26 CFR § 1.404(b)-1T - Method or arrangement of contributions, etc., deferring the receipt of compensation or providing for deferred benefits. (Temporary)

§ 1.404(b)-1T Method or arrangement of contributions, etc., deferring the receipt of compensation or providing for deferred benefits. (Temporary)

Q-1: As amended by the Tax Reform Act of 1984, what does section 404(b) of the Internal Revenue Code provide?

A-1: As amended, section 404(b) clarifies that any plan, or method or arrangement, deferring the receipt of compensation or providing for deferred benefits (other than compensation) is to be treated as a plan deferring the receipt of compensation for purposes of section 404 (a) and (d). Accordingly, section 404 (a) and (d) (in the case of employees and non employees; respectively) shall govern the deduction of contributions paid or compensation paid or incurred with respect to such a plan, or method or arrangement. Section 404 (a) and (d) requires that such a contribution or compensation be paid or incurred for purposes of section 162 or 212 and satisfy the requirements for deductibility under either of those sections. Thus, for example, under section 404 (a)(5) and (b), if otherwise deductible under section 162 or 212, a contribution paid or incurred with respect to a nonqualified plan, or method or arragement, providing for deferred benefits is deductible in the taxable year of the employer in which or with which ends the taxable year of the employee in which the amount attributable to the contribution is includible in the gross income of the employee (without regard to any applicable exclusion under Chapter 1, Subtitle A, of the Internal Revenue Code). Section 404 (a) and (d) applies to all compensation and benefit plans, or methods or arrangements, however denominated, which defer the receipt of any amount of compensation or benefit, including fees or other payments. Thus, a limited partnership (using the accrual method of accounting) may not accrue deductions for a fee owed to an unrelated person (using the cash method of accounting) who performs services for the partnership until the partnership taxable year in which or with which ends the taxable year of the service provider in which the fee is included in income. However, notwithstanding the above, section 404 does not apply to contributions paid or accrued with respect to a “welfare benefit fund” (as defined in section 419(e)) after July 18, 1984, in taxable years of employers (and payors) ending after that date. Also, section 463 shall govern the deduction of vacation pay by a taxpayer that has elected the application of such section. For rules relating to the deduction of contributions paid or accrued with respect to a welfare benefit fund, see section 419, § 1.419-1T and § 1.419A-2T. For rules relating to the deduction of vacation pay for which an election is made under section 463, see § 301.9100-16T of this chapter and § 1.463-1T.

Q-2: When does a plan, or method or arrangement, defer the receipt of compensation or benefits for purposes of section 404 (a), (b), and (d)?

A-2: (a) For purposes of section 404 (a), (b), and (d), a plan, or method or arrangement, defers the receipt of compensation or benefits to the extent it is one under which an employee receives compensation or benefits more than a brief period of time after the end of the employer's taxable year in which the services creating the right to such compensation or benefits are performed. The determination of whether a plan, or method or arrangement, defers the receipts of compensation or benefits is made separately with respect to each employee and each amount of compensation or benefit. Compensation or benefits received by an employee's spouse or dependent or any other person, but taxable to the employee, are treated as received by the employee for purposes of section 404. An employee is determined to receive compensation or benefits within or beyond a brief period of time after the end of the employer's taxable year under the rules provided in this Q&A. For the treatment of expenses with respect to transactions between related taxpayers, see section 267.

(b)

(1) A plan, or method or arrangement, shall be presumed to be one deferring the receipt of compensation for more than a brief period of time after the end of an employer's taxable year to the extent that compensation is received after the 15th day of the 3rd calendar month after the end of the employer's taxable year in which the related services are rendered (“the 2 1/2 month period”). Thus, for example, salary under an employment contract or a bonus under a year-end bonus declaration is presumed to be paid under a plan, or method or arrangement, deferring the receipt of compensation, to the extent that the salary or bonus is received beyond the applicable 2 1/2 month period. Further, salary or a year-end bonus received beyond the applicable 2 1/2 month period by one employee shall be presumed to constitute payment under a plan, or method or arrangement, deferring the receipt of compensation for such employee even though salary or bonus payments to all other employees are not similarly treated because they are received within the 2 1/2 month period. Benefits are “deferred benefits” if, assuming the benefits were cash compensation, such benefits would be considered deferred compensation. Thus, a plan, or method or arrangement, shall be presumed to be one providing for deferred benefits to the extent benefits for services are received by an employee after the 2 1/2 month period following the end of the employer's taxable year in which the related services are rendered.

(2) The taxpayer may rebut the presumption established under the previous subparagraph with respect to an amount of compensation or benefits only by setting forth facts and circumstances the preponderance of which demonstrates that it was impracticable, either administratively or economically, to avoid the deferral of the receipt by an employee of the amount of compensation or benefits beyond the applicable 2 1/2 month period and that, as of the end of the employer's taxable year such impracticability was unforeseeable. For example, the presumption may be rebutted with respect to an amount of compensation to the extent that receipt of such amount is deferred beyond the applicable 2 1/2 month period (i) either because the funds of the employer were not sufficient to make the payment within the 2 1/2 month period without jeopardizing the solvency of the employer or because it was not reasonably possible to determine within the 2 1/2 month period whether payment of such amount was to be made, and (ii) the circumstance causing the deferral described in (i) was unforeseeable as of the close of the employer's taxable year. Thus, the presumption with respect to the receipt of an amount of compensation or benefit is not rebutted to the extent it was foreseeable, as of the end of the employer's taxable year, that the amount would be received after the applicable 2 1/2 month period. For example, if, as of the end of the employer's taxable year, it is foreseeable that calculation of a year-end bonus to be paid to an employee under a given formula will not be completed and thus the bonus will not be received (and is in fact not received) by the end of the applicable 2 1/2 month period, the presumption that the bonus is deferred compensation is not rebutted.

(c) A plan, or method or arrangement, shall not be considered as deferring the receipt of compensation or benefits for more than a brief period of time after the end of the employer's taxable year to the extent that compensation or benefits are received by the employee on or before the end of the applicable 2 1/2 month period. Thus, for example, salary under an employment contract or a bonus under a year-end bonus declaration is not considered paid under a plan, or method or arrangement, deferring the receipt of compensation to the extent that such salary or bonus is received by the employee on or before the end of the applicable 2 1/2 month period.

(d) Solely for purposes of applying the rules of paragraphs (b) and (c) of this Q&A, in the case of an employer's taxable year ending on or after July 18, 1984, and on or before March 21, 1986, compensation or benefits that relate to services rendered in such taxable year shall be deemed to have been received within the applicable 2 1/2 month period if such receipt actually occurs after such 2 1/2 month period but on or before March 21, 1986.

Q-3: When does section 404(b), as amended by the Tax Reform Act of 1984, become effective?

A-3: With the exceptions discussed below, section 404(b), as amended, and the rules under Q&A-2 are effective with respect to amounts paid or incurred after July 18, 1984, in taxable years of employers (and payors) ending after that date. In the case of an extended vacation pay plan maintained pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement (a) between employee representatives and one or more employers, and (b) in effect on June 22, 1984, section 404(b) is not effective before the date on which such collective bargaining agreement terminates (determined without regard to any extension thereof agreed to after June 22, 1984). For purposes of the preceding sentence, any plan amendment made pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement relating to the plan which amends the plan solely to conform to any requirement added under section 512 of the Tax Reform Act of 1984 shall not be treated as a termination of such collective bargaining agreement. For purposes of this section, an “extended vacation pay plan” is one under which covered employees gradually over a specified period of years earn the right to additional vacation benefits, no part of which, under the terms of the plan, can be taken until the end of the specified period.

[T.D. 8073, 51 FR 4321, Feb. 4, 1986; 51 FR 7262, Mar. 3, 1986; 51 FR 11303, Apr. 2, 1986, as amended by T.D. 8435, 57 FR 43896, Sept. 23, 1992]