26 CFR § 1.316-1 - Dividends.

§ 1.316-1 Dividends.

(a)

(1) The term dividend for the purpose of subtitle A of the Code (except when used in subchapter L, chapter 1 of the Code, in any case where the reference is to dividends and similar distributions of insurance companies paid to policyholders as such) comprises any distribution of property as defined in section 317 in the ordinary course of business, even though extraordinary in amount, made by a domestic or foreign corporation to its shareholders out of either -

(i) Earnings and profits accumulated since February 28, 1913, or

(ii) Earnings and profits of the taxable year computed without regard to the amount of the earnings and profits (whether of such year or accumulated since February 28, 1913) at the time the distribution was made.

The earnings and profits of the taxable year shall be computed as of the close of such year, without diminution by reason of any distributions made during the taxable year. For the purpose of determining whether a distribution constitutes a dividend, it is unnecessary to ascertain the amount of the earnings and profits accumulated since February 28, 1913, if the earnings and profits of the taxable year are equal to or in excess of the total amount of the distributions made within such year.

(2) Where a corporation distributes property to its shareholders on or after June 22, 1954, the amount of the distribution which is a dividend to them may not exceed the earnings and profits of the distributing corporation.

(3) The rule of (2) above may be illustrated by the following example:

Example.
X and Y, individuals, each own one-half of the stock of Corporation A which has earnings and profits of $10,000. Corporation A distributes property having a basis of $6,000 and a fair market value of $16,000 to its shareholders, each shareholder receiving property with a basis of $3,000 and with a fair market value of $8,000 in a distribution to which section 301 applies. The amount taxable to each shareholder as a dividend under section 301(c) is $5,000.

(b)

(1) In the case of a corporation which, under the law applicable to the taxable year in which a distribution is made, is a personal holding company or which, for the taxable year in respect of which a distribution is made under section 563 (relating to dividends paid within 2 1/2 months after the close of the taxable year), or section 547 (relating to deficiency dividends), or corresponding provisions of a prior income tax law, was under the applicable law a personal holding company, the term dividend, in addition to the meaning set forth in the first sentence of section 316, also means a distribution to its shareholders as follows: A distribution within a taxable year of the corporation, or of a shareholder, is a dividend to the extent of the corporation's undistributed personal holding company income (determined under section 545 without regard to distributions under section 316(b)(2)) for the taxable year in which, or, in the case of a distribution under section 563 or section 547, the taxable year in respect of which, the distribution was made. This subparagraph does not apply to distributions in partial or complete liquidation of a personal holding company. In the case of certain complete liquidations of a personal holding company see subparagraph (2) of this paragraph.

(2) In the case of a corporation which, under the law applicable to the taxable year in which a distribution is made, is a personal holding company or which, for the taxable year in respect of which a distribution is made under section 563, or section 547, or corresponding provisions of a prior income tax law, was under the applicable law a personal holding company, the term dividend, in addition to the meaning set forth in the first sentence of section 316, also means, in the case of a complete liquidation occurring within 24 months after the adoption of a plan of liquidation, a distribution of property to its shareholders within such period, but -

(i) Only to the extent of the amounts distributed to distributees other than corporate shareholders, and

(ii) Only to the extent that the corporation designates such amounts as a dividend distribution and duly notifies such distributees in accordance with subparagraph (5) of this paragraph, but

(iii) Not in excess of the sum of such distributees' allocable share of the undistributed personal holding company income for such year (determined under section 545 without regard to sections 562(b) and 316(b)(2)(B)).

Section 316(b)(2)(B) and this subparagraph apply only to distributions made in any taxable year of the distributing corporation beginning after December 31, 1963. The amount designated with respect to a noncorporate distributee may not exceed the amount actually distributed to such distributee. For purposes of determining a noncorporate distributee's gain or loss on liquidation, amounts distributed in complete liquidation to such distributee during a taxable year are reduced by the amounts designated as a dividend with respect to such distributee for such year. For purposes of section 333(e)(1), a shareholder's ratable share of the earnings and profits of the corporation accumulated after February 28, 1913, shall be reduced by the amounts designated as a dividend with respect to such shareholder (even though such designated amounts are distributed during the 1-month period referred to in section 333).

(3) For purposes of subparagraph (2)(iii) of this paragraph -

(i) Except as provided in subdivision (ii) of this subparagraph, the sum of the noncorporate distributees' allocable share of undistributed personal holding company income for the taxable year in which, or in respect of which, the distribution was made (computed without regard to sections 562(b) and 316(b)(2)(B)) shall be determined by multiplying such undistributed personal holding company income by the ratio which the aggregate value of the stock held by all noncorporate shareholders immediately before the record date of the last liquidating distribution in such year bears to the total value of all stock outstanding on such date. For rules applicable in a case where the distributing corporation has more than one class of stock, see subdivision (iii) of this subparagraph.

(ii) If more than one liquidating distribution was made during the year, and if, after the record date of the first distribution but before the record date of the last distribution, there was a change in the relative shareholdings as between noncorporate shareholders and corporate shareholders, then the sum of the noncorporate distributees' allocable share of undistributed personal holding company income for the taxable year in which, or in respect of which, the distributions were made (computed without regard to sections 562(b) and 316(b)(2)(B)) shall be determined as follows:

(a) First, allocate the corporation's undistributed personal holding company income among the distributions made during the taxable year by reference to the ratio which the aggregate amount of each distribution bears to the total amount of all distributions during such year;

(b) Second, determine the noncorporate distributees' allocable share of the corporation's undistributed personal holding company income for each distribution by multiplying the amount determined under (a) of this subdivision (ii) for each distribution by the ratio which the aggregate value of the stock held by all noncorporate shareholders immediately before the record date of such distribution bears to the total value of all stock outstanding on such date; and

(c) Last, determine the sum of the noncorporate distributees' allocable share of the corporation's undistributed personal holding company income for all such distributions.

For rules applicable in a case where the distributing corporation has more than one class of stock, see subdivision (iii) of this subparagraph.

(iii) Where the distributing corporation has more than one class of stock -

(a) The undistributed personal holding company income for the taxable year in which, or in respect of which the distribution was made shall be treated as a fund from which dividends may properly be paid and shall be allocated between or among the classes of stock in a manner consistent with the dividend rights of such classes under local law and the pertinent governing instruments, such as, for example, the distributing corporation's articles or certificate of incorporation and bylaws;

(b) The noncorporate distributees' allocable share of the undistributed personal holding company income for each class of stock shall be determined separately in accordance with the rules set forth in subdivisions (i) or (ii) of this subparagraph, as if each class of stock were the only class of stock outstanding; and

(c) The sum of the noncorporate distributees' allocable share of the undistributed personal holding company income for the taxable year in which, or in respect of which, the distribution was made shall be the sum of the noncorporate distributees' allocable share of the undistributed personal holding company income for all classes of stock.

(iv) For purposes of this subparagraph, in any case where the record date of a liquidating distribution cannot be ascertained, the record date of the distribution shall be the date on which the liquidating distribution was actually made.

(4) The amount designated as a dividend to a noncorporate distributee for any taxable year of the distributing corporation may not exceed an amount equal to the sum of the noncorporate distributees' allocable share of undistributed personal holding company income (as determined under subparagraph (3) of this paragraph) for such year multiplied by the ratio which the aggregate value of the stock held by such distributee immediately before the record date of the liquidating distribution or, if the record date cannot be ascertained, immediately before the date on which the liquidating distribution was actually made, bears to the aggregate value of stock outstanding held by all noncorporate distributees on such date. In any case where more than one liquidating distribution is made during the taxable year, the aggregate amount which may be designated as a dividend to a noncorporate distributee for such year may not exceed the aggregate of the amounts determined by applying the principle of the preceding sentence to the amounts determined under subparagraphs (3)(ii)(a) and (b) of this paragraph for each distribution. Where the distributing corporation has more than one class of stock, the limitation on the amount which may be designated as a dividend to a noncorporate distributee for any taxable year shall be determined by applying the rules of this subparagraph separately with respect to the noncorporate distributees' allocable share of the undistributed personal holding company income for each class of stock (as determined under subparagraphs (3)(iii)(a) and (b) of this paragraph).

(5) A corporation may designate as a dividend to a shareholder all or part of a distribution in complete liquidation described in section 316(b)(2)(B) of this paragraph by:

(i) Claiming a dividends paid deduction for such amount in its return for the year in which, or in respect of which, the distribution is made,

(ii) Including such amount as a dividend in Form 1099 filed in respect of such shareholder pursuant to section 6042(a) and the regulations thereunder and in a written statement of dividend payments furnished to such shareholder pursuant to section 6042(c) and § 1.6042-4, and

(iii) Indicating on the written statement of dividend payments furnished to such shareholder the amount included in such statement which is designated as a dividend under section 316(b)(2)(B) and this paragraph.

If a corporation complies with the procedure prescribed in the preceding sentence, it satisfies both the designation and notification requirements of section 316(b)(2)(B)(ii) and paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of this section. An amount designated as a dividend shall not be included as a distribution in liquidation on Form 1099L filed pursuant to § 1.6043-2 (relating to returns of information respecting distributions in liquidation). If a corporation designates a dividend in accordance with this subparagraph, it shall attach to the return in which it claims a deduction for such designated dividend a schedule indicating all facts necessary to determine the sum of the noncorporate distributees' allocable share of undistributed personal holding company income (determined in accordance with subparagraph (3) of this paragraph) for the year in which, or in respect of which, the distribution is made.

(c) Except as provided in section 316(b)(1), the term dividend includes any distribution of property to shareholders to the extent made out of accumulated or current earnings and profits. See, however, section 331 (relating to distributions in complete or partial liquidation), section 301(e) (relating to distributions by personal service corporations), section 302(b) (relating to redemptions treated as amounts received from the sale or exchange of stock), and section 303 (relating to distributions in redemption of stock to pay death taxes). See also section 305(b) for certain distributions of stock or stock rights treated as distributions of property.

(d) In the case of a corporation which, under the law applicable to the taxable year in respect of which a distribution is made under section 860 (relating to deficiency dividends), was a regulated investment company (within the meaning of section 851), or a real estate investment trust (within the meaning of section 856), the term dividend, in addition to the meaning set forth in paragraphs (a) and (b) of section 316, means a distribution of property to its shareholders which constitutes a “deficiency dividend” as defined in section 860(f).

(e) The application of section 316 may be illustrated by the following examples:

Example 1.
At the beginning of the calendar year 1955, Corporation M had an operating deficit of $200,000 and the earnings and profits for the year amounted to $100,000. Beginning on March 16, 1955, the corporation made quarterly distributions of $25,000 during the taxable year to its shareholders. Each distribution is a taxable dividend in full, irrespective of the actual or the pro rata amount of the earnings and profits on hand at any of the dates of distribution, since the total distributions made during the year ($100,000) did not exceed the total earnings and profits of the year ($100,000).
Example 2.
At the beginning of the calendar year 1955, Corporation N, a personal holding company, had no accumulated earnings and profits. During that year it made no earnings and profits but, due to the disallowance of certain deductions, its undistributed personal holding company income (determined under section 545 without regard to distributions under section 316(b)(2)) was $16,000. It distributed to shareholders on December 15, 1955, $15,000, and on February 1, 1956, $1,000, the latter amount being claimed as a deduction under section 563 in its personal holding company schedule for 1955 filed with its return for 1955 on March 15, 1956. Both distributions are taxable dividends in full, since they do not exceed the undistributed personal holding company income (determined without regard to such distributions) for 1955, the taxable year in which the distribution of $15,000 was made and with respect to which the distribution of $1,000 was made. It is immaterial whether Corporation N is a personal holding company for the taxable year 1956 or whether it had any income for that year.
Example 3.
In 1959, a deficiency in personal holding company tax was established against Corporation O for the taxable year 1955 in the amount of $35,500 based on an undistributed personal holding company income of $42,000. Corporation O complied with the provisions of section 547 and in December 1959 distributed $42,000 to its stockholders as “deficiency dividends.” The distribution of $42,000 is a taxable dividend since it does not exceed $42,000 (the undistributed personal holding company income for 1955, the taxable year with respect to which the distribution was made). It is immaterial whether Corporation O is a personal holding company for the taxable year 1959 or whether it had any income for that year.
Example 4.
At the beginning of the taxable year 1955, Corporation P, a personal holding company, had a deficit in earnings and profits of $200,000. During that year it made earnings and profits of $90,000. For that year, however, it had an undistributed personal holding income (determined under section 545 without regard to distributions under section 316(b)(2)) of $80,000. During such taxable year it distributed to its shareholders $100,000. The distribution of $100,000 is a taxable dividend to the extent of $90,000 since its earnings and profits for that year, $90,000, exceed $80,000, the undistributed personal holding company income determined without regard to such distribution.
Example 5.
Corporation O, a calendar year taxpayer, is completely liquidated on December 31, 1964, pursuant to a plan of liquidation adopted July 1, 1964. No distributions in liquidation were made pursuant to the plan of liquidation adopted July 1, 1964, until the distribution in complete liquidation on December 31, 1964. Corporation O has undistributed personal holding company income of $300,000 for the year 1964 (computed without regard to section 562(b) or section 316(b)(2)(B)). On December 31, 1964, immediately before the record date of the distribution in complete liquidation, individual A owns 200 shares of Corporation O's outstanding stock and Corporation P owns the remaining 100 shares of outstanding stock. All shares are equal in value. The noncorporate distributees' allocable share of undistributed personal holding company income for 1964 is $200,000
200 shares ÷ 300 shares × $300,000.
If at least $200,000 is distributed to A in the liquidation, then Corporation O may designate $200,000 to A as a dividend in accordance with paragraph (b)(5) of this section, and, if such amount is designated, then A must treat $200,000 as a dividend to which section 301 applies. For an example of the treatment of the distribution to Corporation P see paragraph (b)(2)(iii) of § 1.562-1.
Example 6.
Corporation Q, a calendar year taxpayer, is completely liquidated on December 31, 1964, pursuant to a plan of liquidation adopted July 1, 1964. No distributions in liquidation were made pursuant to the plan of liquidation adopted July 1, 1964, until the distribution in complete liquidation on December 31, 1964. Corporation Q has undistributed personal holding company income of $40,000 for the year 1964 (computed without regard to section 562(b) or section 316(b)(2)(B)). On December 31, 1964, immediately before the record date of the distribution in complete liquidation, Corporation Q has outstanding 300 shares of common stock and 100 shares of noncumulative preferred stock. Corporation Q's articles of incorporation provide that the preferred stock is entitled to dividends of $10 per share per year. Of Corporation Q's stock, individual B owns 200 shares of the common stock and 50 shares of the preferred stock, and Corporation R owns all remaining shares. All of the common shares are equal in value, and all of the preferred shares are equal in value. No dividends had been paid on the preferred stock during the year 1964. Of the $40,000 of undistributed personal holding company income, $1,000 must be allocated to the preferred stock because of the rights of the holders of such stock, under Q's articles of incorporation, to receive that amount in dividends for the year 1964. The noncorporate distributees' allocable share of undistributed personal holding company income for 1964 is $26,500.
50 preferred shares ÷ 100 preferred shares × $1,000 + 200 common shares ÷ 300 common shares × $39,000
If at least $26,500 is distributed to B in the liquidation, then corporation Q may designate $26,500 to B as a dividend in accordance with paragraph (b)(5) of this section, and, if such amount is designated, then B must treat $26,500 as a dividend to which section 301 applies.
Example 7.
In 1979, a deficiency of $46,000 in the tax on real estate investment trust taxable income is established against corporation R for the taxable year 1977, based on an increase in real estate investment trust taxable income of $100,000. Corporation R complied with the provisions of section 860 and in December 1979 distributed to its stockholders $100,000, which qualified as “deficiency dividends” under section 860. The distribution of $100,000 is a taxable dividend. It is immaterial whether corporation R is a real estate investment trust for the taxable year 1979 or whether it had accumulated or current earnings and profits in 1979. See section 316(b)(3).
(Sec. 860(l) (92 Stat. 2849, 26 U.S.C. 860(l)); sec. 860(g) (92 Stat. 2850, 26 U.S.C. 860(g)); and sec. 7805 (68A Stat. 917, 26 U.S.C. 7805))
[T.D. 6500, 25 FR 11607, Nov. 26, 1960, as amended by T.D. 6625, 27 FR 12541, Dec. 19, 1962; T.D. 6949, 33 FR 5519, Apr. 9, 1968; T.D. 7767, 46 FR 11264, Feb. 6, 1981; T.D. 7936, 49 FR 2105, Jan. 18, 1984]