26 CFR § 1.281-3 - Definitions.

§ 1.281-3 Definitions.

(a)Terminal railroad corporation. The term terminal railroad corporation means a corporation which, in the taxable year, meets all of the following conditions:

(1) The corporation and each of its shareholders must be domestic corporations. Thus, all of the shareholders of the corporation, as well as the corporation itself, must be corporations which were organized or created in the United States, including only the States and the District of Columbia, or under the law of the United States or of any State or territory.

(2) All of the shareholders must be railroad corporations which are subject to Part I of the Interstate Commerce Act. Thus, if any shareholder of the corporation, regardless of the class or percentage of stock owned, is not subject to the jurisdiction of the Interstate Commerce Commission under part I of that Act, the corporation cannot qualify as a terminal railroad corporation.

(3) The corporation must not be a member of an affiliated group of corporations (as defined in section 1504), other than as a common parent corporation. For this purpose it is immaterial whether or not the affiliated group has ever made a consolidated income tax return. Thus, if the X railroad corporation owns 80 percent of all of the outstanding stock of the Y railroad corporation, the X railroad corporation may qualify, but the Y railroad corporation cannot qualify, as a terminal railroad corporation.

(4) The primary business of the corporation must be that of providing to domestic railroad corporations subject to Part I of the Interstate Commerce Act and to the shippers and passengers of such railroad corporations one or more of the following facilities or services: (i) Railroad terminal facilities, (ii) railroad switching facilities, (iii) railroad terminal services, or (iv) railroad switching services. The designated facilities and services include the furnishing of terminal trackage, the operation of stockyards or a union passenger or freight station, and the operation of railroad bridges and ferries. The providing of the designated facilities includes the leasing of those facilities. A corporation shall be considered as having established that its primary business is that of providing the designated facilities and services if more than 50 percent of its gross income (computed without regard to section 281, and excluding dividends and gains and losses from the disposition of capital assets or property described in section 1231(b)) for the taxable year is derived from those sources. The fact that income from a service or facility is included within the definition of related terminal income is immaterial for purposes of determining whether that service or facility is one which is designated in this subparagraph. Thus, although income from the operation of a commuter railroad line may be related terminal income, a corporation whose primary business is the operation of that facility is not a terminal railroad corporation, since its primary business is not the providing of the designated facilities or services.

(5) A substantial part of the services rendered by the corporation for the taxable year must be rendered to one or more of its shareholders. For purposes of this requirement, providing the use of facilities shall be considered the rendering of services.

(6) Each shareholder of the corporation must compute its taxable income on the basis of a taxable year which either begins or ends on the same day as the taxable year of the corporation.

(b)Related terminal income -

(1)In general.Related terminal income is, generally, the type of income normally earned from the operation of a railroad terminal. The term related terminal income means the taxable income (computed without regard to sections 172, 277, or 281) which the terminal railroad corporation derives for the taxable year from the sources enumerated in paragraph (b)(2) of this section. Related terminal income must be derived from direct provision of the specified facilities or services by the terminal corporation itself. Thus, income consisting of rent from a lease of a terminal facility by a terminal corporation to a railroad user would qualify; but dividends from a corporation in which the terminal corporation owned stock and which provided such facilities or services to others would not qualify. The term does not include gain or loss derived from the sale, exchange, or other disposition of capital assets or section 1231 assets, whether or not section 1245 or section 1250 applies to part or all of that gain. For example, the term does not apply to gain from the sale of a terminal building or terminal equipment. All direct and indirect expenses and other deductible items attributable to related terminal services or facilities shall be deducted in determining related terminal income. Attribution shall be determined in accordance with customary railroad accounting practices accepted by the Interstate Commerce Commission, except that interest paid with respect to the indebtedness of a terminal railroad corporation shall be deducted from related terminal income to the extent that the proceeds from the indebtedness were directly or indirectly applied to facilities or activities producing such income. The district director may either accept the use of the taxpayer's method of determining the application of the proceeds of all indebtedness of such corporation or prescribe the use of another method which, under all the facts and circumstances, appears to reflect more accurately the probable application of such proceeds.

(2)Sources of related terminal income. The term related terminal income includes only income derived from one or more of the following sources:

(i) From services or facilities of a character ordinarily and regularly provided by terminal railroad corporations for railroad corporations or for the employees, passengers, or shippers of railroad corporations. Whether the services or facilities are of a character ordinarily and regularly provided by terminal railroad corporations is to be determined by accepted industry practice. The fact that nonterminal businesses may also provide such services or facilities is immaterial. However, there must be a direct relationship between the service or facility provided and the operation of the terminal, including the operation of its trackage and switching facilities. Thus, the term related terminal income includes income derived from operating or leasing switching facilities and terminal facilities, such as income from charges to railroad corporations for the use of a union passenger or freight station. Also included for this purpose is income derived from charges to railroad shippers, including express companies and freight forwarders, for the use of sheds or warehouses, even though not directly intended for railroad use. The term includes income derived from leasing or operating restaurants, drugstores, barbershops, newsstands, ticket agencies, banking facilities, car rental facilities, or other similar facilities for passengers, in waiting rooms or along passenger concourses. Similarly, the term includes income derived from operating or leasing passenger parking facilities, and from renting taxicab space, located on or adjacent to the terminal premises. Although the term does include income derived from the operation of a small hotel operated primarily for and usually occupied primarily by the employees of the railroad corporations, it does not include income derived from the operation of a hotel for passengers or other persons.

(ii) From any railroad corporation for services or facilities provided by the terminal railroad corporation in connection with railroad operations. A service or a facility is provided in connection with railroad operations if it is of a character ordinarily and regularly availed of by railroad corporations. For purposes of this subdivision, the income must be derived from railroad corporations. Thus, in addition to the income derived from sources described in paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section, the term related terminal income includes income derived from switching facilities or leasing to any railroad corporation, or operating for the benefit of such corporation, a beltline or bypass railroad leading to or from the terminal premises. Also included are income derived from the rental of office space (whether or not services are provided to the occupants) in the terminal building to any railroad corporation for that corporation's administrative or operating divisions, and income derived from tolls charged to any railroad corporation for the use of a railroad bridge or ferry.

(iii) From the use by persons other than railroad corporations of a portion of a facility, or of a service, which is used primarily for railroad purposes. A facility or service is used primarily for railroad purposes if the predominant reason for its continued operation or provision is the furnishing of facilities or services described in either subdivision (i) or (ii) of this subparagraph. The determination required by this subdivision is to be made independently for each separate facility or service. Two substantial portions of a single structure may be considered separate facilities, depending upon the respective uses made of each. Moreover, any substantial addition, constructed after October 23, 1962, to a facility shall be considered a separate facility.

The term related terminal income includes income produced by operating a commuter service or by renting tracks and facilities for a commuter service to an independent operator. The term also includes the sale or rental of advertising space at a terminal facility. If the conditions described in this subdivision are satisfied, the term related terminal income may include income which has no connection with the operation of the terminal. Thus, if a terminal railroad corporation operates a railroad bridge primarily to provide railroad corporations a means of crossing a river and the lower level of the bridge contains a roadway for similar use by automobiles, the term includes income derived from the tolls charged to the automobiles for the use of the bridge roadway. However, upon the discontinuance of operations of the railroad level of the bridge, the term would cease to include the automobile tolls. If excess steam from a steam plant operated primarily to supply steam to the terminal is sold to another business in the neighborhood, the term would include the income derived from such sale. However, because an oil or gas well or a mine constitutes a separate facility, the term related terminal income does not include income derived in any form from a deposit of oil, natural gas, or any other mineral located on property owned or leased by the terminal railroad corporation.
Similarly, while the term includes income derived from the rental of a small number of offices located in the terminal building (whether or not the lessees are railroad corporations), it does not include income derived from the leasing or operation, for the use of the general public, of a large number of offices or a large number of rooms for lodging, whether or not the space is physically part of the same structure as the terminal. Moreover, the term does not include income derived from the rental of offices to the general public in an addition to the terminal building constructed after October 23, 1962, unless the addition is primarily used for railroad purposes and the offices rented to the general public do not constitute a separate facility in the addition. Whether or not income from the addition is determined to be related terminal income, the income from the small number of offices which were included in the terminal building before the addition was constructed shall continue to be related terminal income.

(iv) From the United States in payment for facilities or services in connection with mail handling. The income must be derived directly from the U.S. Government, or any agency thereof (including for this purpose the U.S. Postal Service), through the receipt of payments for mail-handling facilities or services. Thus, the term would include income derived from the rental of space for a post office for use by the general public on the terminal premises or from the sorting of mail in a railroad box car.

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

Example.
For its calendar year 1973, the R Company, a terminal railroad corporation, has taxable income of $36,000, before the application of section 281 and taking no account of section 277, determined as follows:
Gross income:
Switching charges $50,000
Express companies 2,000
Commuter line 4,000
U.S. mail handling 4,000
Railroad bridge tolls:
From railroads 2,000
From automobiles 1,000
Total 3,000
Station and train charges 47,000
Terminal parking lot 4,000
Rent from terminal building:
Passenger facilities (ground level) 8,000
Offices leased to railroads (2d floor) 3,000
Offices leased to others (2d floor) 1,000
Hotel open to public (3d through 6th floors) 14,000
Total 26,000
Interest received from bond investments 1,500
Dividends received from wholly owned subsidiary 10,000
Amount realized from sale of equipment 6,000
Less:
Adjusted basis 1,000
Expenses of sale 500
1,500
4,500
156,000
Allowable deductions:
Dividend received deduction 8,500
Interest paid:
On loan for hotel furnishings 1,500
On loan for rolling stock 2,000
3,500
Maintenance, depreciation, management and other expenses:
Attributable to hotel 3,000
Attributable to parking lot 1,000
Attributable to U.S. mail handling 1,000
All other 98,000
103,000
Loss from sale of securities 3,000
Charitable contribution 500
Net operating loss deduction 1,500
120,000
Taxable income before the application of sec. 281 36,000
The R Co.'s related terminal income for 1973 is $24,000, computed as follows:
Taxable income (before the application of sec. 281) 36,000
Less:
Dividend received 10,000
Minus dividend received deduction 8,500
1,500
Interest received 1,500
Amount realized from sale of equipment 6,000
Less:
Adjusted basis 1,000
Expense of sale 500
1,500
4,500
Hotel income 14,000
Less:
Interest paid on loan for hotel 1,500
Other hotel expenses 3,000
4,500
9,500
17,000
19,000
Add:
Loss from sale of securities 3,000
Charitable contribution 500
Net operating loss deduction 1,500
5,000
Related terminal income 24,000

(c)Related terminal services. The term related terminal services means only the services or the use of facilities, provided by the terminal railroad corporation, which are taken into account in computing related terminal income. Thus, the term includes the providing of terminal and switching services, the furnishing of terminal and switching facilities including the furnishing of terminal trackage, and the operation of bridges and ferries for railroad purposes. For example, upon the facts of the example in the preceding paragraph, the charges for related terminal services are $126,000, determined as follows:

Switching charges $50,000
Express companies 2,000
Commuter line 4,000
U.S. mail handling 4,000
Railroad bridge tolls 3,000
Station and train charges 47,000
Terminal parking lot 4,000
Rent from:
Passenger facilities 8,000
Offices 4,000
Total 126,000

(d)Agreement. As used in section 281 and § 1.281-2 the term agreement means a written contract, entered into before the beginning of the terminal railroad corporation's taxable year in question, to which all shareholders of the terminal railroad corporation are parties. The fact that other railroad corporations or persons are also parties will not disqualify an agreement. Section 281 applies only if, and to the extent that, the reduction of the liability or charge that would be made, as described in paragraph (c) of § 1.281-2, results from the agreement. Thus, where the other conditions of the statute are met, section 281 applies if a written agreement, to which all of the shareholders were parties and which was entered into prior to the beginning of the terminal railroad corporation's taxable year, provides that the net revenues of the terminal railroad corporation are to be applied as a reduction of what would otherwise be the charge for the taxable year for related terminal services provided to the shareholders. Similarly, section 281 applies, where its other requirements are fulfilled, if the agreement provides that the net revenues are to be credited against rental obligations resulting from related terminal services furnished to shareholders. However, section 281 does not apply where the agreement provides that the net revenues are to be divided among the shareholders and distributed to them in cash or held subject to their unconditional right of withdrawal instead of being applied to the computation of charges, or in reduction of liabilities incurred, for related terminal services.

(e)Railroad corporation. For purposes of section 281, § 1.281-2, and this section, the term railroad corporation means any corporation (regardless of whether it is a shareholder of the terminal railroad corporation) that is engaged as a common carrier in the furnishing or sale of transportation by railroad, or is a lessor of railroad equipment or facilities. For purposes of the preceding sentence, a corporation is a lessor of railroad equipment or facilities only if (1) it is subject to part I of the Interstate Commerce Act, (2) substantially all of its railroad properties have been leased to a railroad corporation or corporations, (3) each lease is for a term of more than 20 years, and (4) 80 percent or more of its gross income for the taxable year is derived for such leases.

[T.D. 7356, 40 FR 23735, June 2, 1975]