26 CFR § 1.46-8 - Requirements for taxpayers electing additional one-percent investment credit (TRASOP's).
(a) Introduction -
(1) In general. A corporation may elect under section 46(a)(2)(B) of the Code to obtain an additional investment credit for property described in section 46(a)(2)(D). This section provides rules for electing to have the provisions of section 46(a)(2)(B) apply and for implementing an employee stock ownership plan under section 301(d) of the Tax Reduction Act of 1975 (“1975 TRA”). The plan must meet the formal requirements of paragraph (d), and the operational requirements of paragraph (e), of this section. An additional credit may be obtained for the periods described in section 46(a)(2)(D). Unless otherwise indicated, statutory references in this section are to the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 as in effect prior to the amendments made by the Revenue Act of 1978.
|Section 301||Section 1.46-8||Subject|
|(d)(1)||(c)(7)(i), (c)(8)(i)||Establishing a TRASOP, in general; funding a TRASOP, in general.|
|(2)(A)||(c)(7)(ii)||Type of plan.|
|(B)||(d)(3), (e)(10)||Investment design.|
|(C)||(d)(1)||Plan requirements, in general.|
|(6)||(c)||Procedures for additional credit.|
|(7)(A)||(c)(7)(ii)||Taxability, non-401(a) TRASOP.|
|(B)||(e)(3)||Allocations under 401(a).|
|(C)||(e)(3)||Section 410 and section 415 requirements.|
|(8)||(e)(9)||Reductions of investment credit.|
|(9)(A)||(b)(4)||Employer securities, definition.|
|(e)(10), (f)||Employer securities, requirements.|
|(11)||(h)||Failure to comply.|
|(13)||(e) (6) and (7)||Reimbursement for expenses.|
|(14)||(c)(8)(v) and (d)(7)(i)||Contingent contributions.|
|(f)||(d)(7), (e)(8)(vii), (f)||Withdrawals of TRASOP securities.|
(b) Definitions. When used in this section, the terms listed below have the indicated meanings:
(1) TRASOP. A “TRASOP” is an employee stock ownership plan that meets the requirements of section 301(d) of the 1975 TRA. See § 1.46-7. It is a type of plan described in paragraph (d)(1) of this section and may, but need not, be an ESOP under § 54.4975-11 of this chapter (Pension Excise Tax Regulations). See § 1.46-8(d)(5) concerning use of TRASOP assets as collateral for debts and expenses of the plan.
(2) Additional credit. An “additional credit” is the additional one-percent investment credit under section 46(a)(2)(B)(i).
(3) Employer. An “employer” is a corporation that establishes a TRASOP.
(4) Employer securities -
(i) In general. “Employer securities” are common stock, and securities convertible into common stock, of the employer or of a corporation that is a member of a controlled group of corporations including the employer. Employer securities must meet the requirements of paragraph (g) of this section. Membership in a controlled group for purposes of this section is determined under section 414(b) of the Code.
(ii) Pre-1977 employer securities. In addition, employer securities acquired by a TRASOP before January 1, 1977, include common stock, and securities convertible into common stock, of a corporation in control of the employer within the meaning of section 368(c).
(iii) Caution. An employer security under this section is not necessarily a qualifying employer security as defined in section 407(d)(5) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) or section 4975(e)(8). Moreover, sections 406, 407, and 408 of ERISA in certain cases limit the acquisition and disposition of qualifying employer securities as defined in section 407(d)(5) of ERISA.
(ii) Except as provided under paragraphs (g) (4) and (5) of this section, or as required by applicable law, are subject to no other put, call, or other option, or buy-sell or similar arrangement while held by the plan.
(6) Publicly traded. The term “publicly traded” has the meaning specified in § 54.4975-7(b)(1)(iv) of this chapter.
(7) Value -
(i) In general. With respect to the transfer of TRASOP securities by a corporation to a TRASOP or the acquisition of TRASOP securities with cash transferred by a corporation to a TRASOP, “value” means fair market value determined in good faith and based on all relevant factors as of the date of transfer or acquisition of the TRASOP securities. If the plan acquires TRASOP securities from other than a disqualified person within the meaning of section 4975(e)(2), a good faith determination of value includes a determination of fair market value based on an appraisal independently arrived at by a person who customarily makes such appraisals and who is independent of any person from whom the TRASOP securities are acquired.
(ii) Twenty-day average rule. A special 20-day average valuation rule applies to certain publicly traded securities transferred by a corporation to a TRASOP. It does not apply to securities acquired with cash transferreed by a corporation to a TRASOP. Under the special rule, the term “value” refers to an average of daily closing prices for a security, as reported on any national securities exchange or as quoted on any system sponsored by a national securities association, over the 20 consecutive trading days immediately preceding the applicable last day described in paragraph (c)(8)(i) of this section. The average is based on the closing prices for each day when the security is in fact traded during the 20-day period. However, the special rule does not apply unless the security is in fact traded for at least 10 of the 20 days.
(iii) 20-day average transitional exception. If a TRASOP security is transferred before March 20, 1979, the plan may value the security on the basis of the 20 consecutive trading days preceding the date on which the security is transferred or the date as of which the security is allocated to a participant's account.
(8) Compensation. “Compensation” means “participant's compensation” under section 415(c)(3) and § 1.415-2(d). However, except for purposes of applying section 415, compensation must be determined for a plan year, not a limitation year.
(c) Procedures for additional credit -
(1) Applicable year -
(i) General rule. With respect to a qualified investment, the “applicable year” of a corporation is generally the taxable year in which the investment is made. For purposes of this section, an investment is made either in a year when section 38 property is placed in service or in a year when qualified progress expenditures are incurred.
(ii) Carryover option. A corporation may determine the applicable years for qualified investments made in any taxable year beginning after December 31, 1976, under the following method: The first applicable year with respect to the additional credit for a given year's qualified investment is the year the qualified investment is made or, if later, the first taxable year for which any additional credit is allowable if claimed for that qualified investment. If there is an investment credit carryover from the first applicable year, each taxable year to which any part of the additional credit for that qualified investment is carried over is also an applicable year. If the carryover treatment is elected for the additional credit attributable to a year's qualified investment, all applicable years for the additional credit attributable to that investment must be determined under the carryover option.
(iv) Illustration. To illustrate the application of paragraphs (c)(1) (i) and (ii) of this section, assume that a calendar-year corporation makes a qualified investment in 1977 and that 1977 is an unused credit year described in section 46(b)(1). If the general rule is applied, 1977 is an applicable year. However, because 1977 is an unused credit year (at least with respect to the additional credit), if the corporation does not elect to treat 1977 as an applicable year but carries over its entire additional credit for 1977 to 1978 and uses it in 1978, then 1978 is an applicable year. If part of the additional credit is carried over further to 1979, the year 1979 is also an applicable year.
(v) Change in method. The choice between the general rule and carryover option methods of determining the additional credit attributable to applicable years is made with respect to each year's qualified investment, and does not bind the corporation with respect to selection of methods for the additional credit attributable to other years' qualified investment. A failure to comply does not occur merely because a corporation elects to apply either method for the additional credit attributable to separate years' qualified investment.
(ii) In the case of a return filed before December 31, 1975, to an amended return filed on or before December 31, 1975.
(3) Statement of election. The statement of election must contain the name and taxpayer identification number of the corporation. Also, it must declare in the following words, or in words having substantially the same meaning, that:
(4) Separate election. A separate election must be made for each taxable year's qualified investment to obtain an additional credit for that qualified investment. If a corporation does not make a timely election to obtain an additional credit for a taxable year, it may not subsequently make the election on an amended return or otherwise.
(5) No partial election. An election to obtain an additional credit applies to a corporation's entire qualified investment for a taxable year. Thus, a corporation may not elect to obtain a partial additional credit for any year's qualified investment. However, the partial disallowance of an additional credit will not result in an election being treated as a partial election. Also, an election by a member of a controlled group of corporations that applies only to the electing member's qualified investment is not a partial election. See § 1.46-8(h)(9) with respect to transitional rules for elections made before January 19, 1979.
(7) Establishing a TRASOP -
(i) In general. A corporation electing to obtain an additional credit must establish a TRASOP with accompanying trust on or before the last day for making the election regardless of when in fact the election is made. A TRASOP is considered to be in existence on a particular date if it meets the requirements of § 1.410(a)-2(c)(1). A new plan need not be established if an existing plan qualifies as a TRASOP, or is amended to meet the requirements of this section, on or before the last day for making the election. The requirements of this section are not satisfied merely by establishing and crediting a separate “TRASOP” account on the corporation's books.
(ii) Type of plan. A TRASOP need not meet the requirements of section 401(a). However, it must be a stock bonus plan, a combination stock bonus plan and money purchase pension plan, or a profit-sharing plan under § 1.401-1(b)(1) of this chapter. See section 301(d)(7)(A) of the 1975 TRA for the tax consequences relating to a TRASOP that does not meet the requirements of section 401(a). See also title I of ERISA for additional provisions applicable to a TRASOP as an employee pension benefit plan under section 3(2) of ERISA.
(8) Funding a TRASOP -
(i) In general. A corporation electing to obtain an additional credit must fund its TRASOP by transferring TRASOP securities or cash to it no later than 30 days after the applicable last day. That day is the last day for electing the additional credit, irrespective of when the election is actually made. However, in the case of an investment credit that was carried over and claimed in a subsequent applicable year by reason of paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section, that day is the last day (including extensions) for filing its income tax return for the subsequent applicable year. TRASOP securities may be transferred to a plan at any time during the applicable year, but not before the first day of an applicable year. If TRASOP securities are transferred to the plan within the permissible time period after the close of the applicable year, they are treated as transferred during that applicable year first until all TRASOP securities required by this paragraph (c) for that applicable year are transferred to, and taken into account under, the TRASOP. Thus, for example, assume that on a return filed on September 17, 1979 (with extensions, the last day for filing a return for 1978), a calendar-year corporation claims an additional credit of $5,000 for 1978, an applicable year under the TRASOP. No contributions were made in 1978 on account of the 1978 credit, but TRASOP securities with a value of $6,000 were contributed in 1979. The corporation also expects to be able to claim an additional credit of $10,000 for 1979. TRASOP securities transferred between January 1, 1979, and October 17, 1979, must be taken into account under the plan for 1978 before they are taken into account for 1979. Accordingly, securities having a value of $5,000 are applied against the obligation for 1978, and $1,000 of the contribution is retained to be applied to the eventual obligation for 1979.
(ii) Cash transfers. A corporation may transfer cash to the TRASOP instead of TRASOP securities only if the TRASOP uses the cash to acquire TRASOP securities no later than 30 days after the time for funding the TRASOP.
(iii) Valuation. The value of the TRASOP securities for an applicable year must equal one percent of the corporation's qualified investment for that year. However, if paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section is followed by a corporation, the value of TRASOP securities for an applicable year must equal the amount of additional credit claimed for that year.
(iv) Cash reserve. The value of TRASOP securities acquired with cash transferred by a corporation may be reduced by two items. The first item is an amount not more than the value of fractional shares allocable to participants entitled to receive an immediate distribution at the time of the transfer. The second item is start-up expenses and administrative expenses to the extent permitted under section 301(d)(13) of the 1975 TRA and paragraphs (e) (6) and (7) of this section.
(v) Conditional funding. The funding of a TRASOP may be conditional if the TRASOP satisfies the provisions of section 301(d)(14) of the 1975 TRA. For purposes of section 301(d)(14), an investment credit is considered to be allowed on the date the election for the applicable year is made under paragraph (c)(2) of this section.
(9) Claiming additional credit -
(i) In general. Section 46(a)(3) subjects the amount of investment credit earned with respect to a taxpayer's qualified investment for a taxable year to a limitation based on the corporation's tax liability.
(ii) Unused credit year. Section 46(a)(1) provides a first-in-first-out rule for the investment credit in a taxable year. Section 46(b)(1) provides for the carryback and carryover of unused credits. If less than all of a taxpayer's credit earned for a taxable year is allowable, the 10-percent credit determined under section 46(a)(2)(A) earned for a particular year is allowed first. Any portion of the additional credit for a taxable year that is not allowable may be carried back or carried over to the extent permitted by section 46(b)(1). However, an additional credit which is allowed for a taxable year is not reduced by a carryback to that year of an unused credit from a succeeding taxable year.
(iii) Example. Paragraph (c)(9)(ii) of this section is illustrated by the following example:
|1. Qualified investment||$500,000||$500,000|
|2. Credits earned:|
|a. 10% credit||50,000||50,000|
|b. Additional credit||5,000||5,000|
|c. Carryover of additional credit from prior year, line 5||3,000|
|3. Sec. 46(a)(3) limitation||52,000||47,000|
|Treatment of credits:|
|4. Credits allowed:|
|a. Carryover of additional credit||3,000|
|b. Current 10% credit||50,000||44,000|
|c. Current additional credit||2,000||0|
|5. Unused credits:|
|a. 10% credit||0||6,000|
|b. Additional credit||3,000||5,000|
(iv) Redeterminations increasing credit. If a corporation's allowable additional credit is increased because of a redetermination, the increase is treated as if it were an unused credit carryover for purposes of paragraphs (c)(1)(ii) and (c)(8)(i) of this section. For purposes of this subdivision (iv), the date of the increase is determined under paragraph (e)(9)(iii) of this section as if it were the date of a reduction. Thus, for example, assume that a calendar-year corporation claims an additional credit of $100,000 in 1978 because of a qualified investment in that year. In 1980, the additional credit attributable to 1978 qualified investment is redetermined to be $110,000. With respect to the 1978 qualified investment, 1980 is also an applicable year to the extent of $10,000. The increased credit is reflected on the employer's return for 1980. The corporation must fund the TRASOP with this $10,000 under paragraph (c)(8) of this section.
(v) Redeterminations increasing tax liability. If a corporation's tax liability for a year is increased such that an additional credit carried forward and claimed in a later year is allowable in the earlier year, the claim of the additional credit will be considered timely if it was otherwise timely under this section. Thus, for example, assume that a calendar-year corporation makes qualified investment of $5,000,000 in 1978 but, based on its income tax liability, is unable to use any of the credit until 1979, when the entire $50,000 additional credit can be used. The corporation adopts the TRASOP, elects the full $50,000 credit and funds in a timely manner for tax year 1979. However, as a result of a 1981 redetermination of the 1978 tax liability, the corporation is able to use $30,000 of the additional credit in 1978 and the remaining $20,000 in 1979. The allowable credit for 1978 is increased by $30,000 and the increase is treated as an unused credit carryover, for which the year of redetermination, 1981, is the applicable year. Assuming that no other credits are available, the 1979 credit is reduced from $50,000 to $20,000, and this reduction is taken into account in the redetermination year by offsetting the reduction against amounts due the plan or by deducting the amount of the reduction. The adoption of the TRASOP for 1979, rather than 1978, is considered timely.
(10) Deductions at expiration of carryover period. Under paragraph (c)(1)(i) of this section, a corporation that uses no additional credit in the year of a qualifed investment may nonetheless treat the year in which the qualified investment is made as the first applicable year. If the carryover period under section 46(b)(1)(B) expires before the corporation uses the entire additional credit with respect to the qualified investment, contributions attributable to the unused credit are deductible, subject to the limitations of section 404(a), as if made in the taxable year when the carryover period expires. The amount deductible is the dollar amount of the unused credit irrespective of the current value of the securities contributed with respect to the credit.
(d) Formal plan requirements -
(3) Designed to invest primarily in employer securities. To be a TRASOP, a plan must state that it is designed to invest primarily in employer securities. A TRASOP intended to qualify as an ESOP under § 54.4975-11 must state that it is designed to invest primarily in employer securities. See paragraph (e)(10) of this section concerning the requirement that a plan invest in employer securities on an ongoing basis.
(5) Debts and expenses of the TRASOP. To be a TRASOP, a plan must state that TRASOP securities cannot be used to satisfy a loan made to the TRASOP or be used as collateral for a loan made to a TRASOP. However, if the plan so provides, to the extent permitted under section 301(d)(13) of the 1975 TRA and paragraphs (e) (6) and (7) of this section, certain amounts may be used for the TRASOP's start-up expenses and administrative expenses.
(6) Allocation of TRASOP securities -
(iii) Participants. Each employee who is a participant at any time during the plan year for which allocation is made must receive an allocation as of the end of that year even though not then employed by the employer. However, to receive allocations, employees must satisfy the minimum participation requirements of the plan (for example, 1,000 hours of service).
(iv) Compensation considered. Under section 301(d)(3) of the 1975 TRA, allocations must be based on the proportion that each participant's compensation bears to all participants' compensation. Compensation in excess of $100,000 must be disregarded in making these allocations. A plan may have a lower stated ceiling on compensation (from $0 to $100,000) and if the plan has such a lower ceiling, compensation in excess of this ceiling must likewise be disregarded. Also, allocations must be based on a participant's compensation while actually employed, not just while actually participating, in the plan year.
(v) Section 415 priority rule; transitional rule. For purposes of section 415, this subdivision (v) applies only to limitation years beginning after November 30, 1982. If a TRASOP security is not allocated to a participant's account for a plan year because of section 415 and section 301(d)(3) of the 1975 TRA, no other amount may be allocated for that participant under any defined contribution plan of the same employer after the actual allocation date for that TRASOP plan year, until all unallocated TRASOP securities have been allocated as provided in paragraphs (d)(6) (vi) and (vii) of this section. This subdivision (v) applies to a TRASOP when, under section 415(f)(1)(B), the TRASOP is treated along with an employer's other defined contribution plans as one plan for purposes of section 415.
(vi) Unallocated amounts. Under section 301(d)(3) of the 1975 TRA, TRASOP securities unallocated for a plan year to participants' accounts because of section 415 must be allocated proportionately to the accounts of other participants until the addition to the account of each participant reaches the limits of section 415.
(vii) Suspense account. If, after these allocations, TRASOP securities remain unallocated, they must be held in an unallocated suspense account under the TRASOP. Any income produced by these securities must also be held in the account. A plan with such an account will not fail to qualify under section 401(a) merely because of the account. In each successive TRASOP plan year (whether or not an applicable year), the unallocated assets are released from this account for allocation on a first-in-first-out basis. They are then allocated to the participants' accounts proportionately under paragraph (d)(6) (i) through (vi) of this section for each later year until no TRASOP securities remain unallocated. Value for this allocation is determined under paragraph (b)(7) of this section as of the date of transfer from the suspense account or, if the special 20-day average rule applies, the value is determined on the basis of the 20 consecutive trading days immediately preceding the date of transfer from the suspense account.
(viii) Escrow account. A TRASOP may provide for the establishment of an escrow account instead of a suspense account. The escrow account must satisfy paragraph (d)(6)(vii) of this section. The beneficiary of the escrow account is to be the TRASOP. The corporation may establish the escrow account and contribute stock or cash to it. In such a case, the escrow agent must transfer assets to the plan each year equal to the amount to be allocated proportionately under paragraph (d)(6)(i)-(vi) of this section. Assets held in an escrow account are plan assets.
(ix) Treatment of certain plan terminations. To be a TRASOP, a plan must provide that, if a plan terminates because the corporation ceases to exist, unallocated amounts described in paragraph (d)(6)(vi) of this section must be allocated to the extent possible under section 415 for the year of termination. The remaining unallocated amounts must then be withdrawn. These unallocated amounts are treated as recaptured under all the rules of paragraph (e)(9)(vii) of this section except its last sentence. See paragraph (d)(9)(i) of this section concerning distributions of allocated TRASOP securities.
(xii) Accounting for amounts withheld by employer or paid by plan as start-up or administrative expenses. An employer may withhold certain start-up and administrative expenses from TRASOP securities due the plan. Also, a plan may reduce amounts to be allocated to the extent that certain plan assets are used to reimburse the employer, for example for salaries of employees providing services to the plan, or to pay fees directly to independent contractors for expenses. These expenses do not reduce the amount of additional credit claimed and are not allowable as expenses in computing taxable income. Additional rules concerning these expenses are in paragraphs (e) (6) and (7) of this section.
(7) Nonforfeitability. To be a TRASOP, a plan must state that each participant has a nonforfeitable right to allocated TRASOP securities. For purposes of this section, forfeitures described in section 411(a)(3) are not permitted. However, amounts shall not fail to be considered to be nonforfeitable if the plan provides for their return to the corporation -
(i) In the case of conditional contributions, under section 301(d)(14) of the 1975 TRA and paragraph (c)(8)(v) of this section, and
(8) Voting rights -
(i) Provision for passthrough. To be a TRASOP, a plan must state that each participant is entitled to direct a designated fiduciary how to exercise any voting rights on TRASOP securities allocated to the account of the participant. The plan need not permit participants to direct the voting of unallocated TRASOP or other securities held by the trust. It may authorize the designated fiduciary to exercise voting rights for unallocated securities.
(ii) Notification by the employer. To be a TRASOP, the plan must obligate the corporation to furnish the designated fiduciary and participants with notices and information statements when voting rights are to be exercised. The time and manner for furnishing participants with a notice or information statement must comply with both applicable law and the corporation's charter and bylaws as generally applicable to security holders. In general, the content of the statement must be the same for plan participants as for other security holders.
(iii) Fractional securities. To be a TRASOP, the plan must allow the participants to vote any allocated fractional securities or fractional rights to securities. This requirement is met if the designated fiduciary votes the combined fractional securities or rights to the extent possible to reflect the direction of the voting participants.
(iv) Unexercised voting rights. To be a TRASOP, the plan may not permit the designated fiduciary to exercise voting rights which a participant fails to exercise. However, the plan may permit the solicitation and exercise of participants' voting rights by management and others under a proxy provision applicable to all security holders.
(9) Distributions -
(i) In general. To be a TRASOP, a plan must permit the distribution of allocated TRASOP securities only as provided under section 301(d)(4) of the 1975 TRA. Also, under § 1.401-1(b)(1)(i) of this chapter, to the extent that a TRASOP is a money purchase pension plan, it can only provide for a distribution in the case of separation from service, death, or disability. No TRASOP may provide for the distribution of TRASOP securities upon plan termination within the 84-month holding period. For purposes of section 301(d)(4) of the 1975 TRA, the 84-month holding period begins on the date as of which TRASOP securities are allocated.
(e) Operational plan requirements -
(1) General rule. To be a TRASOP, a plan in operation must meet the requirements of this paragraph (e). However, the provisions under paragraph (e)(8) of this section apply only to TRASOPs qualified under section 401(a).
(2) Compliance with plan provisions. To be a TRASOP, a plan must operate in compliance with its provisions. Failure to operate in compliance with plan provisions constitutes an operational failure to comply. See paragraph (h)(5)(iii) of this section.
(3) Compliance with certain Code provisions. To be a TRASOP, a plan must meet the requirements of section 301(d)(7) of the 1975 TRA. Thus, whether or not it is qualified under section 401(a), a TRASOP must meet the requirements of section 401(a) with respect to allocations, section 410 with respect to participation, and section 415 with respect to limitations on contributions and benefits. However, these requirements are modified by paragraph (d)(6) of this section, relating to allocations and section 415.
(4) Employee contributions. Under a TRASOP, the participants' receipt of benefits attributable to TRASOP securities contributed for the additional credit (but not the extra additional credit) must not depend on contributions by participants. If a corporation has a plan in existence which requires employee contributions, a portion of the plan may be a TRASOP if employee contributions are not required with respect to that portion of the plan.
(5) Controlled group of corporations, etc. Whether or not a TRASOP is qualified under section 401(a), all employees who by reason of section 414 (b) and (c) are treated as employees of an electing corporation are treated as employed by the corporation in determining whether the plan satisfies the requirements of sections 301(d)(7) (B) and (C) of the 1975 TRA. A member of a controlled group under paragraph (b)(4)(i) of this section with a qualified investment but with no actual employees may obtain an additional credit even though the only participants in the corporation's TRASOP are actually employed by another member of the controlled group.
(6) Start-up expenses -
(i) In general. For purposes of this section, the term “start-up expense” means any ordinary and necessary amount of a nonrecurring nature paid or incurred by the corporation or by the plan in connection with the establishment of a TRASOP under paragraph (c)(7) of this section. Thus, for example, start-up expenses may include expenses relating to: the drafting or amending of plan documents to establish a TRASOP under section 301(d) or (e) of the 1975 TRA, the seeking of agency approval for these documents and related transactions, the obtaining of shareholder approval for establishing a TRASOP, and the registering of securities for initial funding of a TRASOP.
(ii) Treatment of start-up expenses. Start-up expenses may be withheld by the employer from amounts that would otherwise be due the plan under paragraph (c)(8) of this section, to the extent that these amounts are known by the employer when funding first occurs for an applicable year. To the extent that these amounts are not withheld by the employer, the plan may pay remaining amounts from plan assets within a reasonable time after the amounts are known by the plan.
(iii) Ceiling on start-up expenses. Reimbursement for start-up expenses is limited to a ceiling. This ceiling is the sum of 10 percent of the first $100,000 that an employer is first required to transfer under paragraph (c)(8) of this section for an applicable year and 5 percent of that amount in excess of $100,000. If this first year is an unused credit year from which there is a carryover, amounts required to be transferred in subsequent years for claiming carryovers from this first year are considered in determining this ceiling. Thus, for example, assume that a calendar-year corporation first earns an additional credit in 1977 of $9,000 and that $3,000 of this amount is claimed on the income tax return for 1977, for 1978 and for 1979. The corporation's ceiling on start-up expenses is $300 when its 1977 return is filed. The total ceiling increases to $600 when its 1978 return is filed and to $900 when its 1979 return is filed, with the claiming of an additional $3,000 credit for each of the three years.
(iv) Special rule for taxable years ending before January 1, 1977. Special treatment is available for expenses paid or incurred before January 1, 1977, that were not taken into account in the manner provided by section 301(d)(13) of the 1975 TRA. These expenses may be withdrawn under paragraph (e)(9)(vii) of this section in the same manner as reductions in the corporation's additional credit caused by a recapture. This withdrawal may only be made during the first taxable year ending after March 20, 1979. It is subject to the ceiling of section 301(d)(13) of the 1975 TRA. Expenses previously deducted by a corporation must be reduced on a timely-filed amended return by the amount of this withdrawal.
(7) Administrative expenses -
(i) In general. For purposes of this section, the term “administrative expense” means any amount, other than a start-up expense, paid or incurred by the corporation or by the plan that is ordinary and necessary in maintaining the TRASOP. Thus, for example, administrative expenses may include expenses relating to: compensating plan fiduciaries and administrators, leasing office space and equipment, reproducing and mailing information to participants and beneficiaries, and filing reports, returns, and amendments relating to a TRASOP. Paragraph (e)(6) (ii) and (iv), relating to treatment of start-up expenses and to a special rule for taxable years ending before January 1, 1977, also applies to administrative expenses.
(ii) Ceiling on administrative expenses. Reimbursement for administrative expenses under paragraph (e)(6)(ii) of this section is limited to the smaller of two amounts for each plan year. The first amount is $100,000. The second amount is the sum of 10 percent of the first $100,000 of dividend income paid with respect to TRASOP securities held by the plan during the plan year ending with or within the corporation's taxable year and 5 percent of any such dividend income in excess of $100,000.
(8) TRASOP qualification under section 401(a) -
(i) Permanence. A TRASOP is not required to be a qualified plan under section 401(a). However, to meet the requirements of section 401(a), a TRASOP must be a permanent plan, as described in § 1.401-1(b)(2) of this chapter. Under section 401(a)(21), a plan will not fail to be considered permanent merely because the amount of employer contributions under the plan is determined solely by reference to the amount of additional credit allowable under this section. Thus, for example, it will not fail to be considered permanent merely because employer contributions are not made for a year for which an additional credit is not available by reason of no qualified investment for which an additional credit can be obtained. Section 401(a)(21) applies only to the extent the TRASOP is funded with TRASOP securities and cash in lieu of TRASOP securities.
(ii) Partial discontinuance of contributions. A plan that meets the requirements of section 401(a) may receive contributions of TRASOP securities as well as other contributions. If the other contributions continue on a permanent basis, the plan's qualification under section 401(a) will not be adversely affected merely because TRASOP securities cease to be contributed to it. The discontinuance of TRASOP contributions does not alter the requirement that past TRASOP contributions remain invested in employer securities. See paragraph (e)(10) of this section.
(iii) Income distribution. Income paid with respect to employer securities acquired by a TRASOP may be distributed at any time after receipt by the plan to participants on whose behalf such securities have been allocated without adversely affecting the qualified status of the plan under section 401(a). (See the last sentence of section 803(h), Tax Reform Act of 1976.) However, under a TRASOP that is a stock bonus or profit-sharing plan, income held by the plan for a 2-year period or longer must be distributed under rules generally applicable to stock bonus and profit-sharing plans qualified under section 401(a). Income distributed by a TRASOP is not subject to the partial exclusion of dividends provided in section 116, whether or not the income is held by the plan for two or more years.
(9) Reductions in investment credit -
(i) General rule. Certain reductions in a corporation's investment credit result from either a recapture under section 47 of the corporation's investment credit or a redetermination of the allowable credit. If these reductions are taken into account under a TRASOP, the plan may only use one or more of the methods described in paragraphs (e)(9), (v), (vi), and (vii) of this section for taking into account these reductions. Thus, for example, more than one method is permitted upon a recapture with respect to a qualified investment made in a particular year. However, the method described in paragraphs (e)(9)(vii) of this section applies only to a recapture and not to a redetermination.
(ii) Ratable reduction. A reduction is allocated ratably between the 10-percent credit and the additional credit. Thus, for example, if a calendar-year corporation claims a $33,000 investment credit for 1976, including $3,000 additional credit, and $11,000 of the total credit is recaptured in 1978, the $3,000 additional credit is reduced by $1,000. This subdivision (ii) does not apply to a reduction solely of the additional credit as could occur, for example, in the case of a redetermination caused by a mathematical error in computing the additional credit or in the case of a recapture caused by a bad faith failure to comply under paragraph (h) of this section.
(iii) Date of reduction. A reduction in investment credit occurs under this paragraph (e)(9) on the earliest of these dates: (A) The date an income tax return (or an amended return) is filed reflecting the reduction; (B) the date a judicial determination affecting the amount of the reduction becomes final; and (C) the date specified in a closing agreement made under section 7121 that is approved by the Commissioner. For purposes of this subdivision (iii), a judicial determination becomes final at the time prescribed in § 1.547-2(b)(1) (ii) or (iii), relating to personal holding company tax.
(iv) Year for taking reduction into account. A reduction in investment credit must be taken into account in the earliest year or years possible under the applicable method beginning no later than the year in which the date of the reduction falls.
(v) Decrease future contributions. The reduction may be taken into account as a decrease in the value of TRASOP securities to be transferred to the plan. The amount of the decrease is equal to the dollar amount of the reduction.
(vi) Deduct under section 404. On the date of the reduction, the amount of the reduction may be treated as an amount paid to the TRASOP for purposes of, and as a deduction to the extent allowed under, section 404.
(vii) Withdraw TRASOP securities. If an additional credit allowed for a taxable year is recaptured, the corporation may withdraw from the plan TRASOP securities transferred to, or acquired by, the plan for claiming that year's credit. The withdrawal must only be from assets segregated under paragraph (f)(2) of this section and must be first from assets accounted for in an unallocated suspense account for the particular year. The amount of assets actually withdrawn bears the same proportion to the amount of assets subject to withdrawal as the amount of additional credit recaptured bears to the amount of additional credit claimed. Thus, for example, if the assets subject to withdrawal consist of 300 shares of one class of employer stock and one-third of the additional credit is recaptured, 100 shares of the stock are withdrawn. However, if the current value of the assets subject to withdrawal exceeds the dollar amount of the additional credit claimed, assets may be withdrawn only to the extent that their current value does not exceed the dollar amount of the recaptured portion of the additional credit. Thus, for example, if the 300 segregated shares in the prior example have a current value of $9,000 and the dollar value of the additional credit claimed is $4,500, when one-third of the additional credit is recaptured, only 50 shares, not 100 shares, are withdrawn. Current value is determined under paragraph (b)(7) of this section as of the withdrawal date or, if the special 20-day average rule is applied, it is based on the 20 consecutive trading days immediately preceding the withdrawal date. Withdrawals from an individual's account for the year with respect to which recapture occurs must bear the same ratio to the total amount withdrawn for that year as the individual's TRASOP account balance for that year bears to the total TRASOP account balances for that year. In the case of a TRASOP security acquired after March 20, 1979, the corporation may not withdraw it unless the plan meets the requirements of paragraph (d)(7)(ii) of this section when the plan acquires the TRASOP security.
(viii) Prior distribution rule. If a TRASOP distributes an amount allocated with respect to an investment credit for a taxable year and the credit for that year is later recaptured, withdrawals may not reduce participants' accounts below the level to which they would have been reduced had the prior distribution not occurred. Recaptured amounts above this level may only be deducted under paragraph (e)(9)(vi) of this section. They may not be used to decrease future contributions under paragraph (e)(9)(v).
(ix) Illustration. The operation of paragraph (e)(9)(viii) of this section is illustrated as follows:
(10) Continued investment in employer securities. The requirement that a plan be designed to invest primarily in employer securities is a continuing obligation. Therefore, a transaction changing the status of a corporation as an employer may require the conversion of certain plan assets into other securities. See paragraphs (d)(9) and (g)(6) of this section. In general, cash or other assets derived from the disposition of employer securities must be reinvested in employer securities not later than the 90th day following the date of disposition. However, the Commissioner may grant an extension of the period for reinvestment in employer securities depending on the facts and circumstances of each case.
(f) Section 301(f) withdrawals -
(1) In general. No assets may be withdrawn by a corporation under section 301(f) of the 1975 TRA unless the assets are either TRASOP securities or plan assets into which TRASOP securities have been converted (“withdrawal assets”). See paragraph (e)(10) concerning restrictions on investment of TRASOP assets in assets other than employer securities. Withdrawal assets must meet the segregated accounting requirements of this paragraph. The physical segregation of assets is not required.
(2) Segregated accounting. The segregated accounting requirements are that -
(i) Withdrawal assets must be segregated from other plan assets on a taxable-year-by-taxable-year basis; and
(3) Aggregate plan year accounting. Withdrawal assets for taxable years beginning before October 4, 1976, also meet the segregated accounting requirements if they are aggregated and accounted for in one separate account apart from withdrawal assets in separate accounts for later taxable years.
(g) Requirements for employer securities -
(1) General rules. The term “employer security” does not include stock rights, warrants and options. An employer security that is not common stock must at all times be immediately convertible into common stock that is an employer security at a conversion price which is no greater than the fair market value of that common stock at the time the plan acquires the security.
(2) Common stock -
(i) In general. To be an employer security, common stock must meet certain voting power and dividend right requirements. For purposes of this paragraph (g), stock held by the TRASOP is not treated as outstanding.
(ii) Dividend right limitations. If dividend rights are subject to a limitation, then stock representing at least 50 percent of the fair market value of the employer's outstanding common stock at the time the common stock is transferred to or purchased by the TRASOP must be subject to the same limitation. However, common stock that satisfies paragraph (g)(3)(ii) of this section is not subject to this subdivision (ii).
(3) Voting power and dividend rights. To be an employer security, common stock must have voting power and dividend rights which, when taken together, are “no less favorable” than the voting power and dividend rights of any other common stock issued by the employer. Common stock which meets one of the following tests is “no less favorable”.
(i) Ten-percent shareholder test. The stock is part of, or identical to, a class of outstanding stock of which at least 50 percent is not owned by 10-percent shareholders. For this purpose, a 10-percent shareholder is one who owns at least 10 percent of the outstanding shares in a class, including shares constructively owned under section 318.
(iii) Voting power test. The stock is part of, or identical to, the existing class of stock having the greatest number of votes per unit of fair market value. For example, assume there are only two classes of common stock, Class A and Class B. Their fair market values per share are $1 and $.50, respectively, and the owner of each share of each class is entitled to one vote per share. Thus, Class B has two votes per $1 and Class A has one vote per $1. Accordingly, the Class B stock has the greatest number of votes per unit of fair market value.
(4) Right of first refusal. TRASOP securities may, but need not, be subject to a right of first refusal. However, whether or not the plan is an ESOP, any such right must meet the requirements of § 54.4975-7(b)(9) of this chapter.
(5) Put option. A TRASOP security that is transferred to a TRASOP after September 30, 1976, must be subject to a put option if it is not publicly traded when distributed or if it is subject to a trading limitation when distributed. The provisions of § 54.4975-7(b)(10)-(12) and § 54.4975-11(a)(3) of this chapter apply to such securities whether or not the plan is an ESOP.
(6) Change of employer security status. In general, a transaction changing the status of a corporation as an employer, or as a member of a controlled group of corporations including the employer, adversely affects the status as employer securities of common stock and securities held by a plan (“old employer securities”). However, to the extent that the transaction causing the change in status of the old employer securities does not result in a recapture under section 47 of any investment credit underlying the transfer to, or acquisition by, the plan of the old employer securities, common stock and securities (“new employer securities”) substituted for old employer securities are treated as if they were the old employer securities if -
(i) The plan is not terminated,
(h) Failure to comply -
(1) General rule -
(i) Effect of failure. If a corporation elects under paragraphs (c)(2) through (5) of this section to obtain an additional credit and fails to comply with respect to that credit at any time, it is liable to the United States for a civil penalty equal to the amount involved in the failure to comply. If the corporation fails to comply with respect to an additional credit during the 84-month period described in section 301(d)(4) of the 1975 TRA, the credit is also recaptured. A separate failure to comply occurs for each taxable year in which a failure continues to exist.
(ii) Illustration of continuing failure's effect. Assume that in 1975 an additional credit is allowed and a failure to comply occurs in 1975 with respect to that credit. Assume also that in 1976 the 1975 failure continues uncorrected, another additional credit is allowed, and a failure to comply occurs with respect to the 1976 credit. Under these circumstances, on the last day of 1976 three separate failures to comply exist: (A) The 1975 failure with respect to the 1975 credit, (B) the 1976 failure with respect to the 1975 credit, and (C) the 1976 failure with respect to the 1976 credit.
(3) Exception. If a failure to comply is corrected within the correction period described in paragraph (h)(5) of this section -
(4) Failure to comply (penalty classifications) -
(i) In general. An electing corporation fails to comply if a defect described in paragraphs (h)(4) (ii) through (iv) of this section occurs with respect to an additional credit allowed for a particular taxable year. The characterization of the defect in this subparagraph (4) determines the amount involved under paragraph (h)(8) of this section for the purpose of assessing the civil penalty.
(ii) Funding defect. A funding defect occurs if a corporation or its TRASOP fails to satisfy the requirements of paragraph (c) (8) or (9) of this section, relating to funding a TRASOP and claiming an additional credit.
(iii) Special operational defect. A special operational defect occurs if a TRASOP fails in operation to satisfy the requirements described in paragraphs (d) (5) through (9) of this section, relating to debts and expenses of a TRASOP, allocation of TRASOP securities, nonforfeitability, voting rights, and distributions, or paragraph (e)(3) of this section, relating to compliance with certain Code provisions.
(iv) De minimis defect. A de minimis defect occurs if a corporation or its TRASOP fails to satisfy any requirement of this section other than those enumerated either in paragraph (h)(4) (ii) and (iii) of this section or in paragraphs (a)(2) and (c) (2) through (5) of this section. A failure to comply under this subdivision (iv) may be formal or operational in nature.
(5) Failure to comply (correction rules classifications) -
(i) In general. If for an electing corporation a defect described in paragraph (h)(4) of this section occurs, the procedure for correcting the failure to comply depends upon whether the failure is classified as a “formal” failure or an “operational” failure under this subparagraph (5).
(ii) Formal failure to comply. Formal failures are corrected by retroactive amendment. If a formal plan requirement is not met, the plan must be retroactively amended by no later than the expiration of the correction period under paragraph (h)(6) of this section. A plan fails to meet a formal plan requirement of paragraph (d) of this section if, for example, it does not state, as required by paragraph (d)(3) of this section, that it is designed to invest primarily in employer securities.
(iii) Operational failure to comply. Operational failures are corrected by undoing the defective transaction and by making the plan and the participants whole. If the value of TRASOP securities transferred to the TRASOP is less than the amount of the additional credit, the corporation must make up any resulting funding deficiency within the correction period. This is done, for example, by contributing additional TRASOP securities plus an amount equal to the dividends or interest that would have been paid between the time that the TRASOP securities should have been transferred and the actual time for the transfer. The contribution of additional TRASOP securities is based on their value under paragraph (b)(7) of this section as of the date by which they were required to be transferred to the plan. An electing corporation fails to meet an obligation undertaken under this section if, for example, it fails to comply with paragraph (c)(8) of this section.
(6) Correction period -
(i) In general. For purposes of this paragraph (h), the “correction period” begins when the failure to comply occurs and ends 90 days after receipt by the corporation of a notice of deficiency under section 6212 with respect to the civil penalty and the investment credit.
(ii) Extensions of correction period. Extensions of the correction period are determined under § 53.4941(e)-1(d)(2) (i), (ii), and (iv) of this chapter (Foundation Excise Tax Regulations). For this purpose, a failure to comply is treated as an act of self-dealing, the corporation is treated as a foundation, and a civil penalty is treated as a tax under section 4941(a)(1).
(7) Good faith. The corporation has the burden of establishing under paragraph (h)(3)(ii) of this section that it made a good faith effort to comply. For example, if a corporation shows that it has made a good faith effort to establish the fair market value of the employer securities transferred to the TRASOP, it may be entitled to the additional credit even if, on later examination of the return, it is determined that more securities should have been transferred. For purposes of this paragraph (h)(7), reasonable reliance on Technical Information Release 1413 (1975-50 I.R.B. 16), questions and answers relating to ESOP's, is a good faith effort to comply.
(8) Amount involved -
(i) In general. The amount involved in a failure to comply is an amount described in this subparagraph (8). A maximum amount and a minimum amount are determined with respect to an additional credit allowed for a particular taxable year.
(ii) Maximum amount involved. Notwithstanding any other rule in this paragraph (h), all amounts involved with respect to an additional credit allowed for a particular taxable year may not exceed the amount of that credit.
(iii) Minimum amount involved. The minimum amount is 1/2 of one percent of the additional credit times the number of full months, or parts of full months, during which the failure to comply exists. “Full month” has the meaning assigned in § 1.1250-1(d)(4) (realty depreciation recapture).
(iv) Funding amount involved. The amount involved for a funding defect is the greater of the minimum amount involved or the amount required to place the plan in the position it would have been in if no funding defect had occurred.
(9) Certain permissible actions -
(i) Elections prior to January 19, 1979. A corporation does not fail to comply (within the meaning of this paragraph (h)) merely because it revokes an election made prior to January 19, 1979, under the general rule described in paragraph (c)(1)(i) of this section and with respect to which no additional credit was claimed in the taxable year for which the election was made. Such a revocation is permitted irrespective of whether the carryover option described in paragraph (c)(1)(ii) is elected with respect to qualified investment made in a year for which a general rule election is revoked.
(ii) Pro rata use of credit. A corporation does not fail to comply merely because, for an applicable year ending prior to January 19, 1979, it provides for pro rata use of the regular 10-percent credit and the 1-percent additional credit to the extent that less than all of a taxpayer's credit earned for a taxable year is allowable.
(iii) Transitional rule. The Commissioner, based on the particular facts and circumstances of individual cases, may determine that a good faith failure to comply before January 19, 1979, with a final or temporary rule adopted under this section on or after that date does not require retroactive correction under paragraph (h)(5)(ii) of this section.