26 CFR § 1.468B-1 - Qualified settlement funds.

§ 1.468B-1 Qualified settlement funds.

(a)In general. A qualified settlement fund is a fund, account, or trust that satisfies the requirements of paragraph (c) of this section.

(b)Coordination with other entity classifications. If a fund, account, or trust that is a qualified settlement fund could be classified as a trust within the meaning of § 301.7701-4 of this chapter, it is classified as a qualified settlement fund for all purposes of the Internal Revenue Code (Code). If a fund, account, or trust, organized as a trust under applicable state law, is a qualified settlement fund, and could be classified as either an association (within the meaning of § 301.7701-2 of this chapter) or a partnership (within the meaning of § 301.7701-3 of this chapter), it is classified as a qualified settlement fund for all purposes of the Code. If a fund, account, or trust, established for contested liabilities pursuant to § 1.461-2(c)(1) is a qualified settlement fund, it is classified as a qualified settlement fund for all purposes of the Code.

(c)Requirements. A fund, account, or trust satisfies the requirements of this paragraph (c) if -

(1) It is established pursuant to an order of, or is approved by, the United States, any state (including the District of Columbia), territory, possession, or political subdivision thereof, or any agency or instrumentality (including a court of law) of any of the foregoing and is subject to the continuing jurisdiction of that governmental authority;

(2) It is established to resolve or satisfy one or more contested or uncontested claims that have resulted or may result from an event (or related series of events) that has occurred and that has given rise to at least one claim asserting liability -

(i) Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (hereinafter referred to as CERCLA), as amended, 42 U.S.C. 9601et seq.; or

(ii) Arising out of a tort, breach of contract, or violation of law; or

(iii) Designated by the Commissioner in a revenue ruling or revenue procedure; and

(3) The fund, account, or trust is a trust under applicable state law, or its assets are otherwise segregated from other assets of the transferor (and related persons).

(d)Definitions. For purposes of this section -

(1)Transferor. A “transferor” is a person that transfers (or on behalf of whom an insurer or other person transfers) money or property to a qualified settlement fund to resolve or satisfy claims described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section against that person.

(2)Related person. A “related person” is any person who is related to the transferor within the meaning of sections 267(b) or 707(b)(1).

(e)Governmental order or approval requirement -

(1)In general. A fund, account, or trust is “ordered by” or “approved by” a governmental authority described in paragraph (c)(1) of this section when the authority issues its initial or preliminary order to establish, or grants its initial or preliminary approval of, the fund, account, or trust, even if that order or approval may be subject to review or revision. Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (j)(2) of this section, the governmental authority's order or approval has no retroactive effect and does not permit a fund, account, or trust to be a qualified settlement fund prior to the date the order is issued or the approval is granted.

(2)Arbitration panels. An arbitration award that orders the establishment of, or approves, a fund, account, or trust is an order or approval of a governmental authority described in paragraph (c)(1) of this section if -

(i) The arbitration award is judicially enforceable;

(ii) The arbitration award is issued pursuant to a bona fide arbitration proceeding in accordance with rules that are approved by a governmental authority described in paragraph (c)(1) of this section (such as self-regulatory organization-administered arbitration proceedings in the securities industry); and

(iii) The fund, account, or trust is subject to the continuing jurisdiction of the arbitration panel, the court of law that has jurisdiction to enforce the arbitration award, or the governmental authority that approved the rules of the arbitration proceeding.

(f)Resolve or satisfy requirement -

(1)Liabilities to provide services or property. Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (f)(2) of this section, a liability is not described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section if it is a liability for the provision of services or property, unless the transferor's obligation to provide services or property is extinguished by a transfer or transfers to the fund, account, or trust.

(2)CERCLA liabilities. A transferor's liability under CERCLA to provide services or property is described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section if following its transfer to a fund, account, or trust the transferor's only remaining liability to the Environmental Protection Agency (if any) is a remote, future obligation to provide services or property.

(g)Excluded liabilities. A liability is not described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section if it -

(1) Arises under a workers compensation act or a self-insured health plan;

(2) Is an obligation to refund the purchase price of, or to repair or replace, products regularly sold in the ordinary course of the transferor's trade or business;

(3) Is an obligation of the transferor to make payments to its general trade creditors or debtholders that relates to a title 11 or similar case (as defined in section 368(a)(3)(A)), or a workout; or

(4) Is designated by the Commissioner in a revenue ruling or a revenue procedure (see § 601.601(d)(2)(ii)(b) of this chapter).

(h)Segregation requirement -

(1)In general. If it is not a trust under applicable state law, a fund, account, or trust satisfies the requirements of paragraph (c)(3) of this section if its assets are physically segregated from other assets of the transferor (and related persons). For example, cash held by a transferor in a separate bank account satisfies the segregation requirement of paragraph (c)(3) of this section.

(2)Classification of fund established to resolve or satisfy allowable and non-allowable claims. If a fund, account, or trust is established to resolve or satisfy claims described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section as well as other types of claims (i.e., non-allowable claims) arising from the same event or related series of events, the fund is a qualified settlement fund. However, under § 1.468B-3(c), economic performance does not occur with respect to transfers to the qualified settlement fund for non-allowable claims.

(i) [Reserved]

(j)Classification of fund prior to satisfaction of requirements in paragraph (c) of this section -

(1)In general. If a fund, account, or trust is established to resolve or satisfy claims described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section, the assets of the fund, account, or trust are treated as owned by the transferor of those assets until the fund, account, or trust also meets the requirements of paragraphs (c) (1) and (3) of this section. On the date the fund, account, or trust satisfies all the requirements of paragraph (c) of this section, the transferor is treated as transferring the assets to a qualified settlement fund.

(2)Relation-back rule -

(i)In general. If a fund, account, or trust meets the requirements of paragraphs (c)(2) and (c)(3) of this section prior to the time it meets the requirements of paragraph (c)(1) of this section, the transferor and administrator (as defined in § 1.468B-2(k)(3)) may jointly elect (a relation-back election) to treat the fund, account, or trust as coming into existence as a qualified settlement fund on the later of the date the fund, account, or trust meets the requirements of paragraphs (c)(2) and (c)(3) of this section or January 1 of the calendar year in which all the requirements of paragraph (c) of this section are met. If a relation-back election is made, the assets held by the fund, account, or trust on the date the qualified settlement fund is treated as coming into existence are treated as transferred to the qualified settlement fund on that date.

(ii)Relation-back election. A relation-back election is made by attaching a copy of the election statement, signed by each transferor and the administrator, to (and as part of) the timely filed income tax return (including extensions) of the qualified settlement fund for the taxable year in which the fund is treated as coming into existence. A copy of the election statement must also be attached to (and as part of) the timely filed income tax return (including extensions), or an amended return that is consistent with the requirements of §§ 1.468B-1 through 1.468B-4, of each transferor for the taxable year of the transferor that includes the date on which the qualified settlement fund is treated as coming into existence. The election statement must contain -

(A) A legend, “§ 1.468B-1 Relation-Back Election”, at the top of the first page;

(B) Each transferor's name, address, and taxpayer identification number;

(C) The qualified settlement fund's name, address, and employer identification number;

(D) The date as of which the qualified settlement fund is treated as coming into existence; and

(E) A schedule describing each asset treated as transferred to the qualified settlement fund on the date the fund is treated as coming into existence. The schedule of assets does not have to identify the amount of cash or the property treated as transferred by a particular transferor. If the schedule does not identify the transferor of each asset, however, each transferor must include with the copy of the election statement that is attached to its income tax return (or amended return) a schedule describing each asset the transferor is treated as transferring to the qualified settlement fund.

(k)Election to treat a qualified settlement fund as a subpart E trust -

(1)In general. If a qualified settlement fund has only one transferor (as defined in paragraph (d)(1) of this section), the transferor may make an election (grantor trust election) to treat the qualified settlement fund as a trust all of which is owned by the transferor under section 671 and the regulations thereunder. A grantor trust election may be made whether or not the qualified settlement fund would be classified, in the absence of paragraph (b) of this section, as a trust all of which is treated as owned by the transferor under section 671 and the regulations thereunder. A grantor trust election may be revoked only for compelling circumstances upon consent of the Commissioner by private letter ruling.

(2)Manner of making grantor trust election -

(i)In general. To make a grantor trust election, a transferor must attach an election statement satisfying the requirements of paragraph (k)(2)(ii) of this section to a timely filed (including extensions) Form 1041, “U.S. Income Tax Return for Estates and Trusts,” that the administrator files on behalf of the qualified settlement fund for the taxable year in which the qualified settlement fund is established. However, if a Form 1041 is not otherwise required to be filed (for example, because the provisions of § 1.671-4(b) apply), then the transferor makes a grantor trust election by attaching an election statement satisfying the requirements of paragraph (k)(2)(ii) of this section to a timely filed (including extensions) income tax return of the transferor for the taxable year in which the qualified settlement fund is established. See § 1.468B-5(c)(2) for transition rules.

(ii)Requirements for election statement. The election statement must include a statement by the transferor that the transferor will treat the qualified settlement fund as a grantor trust. The election statement must include the transferor's name, address, taxpayer identification number, and the legend, “§ 1.468B-1(k) Election.” The election statement and the statement described in § 1.671-4(a) may be combined into a single statement.

(3)Effect of making the election. If a grantor trust election is made -

(i)Paragraph (b) of this section, and §§ 1.468B-2, 1.468B-3, and 1.468B-5(a) and (b) do not apply to the qualified settlement fund. However, this section (except for paragraph (b) of this section) and § 1.468B-4 apply to the qualified settlement fund;

(ii) The qualified settlement fund is treated, for Federal income tax purposes, as a trust all of which is treated as owned by the transferor under section 671 and the regulations thereunder;

(iii) The transferor must take into account in computing the transferor's income tax liability all items of income, deduction, and credit (including capital gains and losses) of the qualified settlement fund in accordance with § 1.671-3(a)(1); and

(iv) The reporting obligations imposed by § 1.671-4 on the trustee of a trust apply to the administrator.

(l)Examples. The following examples illustrate the rules of this section:

Example 1.
In a class action brought in a United States federal district court, the court holds that the defendant, Corporation X, violated certain securities laws and must pay damages in the amount of $150 million. Pursuant to an order of the court, Corporation X transfers $50 million in cash and transfers property with a fair market value of $75 million to a state law trust. The trust will liquidate the property and distribute the cash proceeds to the plaintiffs in the class action. The trust is a qualified settlement fund because it was established pursuant to the order of a federal district court to resolve or satisfy claims against Corporation X for securities law violations that have occurred.
Example 2.
(i) Assume the same facts as in Example 1, except that Corporation X and the class of plaintiffs reach an out-of-court settlement that requires Corporation X to establish and fund a state law trust before the settlement agreement is submitted to the court for approval.

(ii) The trust is not a qualified settlement fund because it neither is established pursuant to an order of, nor has it been approved by, a governmental authority described in paragraph (c)(1) of this section.

Example 3.
On June 1, 1994, Corporation Y establishes a fund to resolve or satisfy claims against it arising from the violation of certain securities laws. On that date, Corporation Y transfers $10 million to a segregated account. On December 1, 1994, a federal district court approves the fund. Assuming Corporation Y and the administrator of the qualified settlement fund do not make a relation-back election, Corporation Y is treated as the owner of the $10 million, and is taxable on any income earned on that money, from June 1 through November 30, 1994. The fund is a qualified settlement fund beginning on December 1, 1994.
Example 4.
(i) On September 1, 1993, Corporation X, which has a taxable year ending on October 31, enters into a settlement agreement with a plaintiff class for asserted tort liabilities. Under the settlement agreement, Corporation X makes two $50 million payments into a segregated fund, one on September 1, 1993, and one on October 1, 1993, to resolve or satisfy the tort liabilities. A federal district court approves the settlement agreement on November 1, 1993.

(ii) The administrator of the fund and Corporation X elect to treat the fund as a qualified settlement fund prior to governmental approval under the relation-back rule of paragraph (j)(2) of this section. The administrator must attach the relation-back election statement to the fund's income tax return for calendar year 1993, and Corporation X must attach the election to its original or amended income tax return for its taxable year ending October 31, 1993.

(iii) Pursuant to the relation-back election, the fund begins its existence as a qualified settlement fund on September 1, 1993, and Corporation X is treated as transferring $50 million to the qualified settlement fund on September 1, 1993, and $50 million on October 1, 1993.

(iv) With respect to these transfers, Corporation X must provide the statement described in § 1.468B-3(e) to the administrator of the qualified settlement fund by February 15, 1994, and must attach a copy of this statement to its original or amended income tax return for its taxable year ending October 31, 1993.

Example 5.
Assume the same facts as in Example 4, except that the court approves the settlement on May 1, 1994. The administrator must attach the relation-back election statement to the fund's income tax return for calendar year 1994, and Corporation X must attach the election statement to its original or amended income tax return for its taxable year ending October 31, 1994. Pursuant to this election, the fund begins its existence as a qualified settlement fund on January 1, 1994. In addition, Corporation X is treated as transferring to the qualified settlement fund all amounts held in the fund on January 1, 1994. With respect to the transfer, Corporation X must provide the statement described in § 1.468B-3(e) to the administrator of the qualified settlement fund by February 15, 1995, and must attach a copy of this statement to its income tax return for its taxable year ending October 31, 1994.
Example 6.
Corporation Z establishes a fund that meets all the requirements of section 468B(d)(2) for a designated settlement fund, except that Corporation Z does not make the election under section 468B(d)(2)(F). Although the fund does not qualify as a designated settlement fund, it is a qualified settlement fund because the fund meets the requirements of paragraph (c) of this section.
Example 7.
Corporation X owns and operates a landfill in State A. State A requires Corporation X to transfer money to a trust annually based on the total tonnage of material placed in the landfill during the year. Under the laws of State A, Corporation X will be required to perform (either itself or through contractors) specified closure activities when the landfill is full, and the trust assets will be used to reimburse Corporation X for those closure costs. The trust is not a qualified settlement fund because it is established to secure the liability of Corporation X to perform the closure activities.
[T.D. 8459, 57 FR 60989, Dec. 23, 1992; 58 FR 7865, Feb. 10, 1993, as amended by T.D. 9249, 71 FR 6201, Feb. 7, 2006]