sale occurs (whether or not such portion is actually paid by him in that year) or for his taxable year in which the tax is actually paid or an amount representing such tax is paid. Under the provisions of section 164(d)(1), 170/365 (July 15-December 31, 1955) of the real property tax is treated as imposed on B and may be deducted by him for his taxable year in which the sale occurs (whether or not such portion is actually paid by him in that year), or for his taxable year in which the tax is actually paid or an amount representing such tax is paid.

(5) Treatment of excess deduction. If, for a taxable year prior to the taxable year of sale of real property, a taxpayer has deducted an amount for real property tax in excess of the portion of such real property tax treated as imposed on him under the provisions of section 164(d), the excess of the amount deducted over the portion treated as imposed on him shall be included in his gross income for the taxable year of the sale, subject to the provisions of section 111, relating to the recovery of bad debts, prior taxes, and delinquency amounts. The provisions of this subparagraph may be illustrated as follows:

Example 1.
In Borough Y the real property tax is due and payable on November 30 for the succeeding calendar year, which is also the real property tax year. On November 30, 1954, taxpayer A, who reports his income on a calendar year under the cash receipts and disbursements method of accounting, pays the real property tax on real property owned by him in Borough Y for the 1955 real property tax year. On June 30, 1955, A sells the real property. Under the provisions of section 164(d), only 180/365 (January 1-June 29, 1955) of the real property tax for the 1955 real property tax year is treated as imposed on A, and the excess of the amount of real property tax for 1955 deducted by A, on his 1954 income tax return, over the 180/365 portion of such tax treated as imposed on him under section 164(d), must be included in gross income in A's 1955 income tax return, subject to the provisions of section 111.
Example 2.
In County Z the real property tax year is the calendar year. The real property tax becomes a personal liability of the owner of real property on January 1 of the current real property tax year, and is payable on July 1 of the current real property tax year. On May 1, 1955, A, the owner of real property in County Z on January 1, 1955, sells the real property to B. On November 1, 1955, B sells the same real property to C. B uses the cash receipts and disbursements method of accounting and reports his income on the basis of a fiscal year ending July 31. B, on July 1, 1955, pays the entire real property tax for the real property tax year ending December 31, 1955. Under the provisions of section 164(d), only 184/365 (May 1-October 31, 1955) of the real property tax for the 1955 real property tax year is treated as imposed on B, and the excess of the amount of real property tax for 1955 deducted by B on his income tax return for the fiscal year ending July 31, 1955, over the 184/365 portion of such tax treated as imposed on him under section 164(d), must be included in gross income in B's income tax return for his fiscal year ending July 31, 1956, subject to the provisions of section 111.

(6) Persons using an accrual method of accounting. Where real property is sold and the seller or the purchaser computes his taxable income (for the taxable year during which the sale occurs) on an accrual method of accounting then, if the seller or the purchaser has not made the election provided in section 461(c) (relating to the accrual of real property taxes), the portion of any real property tax which is treated as imposed on him and which may not be deducted by him for any taxable year by reason of his method of accounting shall be treated as having accrued on the date of sale. The provisions of this subparagraph may be illustrated as follows:

Example.
In County X the real property tax becomes a lien on property and is assessed on November 30 for the current calendar year, which is also the real property tax year. There is no personal liability for the real property tax imposed by County X. A owns, on January 1, 1955, real property in County X. A uses an accrual method of accounting and has not made any election under section 461(c) to accrue ratably real property taxes. A sells real property on June 30, 1955. By reason of A's method of accounting, he could not deduct any part of the real property tax for 1955 on the real property since he sold the real property prior to November 30, 1955, the accrual date. Under section 164(d)(1), 180/365 (January 1-June 29, 1955) of the real property tax for the 1955 real property tax year is treated as imposed on A, and under section 164(d)(2)(D) that portion is treated as having accrued on June 30, 1955, and may be deducted by A for his taxable year in which such date falls. B, the purchaser from A, who uses an accrual method of accounting, has likewise not made an election under section 461(c) to accrue real property taxes ratably. Under section 164(d)(1), 185/365 of the real property taxes may be accrued by B on November 30, 1955, and deducted for his taxable year in which such date falls.

(7) Cross references. For determination of amount realized on a sale of real property, see section 1001(b) and the regulations thereunder. For determination of basis of real property acquired by purchase, see section 1012 and the regulations thereunder.

(8) Effective dates. Section 164(d) applies to taxable years ending after December 31, 1953, but only in the case of sales made after December 31, 1953. However, section 164(d) does not apply to any real property tax to the extent that such tax was allowable as a deduction under the Internal Revenue Code of 1939 to the seller for any taxable year which ended before January 1, 1954.