# 26 CFR § 1.448-2 - Nonaccrual of certain amounts by service providers.

§ 1.448-2 Nonaccrual of certain amounts by service providers.

(a) In general. This section applies to taxpayers qualified to use a nonaccrual-experience method of accounting provided for in section 448(d)(5) with respect to amounts to be received for the performance of services. A taxpayer that satisfies the requirements of this section is not required to accrue any portion of amounts to be received from the performance of services that, on the basis of the taxpayer's experience, and to the extent determined under the computation or formula used by the taxpayer and allowed under this section, will not be collected. Except as otherwise provided in this section, a taxpayer is qualified to use a nonaccrual-experience method of accounting if the taxpayer uses an accrual method of accounting with respect to amounts to be received for the performance of services by the taxpayer and either -

(1) The services are in fields referred to in section 448(d)(2)(A) and described in § 1.448-1T(e)(4) (health, law, engineering, architecture, accounting, actuarial science, performing arts, or consulting); or

(2) The taxpayer meets the $5 million annual gross receipts test of section 448(c) and § 1.448-1T(f)(2) for all prior taxable years. (b) Application of method and treatment as method of accounting. The rules of section 448(d)(5) and the regulations are applied separately to each taxpayer. For purposes of section 448(d)(5), the term taxpayer has the same meaning as the term person defined in section 7701(a)(1) (rather than the meaning of the term defined in section 7701(a)(14)). The nonaccrual of amounts to be received for the performance of services is a method of accounting (a nonaccrual-experience method). A change to a nonaccrual-experience method, from one nonaccrual-experience method to another nonaccrual-experience method, or to a periodic system (for example, see Notice 88-51 (1988-1 C.B. 535) and § 601.601(d)(2)(ii)(b) of this chapter), is a change in method of accounting to which the provisions of sections 446 and 481 and the regulations apply. See also paragraphs (c)(2)(i), (c)(5), (d)(4), and (e)(3)(i) of this section. Except as provided in other published guidance, a taxpayer who wishes to adopt or change to any nonaccrual-experience method other than one of the safe harbor methods described in paragraph (f) of this section must request and receive advance consent from the Commissioner in accordance with the applicable administrative procedures issued under § 1.446-1(e)(3)(ii) for obtaining the Commissioner's consent. (c) Definitions and special rules - (1) Accounts receivable - (i) In general. Accounts receivable include only amounts that are earned by a taxpayer and otherwise recognized in income through the performance of services by the taxpayer. For purposes of determining a taxpayer's nonaccrual-experience under any method provided in this section, amounts described in paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section are not taken into account. Except as otherwise provided, for purposes of this section, accounts receivable do not include amounts that are not billed (such as for charitable or pro bono services) or amounts contractually not collectible (such as amounts in excess of a fee schedule agreed to by contract). See paragraph (g) Examples 1 and 2 of this section for examples of this rule. (ii) Method not available for certain receivables - (A) Amounts not earned and recognized through the performance of services. A nonaccrual-experience method of accounting may not be used with respect to amounts that are not earned by a taxpayer and otherwise recognized in income through the performance of services by the taxpayer. For example, a nonaccrual-experience method may not be used with respect to amounts owed to the taxpayer by reason of the taxpayer's activities with respect to lending money, selling goods, or acquiring accounts receivable or other rights to receive payment from other persons (including persons related to the taxpayer) regardless of whether those persons earned the amounts through the provision of services. However, see paragraph (d)(3) of this section for special rules regarding acquisitions of a trade or business or a unit of a trade or business. (B) If interest or penalty charged on amounts due. A nonaccrual-experience method of accounting may not be used with respect to amounts due for which interest is required to be paid or for which there is any penalty for failure to timely pay any amounts due. For this purpose, a taxpayer will be treated as charging interest or penalties for late payment if the contract or agreement expressly provides for the charging of interest or penalties for late payment, regardless of the practice of the parties. If the contract or agreement does not expressly provide for the charging of interest or penalties for late payment, the determination of whether the taxpayer charges interest or penalties for late payment will be made based on all of the facts and circumstances of the transaction, and not merely on the characterization by the parties or the treatment of the transaction under state or local law. However, the offering of a discount for early payment of an amount due will not be regarded as the charging of interest or penalties for late payment under this section, if - (1) The full amount due is otherwise accrued as gross income by the taxpayer at the time the services are provided; and (2) The discount for early payment is treated as an adjustment to gross income in the year of payment, if payment is received within the time required for allowance of the discount. See paragraph (g) Example 3 of this section for an example of this rule. (2) Applicable period - (i) In general. The applicable period is the number of taxable years on which the taxpayer bases its nonaccrual-experience method. A change in the number of taxable years included in the applicable period is a change in method of accounting to which the procedures of section 446 apply. A change in the inclusion or exclusion of the current taxable year in the applicable period is a change in method of accounting to which the procedures of section 446 apply. A change in the number of taxable years included in the applicable period or the inclusion or exclusion of the current taxable year in the applicable period is made on a cut-off basis. (ii) Applicable period for safe harbors. For purposes of the safe harbors under paragraph (f) of this section the applicable period may consist of at least three but not more than six of the immediately preceding consecutive taxable years. Alternatively, the applicable period may consist of the current taxable year and at least two but not more than five of the immediately preceding consecutive taxable years. A period shorter than six taxable years is permissible only if the period contains the most recent preceding taxable years and all of the taxable years in the applicable period are consecutive. (3) Bad debts. Bad debts are accounts receivable determined to be uncollectible and charged off. (4) Charge-offs. Amounts charged off include only those amounts that would otherwise be allowable under section 166(a). (5) Determination date. The determination date in safe harbor 2 provided in paragraph (f)(2) of this section is used as a cut-off date for determining all known data to be taken into account in the computation of the taxable year's uncollectible amount. The determination date may not be later than the earlier of the due date, including extensions, for filing the taxpayer's Federal income tax return for that taxable year or the date on which the taxpayer timely files the return for that taxable year. The determination date may be different in each taxable year. However, once a determination date is selected and used for a particular taxable year, it may not be changed for that taxable year. The choice of a determination date is not a method of accounting. (6) Recoveries. Recoveries are amounts previously excluded from income under a nonaccrual-experience method or charged off that the taxpayer recovers. (7) Uncollectible amount. The uncollectible amount is the portion of any account receivable amount due that, under the taxpayer's nonaccrual-experience method, will be not collected. (d) Use of experience to estimate uncollectible amounts - (1) In general. In determining the portion of any amount due that, on the basis of experience, will not be collected, a taxpayer may use any nonaccrual-experience method that clearly reflects the taxpayer's nonaccrual-experience. The determination of whether a nonaccrual-experience method clearly reflects the taxpayer's nonaccrual-experience is made in accordance with the rules under paragraph (e) of this section. Alternatively, the taxpayer may use any one of the five safe harbor nonaccrual-experience methods of accounting provided in paragraphs (f)(1) through (f)(5) of this section, which are presumed to clearly reflect a taxpayer's nonaccrual-experience. (2) Application to specific accounts receivable. The nonaccrual-experience method is applied with respect to each account receivable of the taxpayer that is eligible for this method. With respect to a particular account receivable, the taxpayer determines, in the manner prescribed in paragraphs (d)(1) or (f)(1) through (f)(5) of this section (whichever applies), the uncollectible amount. The determination is required to be made only once with respect to each account receivable, regardless of the term of the receivable. The uncollectible amount is not recognized as gross income. Thus, the amount recognized as gross income is the amount that would otherwise be recognized as gross income with respect to the account receivable, less the uncollectible amount. A taxpayer that excludes an amount from income during a taxable year as a result of the taxpayer's use of a nonaccrual-experience method may not deduct in any subsequent taxable year the amount excluded from income. Thus, the taxpayer may not deduct the excluded amount in a subsequent taxable year in which the taxpayer actually determines that the amount is uncollectible and charges it off. If a taxpayer using a nonaccrual-experience method determines that an amount that was not excluded from income is uncollectible and should be charged off (for example, a calendar-year taxpayer determines on November 1st that an account receivable that was originated on May 1st of the same taxable year is uncollectible and should be charged off), the taxpayer may deduct the amount charged off when it is charged off, but must include any subsequent recoveries in income. The reasonableness of a taxpayer's determination that amounts are uncollectible and should be charged off may be considered on examination. See paragraph (g) Example 12 of this section for an example of this rule. (3) Acquisitions and dispositions - (i) Acquisitions. If a taxpayer acquires the major portion of a trade or business of another person (predecessor) or the major portion of a separate unit of a trade or business of a predecessor, then, for purposes of applying this section for any taxable year ending on or after the acquisition, the experience from preceding taxable years of the predecessor attributable to the portion of the trade or business acquired, if available, must be used in determining the taxpayer's experience. (ii) Dispositions. If a taxpayer disposes of a major portion of a trade or business or the major portion of a separate unit of a trade or business, and the taxpayer furnished the acquiring person the information necessary for the computations required by this section, then, for purposes of applying this section for any taxable year ending on or after the disposition, the experience from preceding taxable years attributable to the portion of the trade or business disposed may not be used in determining the taxpayer's experience. (iii) Meaning of terms. For the meaning of the terms acquisition, separate unit, and major portion, see paragraph (b) of § 1.52-2. The term acquisition includes an incorporation or a liquidation. (4) New taxpayers. The rules of this paragraph (d)(4) apply to any newly formed taxpayer to which the rules of paragraph (d)(3)(i) of this section do not apply. Any newly formed taxpayer that wants to use a safe harbor nonaccrual-experience method of accounting described in paragraph (f)(1), (f)(2), (f)(3), (f)(4), or (f)(5) of this section applies the methods by using the experience of the actual number of taxable years available in the applicable period. A newly formed taxpayer that wants to use one of the safe harbor nonaccrual-experience methods of accounting described in paragraph (f)(2), (f)(4), or (f)(5) of this section in its first taxable year and does not have any accounts receivable upon formation may not exclude any portion of its year-end accounts receivable from income for its first taxable year. The taxpayer must begin creating its moving average in its second taxable year by tracking the accounts receivable as of the first day of its second taxable year. The use of one of the safe harbor nonaccrual-experience methods of accounting described in paragraph (f)(2), (f)(4), or (f)(5) of this section in a taxpayer's second taxable year in this situation is not a change in method of accounting. Although the taxpayer must maintain the books and records necessary to perform the computations under the adopted safe harbor nonaccrual-experience method, the taxpayer is not required to affirmatively elect the method on its Federal income tax return for its first taxable year. (5) Recoveries. Regardless of the nonaccrual-experience method of accounting used by a taxpayer under this section, the taxpayer must take recoveries into account. If, in a subsequent taxable year, a taxpayer recovers an amount previously excluded from income under a nonaccrual-experience method or charged off, the taxpayer must include the recovered amount in income in that subsequent taxable year. See paragraph (g) Example 13 of this section for an example of this rule. (6) Request to exclude taxable years from applicable period. A period shorter than the applicable period generally is permissible only if the period consists of consecutive taxable years and there is a change in the type of a substantial portion of the outstanding accounts receivable such that the risk of loss is substantially increased. A decline in the general economic conditions in the area, which substantially increases the risk of loss, is a relevant factor in determining whether a shorter period is appropriate. However, approval to use a shorter period will not be granted unless the taxpayer supplies evidence that the accounts receivable outstanding at the close of the taxable years for the shorter period requested are more comparable in nature and risk to accounts receivable outstanding at the close of the current taxable year. A substantial increase in a taxpayer's bad debt experience is not, by itself, sufficient to justify the use of a shorter period. If approval is granted to use a shorter period, the experience for the excluded taxable years may not be used for any subsequent taxable year. A request for approval to exclude the experience of a prior taxable year must be made in accordance with the applicable procedures for requesting a letter ruling and must include a statement of the reasons the experience should be excluded. A request will not be considered unless it is sent to the Commissioner at least 30 days before the close of the first taxable year for which the approval is requested. (7) Short taxable years. A taxpayer with a short taxable year that uses a nonaccrual-experience method that compares accounts receivable balance to total bad debts during the taxable year should make appropriate adjustments. (8) Recordkeeping requirements - (i) A taxpayer using a nonaccrual-experience method of accounting must keep sufficient books and records to establish the amount of any exclusion from gross income under section 448(d)(5) for the taxable year, including books and records demonstrating - (A) The nature of the taxpayer's nonaccrual-experience method; (B) Whether, for any particular taxable year, the taxpayer qualifies to use its nonaccrual-experience method (including the self-testing requirements of paragraph (e) of this section (if applicable)); (C) The taxpayer's determination that amounts are uncollectible; (D) The proper amount that is excludable under the taxpayer's nonaccrual-experience method; and (E) The taxpayer's determination date under paragraph (c)(5) of this section (if applicable). (ii) If a taxpayer does not maintain records of the data that are sufficient to establish the amount of any exclusion from gross income under section 448(d)(5) for the taxable year, the Internal Revenue Service may change the taxpayer's method of accounting on examination. See § 1.6001-1 for rules regarding records. (e) Requirements for nonaccrual method to clearly reflect experience - (1) In general. A nonaccrual-experience method clearly reflects the taxpayer's experience if the taxpayer's nonaccrual-experience method meets the self-test requirements described in this paragraph (e). If a taxpayer is using one of the safe harbor nonaccrual-experience methods described in paragraphs (f)(1) through (f)(4) of this section, its method is deemed to clearly reflect its experience and is not subject to the self-testing requirements in paragraphs (e)(2) and (e)(3) of this section. (2) Requirement to self-test - (i) In general. A taxpayer using, or desiring to use, a nonaccrual-experience method must self-test its nonaccrual-experience method for its first taxable year for which the taxpayer uses, or desires to use, that nonaccrual-experience method (first-year self-test) and every three taxable years thereafter (three-year self-test). Each self-test must be performed by comparing the uncollectible amount (under the taxpayer's nonaccrual-experience method) with the taxpayer's actual experience. A taxpayer using the safe harbor under paragraph (f)(5) of this section must self-test using the safe harbor comparison method in paragraph (e)(3) of this section. (ii) First-year self-test. The first-year self-test must be performed by comparing the uncollectible amount with the taxpayer's actual experience for its first taxable year for which the taxpayer uses, or desires to use, that nonaccrual-experience method. If the uncollectible amount for the first-year self-test is less than or equal to the taxpayer's actual experience for its first taxable year for which the taxpayer uses, or desires to use, that nonaccrual-experience method, the taxpayer's nonaccrual-experience method is treated as clearly reflecting its experience for the first taxable year. If, as a result of the first-year self-test, the uncollectible amount for the test period is greater than the taxpayer's actual experience, then - (A) The taxpayer's nonaccrual-experience method is treated as not clearly reflecting its experience; (B) The taxpayer is not permitted to use that nonaccrual-experience method in that taxable year; and (C) The taxpayer must change to (or adopt) for that taxable year either - (1) Another nonaccrual-experience method that clearly reflects experience, that is, a nonaccrual-experience method that meets the first-year self-test requirement; or (2) A safe harbor nonaccrual-experience method described in paragraphs (f)(1) through (f)(5) of this section. (iii) Three-year self-test - (A) In general. The three-year self-test must be performed by comparing the sum of the uncollectible amounts for the current taxable year and prior two taxable years (cumulative uncollectible amount) with the sum of the taxpayer's actual experience for the current taxable year and prior two taxable years (cumulative actual experience amount). (B) Recapture. If the cumulative uncollectible amount for the test period is greater than the cumulative actual experience amount for the test period, the taxpayer's uncollectible amount is limited to the cumulative actual experience amount for the test period. Any excess of the taxpayer's cumulative uncollectible amount over the taxpayer's cumulative actual nonaccrual-experience amount excluded from income during the test period must be recaptured into income in the third taxable year of the three-year self-test period. (C) Determination of whether method is permissible or impermissible. If the cumulative uncollectible amount is less than 110 percent of the cumulative actual experience amount, the taxpayer's nonaccrual-experience method is treated as a permissible method and the taxpayer may continue to use its alternative nonaccrual-experience method, subject to the three-year self-test requirement of this paragraph (e)(2)(iii). If the cumulative uncollectible amount is greater than or equal to 110 percent of the cumulative actual experience amount, the taxpayer's nonaccrual-experience method is treated as impermissible in the taxable year subsequent to the three-year self-test year and does not clearly reflect its experience. The taxpayer must change to another nonaccrual-experience method that clearly reflects experience, including, for example, one of the safe harbor nonaccrual-experience methods described in paragraphs (f)(1) through (f)(5) of this section, for the subsequent taxable year. A change in method of accounting from an impermissible method under this paragraph (e)(2)(iii)(C) to a permissible method in the taxable year subsequent to the three-year self-test year is made on a cut-off basis. (iv) Determination of taxpayer's actual experience. [Reserved] (3) Safe harbor comparison method - (i) In general. A taxpayer using, or desiring to use, a nonaccrual-experience method under the safe harbor in paragraph (f)(5) of this section must self-test its nonaccrual-experience method for its first taxable year for which the taxpayer uses, or desires to use, that nonaccrual-experience method (first-year self-test) and every three taxable years thereafter (three-year self-test). A nonaccrual-experience method under the safe harbor in paragraph (f)(5) of this section is deemed to clearly reflect experience provided all the requirements of the safe harbor comparison method of this paragraph (e)(3) are met. Each self-test must be performed by comparing the uncollectible amount (under the taxpayer's nonaccrual-experience method) with the uncollectible amount that would have resulted from use of one of the safe harbor methods described in paragraph (f)(1), (f)(2), (f)(3), or (f)(4) of this section. A change from a nonaccrual-experience method that uses the safe harbor comparison method for self-testing to a nonaccrual-experience method that does not use the safe harbor comparison method for self-testing, and vice versa, is a change in method of accounting to which the provisions of sections 446 and 481 and the regulations apply. A change solely to use or discontinue use of the safe harbor comparison method for purposes of determining whether the nonaccrual-experience method clearly reflects experience must be made on a cut-off basis and without audit protection. (ii) Requirements to use safe harbor comparison method - (A) First-year self-test. The first-year self-test must be performed by comparing the uncollectible amount with the uncollectible amount determined under any of the safe harbor methods described in paragraph (f)(1), (f)(2), (f)(3), or (f)(4) of this section (safe harbor uncollectible amount) for its first taxable year for which the taxpayer uses, or desires to use, that nonaccrual-experience method. If the uncollectible amount for the first-year self-test is less than or equal to the safe harbor uncollectible amount, then the taxpayer's nonaccrual-experience method is treated as clearly reflecting its experience for the first taxable year. If, as a result of the first-year self-test, the uncollectible amount for the test period is greater than the safe harbor uncollectible amount, then - (1) The taxpayer's nonaccrual-experience method is treated as not clearly reflecting its experience; (2) The taxpayer is not permitted to use that nonaccrual-experience method in that taxable year; and (3) The taxpayer must change to (or adopt) for that taxable year either - (i) Another nonaccrual-experience method that clearly reflects experience, that is, a nonaccrual-experience method that meets the first-year self-test requirement; or (ii) A safe harbor nonaccrual-experience method described in paragraphs (f)(1) through (f)(5) of this section. (B) Three-year self-test. The three-year self-test must be performed by comparing the sum of the uncollectible amounts for the current taxable year and prior two taxable years (cumulative uncollectible amount) with the sum of the uncollectible amount determined under any of the safe harbor methods described in paragraph (f)(1), (f)(2), (f)(3), or (f)(4) of this section for the current taxable year and prior two taxable years (cumulative safe harbor uncollectible amounts). If the cumulative uncollectible amount for the three-year self-test is less than or equal to the cumulative safe harbor uncollectible amount for the test period, then the taxpayer's nonaccrual-experience method is treated as clearly reflecting its experience for the test period and the taxpayer may continue to use that nonaccrual-experience method, subject to a requirement to self-test again after three taxable years. If the cumulative uncollectible amount for the test period is greater than the cumulative safe harbor uncollectible amount for the test period, the taxpayer's uncollectible amount is limited to the cumulative safe harbor uncollectible amount for the test period. Any excess of the taxpayer's cumulative uncollectible amount over the taxpayer's cumulative safe harbor uncollectible amount excluded from income during the test period must be recaptured into income in the third taxable year of the three-year self-test period. If the cumulative uncollectible amount is less than 110 percent of the cumulative safe harbor uncollectible amount, the taxpayer's nonaccrual-experience method is treated as a permissible method and the taxpayer may continue to use its alternative nonaccrual-experience method, subject to the three-year self-test requirement of this paragraph (e)(3)(ii)(B). If the cumulative uncollectible amount is greater than or equal to 110 percent of the cumulative safe harbor uncollectible amount, the taxpayer's nonaccrual-experience method is treated as impermissible in the taxable year subsequent to the three-year self-test year and does not clearly reflect its experience. The taxpayer must change to another nonaccrual-experience method that clearly reflects experience, including, for example, one of the safe harbor nonaccrual-experience methods described in paragraphs (f)(1) through (f)(5) of this section, for the subsequent taxable year. A change in method of accounting from an impermissible method under this paragraph (e)(3)(ii)(B) to a permissible method in the taxable year subsequent to the three-year self-test year is made on a cut-off basis. (4) Methods that do not clearly reflect experience. [Reserved] (5) Contemporaneous documentation. For purposes of this paragraph (e), including the safe harbor comparison method of paragraph (e)(3) of this section, a taxpayer must document in its books and records, in the taxable year any first-year or three-year self-test is performed, the method used to conduct the self-test, including appropriate documentation and computations that resulted in the determination that the taxpayer's nonaccrual-experience method clearly reflected the taxpayer's nonaccrual-experience for the applicable test period. (f) Safe harbors - (1) Safe harbor 1: revenue-based moving average method. A taxpayer may use a nonaccrual-experience method under which the taxpayer determines the uncollectible amount by multiplying its accounts receivable balance at the end of the current taxable year by a percentage (revenue-based moving average percentage). The revenue-based moving average percentage is computed by dividing the total bad debts sustained, adjusted by recoveries received, throughout the applicable period by the total revenue resulting in accounts receivable earned throughout the applicable period. See paragraph (g) Example 4 of this section for an example of this method. Thus, the uncollectible amount under the revenue-based moving average method is computed: $\frac{\begin{array}{c}\text{Bad debts sustained, adjusted by recoveries received,}\\ \text{during the applicable period}\end{array}}{\begin{array}{c}\text{Total revenue resulting in accounts receivable during the}\\ \text{applicable period}\end{array}}×\begin{array}{c}\text{Accounts receivable at}\\ \text{end of current taxable}\\ \text{year}\end{array}$ (2) Safe harbor 2: actual experience method - (i) Option A: single determination date. A taxpayer may use a nonaccrual-experience method under which the taxpayer determines the uncollectible amount by multiplying its accounts receivable balance at the end of the current taxable year by a percentage (moving average nonaccrual-experience percentage) and then increasing the resulting amount by 5 percent. See paragraph (g) Example 5 of this section for an example of safe harbor 2 in general, and paragraph (g) Example 6 of this section for an example of the single determination date option of safe harbor 2. The taxpayer's moving average nonaccrual-experience percentage is computed by dividing the total bad debts sustained, adjusted by recoveries that are allocable to the bad debts, by the determination date of the current taxable year related to the taxpayer's accounts receivable balance at the beginning of each taxable year during the applicable period by the sum of the accounts receivable at the beginning of each taxable year during the applicable period. Thus, the uncollectible amount under Option A of the actual experience method is computed: $\frac{\begin{array}{c}\text{Bad debts sustained, adjusted by recoveries received that are allocable to}\\ \text{the bad debts, by the determination date of the current taxable year related}\\ \text{to the taxpayer's accounts receivable balance at the beginning of each taxable}\\ \text{year during the applicable period}\end{array}}{\begin{array}{c}\text{Sum of accounts receivable at the beginning of each}\\ \text{taxable year during the applicable period}\end{array}}×\begin{array}{c}\text{Accounts}\\ \text{receivable at end}\\ \text{of current taxable}\\ \text{year}\end{array}×1.05$ (ii) Option B: multiple determination dates. Alternatively, in computing its bad debts related to the taxpayer's accounts receivable balance at the beginning of each taxable year during the applicable period, a taxpayer may use the original determination date for each taxable year during the applicable period. That is, the taxpayer may use bad debts sustained, adjusted by recoveries received that are allocable to the bad debts, by the determination date of each taxable year during the applicable period rather than the determination date of the current taxable year. See paragraph (g) Example 7 of this section for an example of the multiple determination date option of safe harbor 2. Thus, the uncollectible amount under Option B of the actual experience method is computed: $\frac{\begin{array}{c}\text{Sum of, for each taxable year during the applicable period, bad debts sustained,}\\ \text{adjusted by recoveries received that are allocable to the bad debts, by}\\ \text{that taxable year's determination date and related to the taxpayer's}\\ \text{accounts receivable balance at the beginning of the taxable year}\end{array}}{\begin{array}{c}\text{Sum of accounts receivable at the beginning of each}\\ \text{taxable year during the applicable period}\end{array}}×\begin{array}{c}\text{Accounts}\\ \text{receivable at end}\\ \text{of current taxable}\\ \text{year}\end{array}×1.05$ (iii) Tracing of recoveries - (A) In general. Bad debts related to the taxpayer's accounts receivable balance at the beginning of each taxable year during the applicable period must be adjusted by the portion, if any, of recoveries received that are properly allocable to the bad debts. (B) Specific tracing. If a taxpayer, without undue burden, can trace all recoveries to their corresponding charge-offs, the taxpayer must specifically trace all recoveries. (C) Recoveries cannot be traced without undue burden. If a taxpayer has any recoveries that cannot, without undue burden, be traced to corresponding charge-offs, the taxpayer may allocate those or all recoveries between charge-offs of amounts in the relevant beginning accounts receivable balances and other charge-offs using an allocation method that is reasonable under all of the facts and circumstances. (1) Reasonable allocations. An allocation method is reasonable if there is a cause and effect relationship between the allocation base or ratio and the recoveries. A taxpayer may elect to trace recoveries that are traceable and allocate all untraceable recoveries to charge-offs of amounts in the relevant beginning accounts receivable balances. Such an allocation method will be deemed to be reasonable under all the facts and circumstances. (2) Allocations that are not reasonable. Allocation methods that generally will not be considered reasonable include, for example, methods in which there is not a cause and effect relationship between the allocation base or ratio and methods in which receivables for which the nonaccrual-experience method is not allowed to be used are included in the allocation. See paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section for examples of receivables for which the nonaccrual-experience method is not allowed. (3) Safe harbor 3: modified Black Motor method. A taxpayer may use a nonaccrual-experience method under which the taxpayer determines the uncollectible amount by multiplying its accounts receivable balance at the end of the current taxable year by a percentage (modified Black Motor moving average percentage) and then reducing the resulting amount by the bad debts written off during the current taxable year relating to accounts receivable generated during the current taxable year. The modified Black Motor moving average percentage is computed by dividing the total bad debts sustained, adjusted by recoveries received, during the applicable period by the sum of accounts receivable at the end of each taxable year during the applicable period. See paragraph (g) Example 8 of this section for an example of this method. Thus, the uncollectible amount under the modified Black Motor method is computed: $\frac{\begin{array}{c}\text{Bad debts sustained, adjusted}\\ \text{by recoveries received, during}\\ \text{the applicable period}\end{array}}{\begin{array}{c}\text{Sum of accounts receivable at}\\ \text{the end of each taxable year}\\ \text{during the applicable period}\end{array}}×\text{Accountsreceivable atend of currenttaxable year}-\begin{array}{c}\text{Bad debts written off during the}\\ \text{current taxable year relating to}\\ \text{accounts receivable generated}\\ \mathrm{\text{during}}\mathrm{the}\mathrm{current}\mathrm{taxable}\mathrm{year}\end{array}$ (4) Safe harbor 4: modified moving average method. A taxpayer may use a nonaccrual-experience method under which the taxpayer determines the uncollectible amount by multiplying its accounts receivable balance at the end of the current taxable year by a percentage (modified moving average percentage). The modified moving average percentage is computed by dividing the total bad debts sustained, adjusted by recoveries received, during the applicable period other than bad debts that were written off in the same taxable year the related accounts receivable were generated by the sum of accounts receivable at the beginning of each taxable year during the applicable period. See paragraph (g) Example 9 of this section for an example of this method. Thus, the uncollectible amount under the modified moving average method is computed: $\frac{\begin{array}{c}\text{(Bad debts sustained, adjusted by recoveries}\\ \text{received, during the applicable period}\\ \text{– Bad debts written off in same taxable year}\\ \text{accounts receivable generated)}\end{array}}{\begin{array}{c}\text{Sum of accounts receivable at the beginning of}\\ \text{each taxable year during the applicable period}\end{array}}×\begin{array}{c}\text{Accounts receivable at end}\\ \text{of current taxable year}\end{array}$ (5) Safe harbor 5: alternative nonaccrual-experience method. A taxpayer may use an alternative nonaccrual-experience method that clearly reflects the taxpayer's actual nonaccrual-experience, provided the taxpayer's alternative nonaccrual-experience method meets the self-test requirements described in paragraph (e)(3) of this section. (g) Examples. The following examples illustrate the provisions of this section. In each example, the taxpayer uses a calendar year for Federal income tax purposes and an accrual method of accounting, does not require the payment of interest or penalties with respect to past due accounts receivable (except in the case of Example 3) and, in the case of Examples 5 through 7, selects an appropriate determination date for each taxable year. The examples are as follows: Example 1. Contractual allowance or adjustment. B, a healthcare provider, performs a medical procedure on individual C, who has health insurance coverage with IC, an insurance company. B bills IC and C for$5,000, B's standard charge for this medical procedure. However, B has a contract with IC that obligates B to accept $3,500 as full payment for the medical procedure if the procedure is provided to a patient insured by IC. Under the contract, only$3,500 of the $5,000 billed by B is legally collectible from IC and C. The remaining$1,500 represents a contractual allowance or contractual adjustment. Under paragraph (c)(1)(i) of this section, the remaining $1,500 is not a contractually collectible amount for purposes of this section and B may not use a nonaccrual-experience method with respect to this portion of the receivable. Example 2. Charitable or pro bono services. D, a law firm, agrees to represent individual E in a legal matter and to provide services to E on a pro bono basis. D normally charges$500 for these services. Because D provides its services to E pro bono, D's services are never billed or intended to result in revenue. Thus, under paragraph (c)(1)(i) of this section, the $500 is not a collectible amount for purposes of this section and D may not use a nonaccrual-experience method with respect to this portion of the receivable. Example 3. Charging interest and/or penalties. Z has two billing methods for the amounts to be received from Z's provision of services described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section. Under one method, for amounts that are more than 90 days past due, Z charges interest at a market rate until the amounts (together with interest) are paid. Under the other billing method, Z charges no interest for amounts past due. Under paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section, A may not use a nonaccrual-experience method of accounting with respect to any of the amounts billed under the method that charges interest on amounts that are more than 90 days past due. Z may, however, use the nonaccrual-experience method with respect to the amounts billed under the method that does not charge interest for amounts past due. Example 4. Safe harbor 1: Revenue-based moving average method. (i) F uses the revenue-based moving average method described in paragraph (f)(1) of this section with an applicable period of six taxable years. F's total accounts receivable and bad debt experience for the 2006 taxable year and the five immediately preceding consecutive taxable years are as follows: Taxable year Total accounts receivable earned during the taxable year Bad debts adjusted for recoveries 2001$40,000 $5,700 2002 40,000 7,200 2003 40,000 11,000 2004 60,000 10,200 2005 70,000 14,000 2006 80,000 16,800 Total 330,000 64,900 (ii) F's revenue-based moving average percentage is 19.67% ($64,900/$330,000). If$49,300 of accounts receivable remains outstanding as of the close of that taxable year (2006), F's uncollectible amount using the revenue-based moving average safe harbor method is computed by multiplying $49,300 by the revenue-based moving average percentage of 19.67%, or$9,697. Thus, F may exclude $9,697 from gross income for 2006. Example 5. Safe harbor 2: Actual experience method . (i) G is eligible to use a nonaccrual-experience method and wishes to adopt the actual experience method of paragraph (f)(2) of this section. G elects to use a three-year applicable period consisting of the current and two immediately preceding consecutive taxable years. G determines that its actual accounts receivable collection experience is as follows: Taxable year Total A/R balance at beginning of taxable year Bad debts, adjusted for recoveries, related to A/R balance at beginning of taxable year 2006$1,000,000 $35,000 2007 760,000 75,000 2008 1,975,000 65,000 Total 3,735,000 175,000 (ii) G's ending A/R Balance on December 31, 2008, is$880,000. In 2008, G computes its uncollectible amount by using a three-year moving average under paragraph (f)(2) of this section. G's moving average nonaccrual-experience percentage is 4.7%, determined by dividing the sum of the amount of G's accounts receivable outstanding on January 1 of 2006, 2007, and 2008, that were determined to be bad debts (adjusted for recoveries allocable to the bad debts) on or before the corresponding determination date(s), by the sum of the amount of G's accounts receivable outstanding on January 1 of 2006, 2007, and 2008 ($175,000/$3,735,000 or 4.7%). G's uncollectible amount for 2008 is determined by multiplying this percentage by the balance of G's accounts receivable on December 31, 2008 ($880,000 × 4.7% =$41,360), and increasing this amount by 105% ($41,360 × 105% =$43,428). G may exclude $43,428 from gross income for 2008. Example 6. Safe harbor 2: Single determination date (Option A). H is eligible to use a nonaccrual-experience method and wishes to adopt the actual experience method of paragraph (f)(2) of this section. H elects to use a six-year applicable period consisting of the current and five immediately preceding taxable years. H also elects to use a single determination date in accordance with paragraph (f)(2)(i) of this section. H selects December 31, its taxable year-end, as its determination date. Since H is using a single determination date from the current taxable year, its determination date for the 2001-2006 applicable period is December 31, 2006. H has a$800 charge-off in 2003 of an account receivable in the 2003 beginning accounts receivable balance. In 2005, H has a recovery of $100 which is traceable, without undue burden, to the$800 charge-off in 2003. Since the $100 recovery occurred prior to H's December 31, 2006, determination date, it reduces the amount of H's bad debts in the numerator of the formula for purposes of determining H's moving average nonaccrual-experience percentage. In addition, H must include the$100 recovery in income in 2005 (see paragraph (d)(5) of this section regarding recoveries).
Example 7. Safe harbor 2: Multiple determination dates (Option B).
The facts are the same as in Example 6, except H elects to use multiple determination dates in accordance with paragraph (f)(2)(ii) of this section. Consequently, H's determination date is December 31, 2001, for its calculations of the portion of the numerator relating to the 2001 taxable year, December 31, 2002, for its calculations of the portion of the numerator relating to the 2002 taxable year, and so on through the final taxable year (2006), which has a determination date of December 31, 2006. Since the $100 recovery did not occur until after December 31, 2003 (the determination date for the 2003 taxable year), it does not reduce the amount of H's bad debts in the numerator of the formula for purposes of determining H's moving average nonaccrual-experience percentage. However, H still must include the$100 recovery in income in 2005 (see paragraph (d)(5) of this section regarding recoveries).
Example 8. Safe harbor 3: Modified Black Motor method.
(i) J uses the modified Black Motor method described in paragraph (f)(3) of this section and a six-year applicable period. J's total accounts receivable and bad debt experience for the 2006 taxable year and the five immediately preceding consecutive taxable years are as follows:
Taxable year Accounts
receivable at end of taxable year
recoveries)
2001 $130,000$9,100
2002 140,000 7,000
2003 140,000 14,000
2004 160,000 14,400
2005 170,000 20,400
2006 180,000 10,800
Total 920,000 75,700
(ii) J's modified Black Motor moving average percentage is 8.228% ($75,700/$920,000). If the accounts receivable generated and written off during the current taxable year are $3,600, J's uncollectible amount is$11,210, computed by multiplying J's accounts receivable on December 31, 2006 ($180,000) by the modified Black Motor moving average percentage of 8.228% and reducing the resulting amount by$3,600 (J's accounts receivable generated and written off during the 2006 taxable year). J may exclude $11,210 from gross income for 2006. Example 9. Safe harbor 4: Modified moving average method. (i) The facts are the same as in Example 8, except that the balances represent accounts receivable at the beginning of the taxable year, and J uses the modified moving average method described in paragraph (f)(4) of this section and a six-year applicable period. Furthermore, the accounts receivable that were written off in the same taxable year they were generated, adjusted for recoveries of bad debts during the period are as follows: Taxable year Accounts receivable written off in same taxable year as generated (adjusted for recoveries) 2001$3,033
2002 2,333
2003 4,667
2004 4,800
2005 6,800
2006 3,600
Total 25,233
(ii) J's modified moving average percentage is 5.486% (($75,700−$25,233)/$920,000). J's uncollectible amount is$9,875, computed by multiplying J's accounts receivable on December 31, 2006 ($180,000) by the modified moving average percentage of 5.486%. J may exclude$9,875 from gross income for 2006.
Example 10. First-year self-test.
Beginning in 2006, K is eligible to use a nonaccrual-experience method and wants to adopt an alternative nonaccrual-experience method under paragraph (f)(5) of this section, and consequently is subject to the safe harbor comparison method of self-testing under paragraph (e)(3) of this section. K elects to self-test against safe harbor 1 for purposes of conducting its first-year self-test. K's uncollectible amount for 2006 is $22,000. K's safe harbor uncollectible amount under safe harbor 1 is$21,000. Because K's uncollectible amount for 2006 ($22,000) is greater than the safe harbor uncollectible amount ($21,000), K's alternative nonaccrual-experience method is treated as not clearly reflecting its nonaccrual experience for 2006. Accordingly, K must adopt either another nonaccrual-experience method that clearly reflects experience (subject to the self-testing requirements of paragraph (e)(2)(ii) of this section, or a safe harbor nonaccrual-experience method described in paragraph (f)(1) (revenue-based moving average), (f)(2) (actual experience method), (f)(3) (modified Black Motor method), (f)(4) (modified moving average method) of this section, or another alternative nonaccrual-experience method under paragraph (f)(5) of this section that meets the self-testing requirements of paragraph (e)(3) of this section.
Example 11. Three-year self-test.
The facts are the same as in Example 10, except that K's safe harbor uncollectible amount under safe harbor 1 for 2006 is also $22,000. Consequently, K meets the first-year self-test requirement and may use its alternative nonaccrual-experience method. Subsequently, K's cumulative uncollectible amount for 2007 through 2009 is$300,000. K's safe harbor uncollectible amount for 2007 through 2009 under its chosen safe harbor method for self-testing (safe harbor 1) is $295,000. Because K's cumulative uncollectible amount for the three-year test period (taxable years 2007 through 2009) is greater than its safe harbor uncollectible amount for the three-year test period ($295,000), under paragraph (e)(3)(ii)(B) of this section, the $5,000 excess of K's cumulative uncollectible amount over K's safe harbor uncollectible amount for the three-year test period must be recaptured into income in 2009 in accordance with paragraph (e)(3)(ii)(B) of this section. Since K's cumulative uncollectible amount for the three-year test period ($300,000) is less than 110% of its safe harbor uncollectible amount ($295,000 × 110% =$324,500), under paragraph (e)(3)(ii)(B) of this section, K may continue to use its alternative nonaccrual-experience method, subject to the three-year self-test requirement.
Example 12. Subsequent worthlessness of year-end receivable.
The facts are the same as in Example 4, except that one of the accounts receivable outstanding at the end of 2002 was for $8,000, and in 2003, under section 166, the entire amount of this receivable becomes wholly worthless. Because F does not accrue as income$1,573 of this account receivable ($8,000 × .1967) under the nonaccrual-experience method in 2002, under paragraph (d)(2) of this section F may not deduct this portion of the account receivable as a bad debt deduction under section 166 in 2003. F may deduct the remaining balance of the receivable in 2003 as a bad debt deduction under section 166 ($8,000−$1,574 =$6,426).
Example 13. Subsequent collection of year-end receivable.
The facts are the same as in Example 4. In 2007, F collects in full an account receivable of $1,700 that was outstanding at the end of 2006. Under paragraph (d)(5) of this section, F must recognize additional gross income in 2007 equal to the portion of this receivable that F excluded from gross income in the prior taxable year ($1,700 × .1967 = $334). That amount ($334) is a recovery under paragraph (d)(5) of this section.

(h) Effective date. This section is applicable for taxable years ending on or after August 31, 2006.

[T.D. 9285, 71 FR 52437, Sept. 6, 2006]