26 CFR § 1.172-13 - Product liability losses.
(a) Entitlement to 10-year carryback -
(1) In general. Unless an election is made pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section, in the case of a taxpayer which has a product liability loss (as defined in section 172(j) and paragraph (b)(1) of this section) for a taxable year beginning after September 30, 1979 (hereinafter “loss year”), the product liability loss shall be a net operating loss carryback to each of the 10 taxable years preceding the loss year.
(2) Years to which loss may be carried. A product liability loss shall first be carried to the earliest of the taxable years to which such loss is allowable as a carryback and shall then be carried to the next earliest of such taxable years, etc.
(3) Example. The application of this paragraph may be illustrated as follows:
(b) Definitions -
(1) Product liability loss. The term product liability loss means, for any taxable year, the lesser of -
(2) Product liability.
(i) The term product liability means the liability of a taxpayer for damages resulting from physical injury or emotional harm to individuals, or damage to or loss of the use of property, on account of any defect in any product which is manufactured, leased, or sold by the taxpayer. The preceding sentence applies only to the extent that the injury, harm, or damage occurs after the taxpayer has completed or terminated operations with respect to the product, including, but not limited to the manufacture, installation, delivery, or testing of the product, and has relinquished possession of such product.
(ii) The term product liability does not include liabilities arising under warranty theories relating to repair or replacement of the property that are essentially contract liabilities. For example, the costs incurred by a taxpayer in repairing or replacing defective products under the terms of a warranty, express or implied, are not product liability losses. On the other hand, the taxpayer's liability for damage done to other property or for harm done to persons that is attributable to a defective product may be product liability losses regardless of whether the claim sounds in tort or contract. Further, liability incurred as a result of services performed by a taxpayer is not product liability. For purposes of the preceding sentence, where both a product and services are integral parts of a transaction, product liability does not arise until all operations with respect to the product are completed and the taxpayer has relinquished possession of it. On the other hand, any liability that arises after completion of the initial delivery, installation, servicing, testing, etc., is considered “product liability” even if such liability arises during the subsequent servicing of the product pursuant to a service agreement or otherwise.
(iii) Liability for injury, harm, or damage due to a defective product as described in this subparagraph shall be “product liability” notwithstanding that the liability is not considered product liability under the law of the State in which such liability arose.
(v) Notwithstanding subparagraph (iv), an amount is paid on account of product liability (even if such amount is paid to an insurance company) if the amount satisifies the provisions of paragraph (b)(2) (i) through (iii) of this section and the amount -
(A) Is paid on account of specific claims against the taxpayer (or on account of expenses incurred in connection with the investigation or settlement of or opposition to such claims), subsequent to the events giving rise to the claims and pursuant to a contract entered into before those events,
(B) Is not refundable, and
(C) Is not applicable to other claims, other expenses or to subsequent coverage.
(3) Examples. Paragraph (b)(2) of this section is illustrated by the following examples:
(c) Election -
(1) In general. The 10-year carryback provision of this section applies, except as provided in this paragraph, to any taxpayer who, for a taxable year beginning after September 30, 1979, incurs a product liability loss. Any taxpayer entitled to a 10-year carryback under paragraph (a) of this section in any loss year may elect (at the time and in the manner provided in paragraph (c)(2) of this section) to have the carryback period with respect to the product liability loss determined without regard to the carryback rules provided by paragraph (a) of this section. If the taxpayer so elects, the product liability loss shall not be carried back to the 10th through the 4th taxable years preceding the loss year. In such case, the product liability loss shall be carried back or carried over as provided by section 172(b) (except subparagraph (1)(I) thereof) and the regulations thereunder.
(2) Time and manner of making election. An election by any taxpayer entitled to the 10-year carryback for the product liability loss to have the carryback with respect to such loss determined without regard to the 10-year carryback provision of paragraph (a) of this section must be made by attaching to the taxpayer's tax return (filed within the time prescribed by law, including extensions of time) for the taxable year in which such product liability loss is sustained, a statement containing the information required by paragraph (c)(3) of this section. Such election, once made for any taxable year, shall be irrevocable after the due date (including extensions of time) of the taxpayer's tax return for that taxable year.
(4) Relationship with section 172(b)(3)(C) election. If a taxpayer sustains during the taxable year both a net operating loss not attributable to product liability and a product liability loss (as defined in section 172(j)(1) and paragraph (b)(1) of this section), an election pursuant to section 172(b)(3)(C) (relating to election to relinquish the entire carryback period) does not preclude the product liability loss from being carried back 10 years under section 172(b)(1)(I) and paragraph (a)(1) of this section.