(a) General rule. Amounts specified in consents filed by shareholders or other beneficial owners of a corporation described in § 1.565-1(a) are not treated as consent dividends to the extent that -
(1) They would constitute a preferential dividend or
(2) They would not constitute a dividend (as defined in section 316),
in money to shareholders on the last day of the taxable year
of the corporation
. If any portion of any amount
specified in a consent filed by a shareholder of a corporation
described in the preceding sentence is not treated as a consent dividend under section 565(b) and this section, it is disregarded for all tax purposes
. For example
, it is not taxable to the consenting shareholder, and paragraph (c)
of § 1.565-1
is not applicable to this portion of the amount
specified in the consent.
(b) Preferential distribution.
(1) A preferential distribution is an actual distribution, or a consent distribution, or a combination of the two, which involves a preference to one or more shares of stock as compared with other shares of the same class or to one class of stock as compared with any other class of stock. See section 562(c) and § 1.562-2.
(2) The application of section 565 (b) (1) and § 1.565-2 (b) may be illustrated by the following examples:
The X Corporation, a personal holding company, which makes its income tax returns on the calendar year basis, has 200 shares of stock outstanding, owned by A and B in equal amounts. On December 15, 1987, the corporation distributes $600 to B and $100 to A. As a part of the same distribution, A executes a consent to include $500 in his gross income as a taxable dividend although such amount is not distributed to him. The X Corporation, assuming the other requirements of section 565 have been complied with, is entitled to a consent dividends deduction of $500. Although the consent dividend is deemed to have been paid on December 31, 1987, the last day of the taxable year of the corporation, the total amount of all distributions constitutes a single nonpreferential distribution of $1200.
The Y corporation, a personal holding company, which makes its income tax returns on the calendar year basis, has one class of consent stock outstanding, owned in equal amounts by A, B, and C. If A and B each receive a distribution in cash of $5,000 and C consents to include $3,000 in gross income as a taxable dividend, the combined actual and consent distribution of $13,000 is preferential. See section 562 (c) and § 1.562-2
(a). Similarly, if no one receives a distribution in cash, but A and B each consents to include $5,000 as a taxable dividend in gross income and C agrees to include only $3,000, the entire consent distribution is preferential.
The Z Corporation, which makes its income tax returns on the calendar year basis and is subject, for the taxable year in question, to the accumulated earnings tax, has only two classes of stock outstanding, each class being consent stock and consisting of 500 shares. Class A, with a par value of $40 per share, is entitled to two-thirds of any distribution of earnings and profits. Class B, with a par value of $20 per share, is entitled to one-third of any distribution of earnings and profits. On December 15, 1987, there is distributed on the class B stock $2 per share, or $1,000, and shareholders of the class A stock consent to include in gross income amounts equal to $2 per share, or $1,000. The entire distribution of $2,000 is preferential, inasmuch as the class B stock has received more than its pro rata share of the combined amounts of the actual distributions and the consent distributions.
(c) Section 316 limitation.
(1) An additional limitation under section 565 (b) is that the amounts specified in consents which may be treated as consent dividends cannot exceed the amounts which would constitute a dividend (as defined in section 316) if the corporation had distributed the total specified amounts in money to shareholders on the last day of the taxable year of the corporation. If only a portion of such total would constitute a dividend, then only a corresponding portion of each specified amount is treated as a consent dividend.
(2) The application of section 565 (b) (2) and § 1.565-2 (c) may be illustrated by the following example:
The X Corporation, a corporation described in § 1.565-(a)
(1) or (2), which makes its income tax returns on the calendar year basis, has only one class of stock outstanding, owned in equal amounts by A and B. It makes no distributions during the taxable year 1987. Its earnings and profits for the calendar year 1987 amount to $8,000, there being at the beginning of such year no accumulated earnings or profits. A and B execute proper consents to include $5,000 each in their gross income as a dividend received by them on December 31, 1987. The sum of the amounts specified in the consents executed by A and B is $10,000, but if $10,000 had actually been distributed by the X corporation on December 31, 1987, only $8,000 would have constituted a dividend under section 316 (a). The amount which could be considered as consent dividends in computing the dividends paid deduction for purposes of the accumulated earnings tax is limited to $8,000, or $4,000 of the $5,000 specified in each consent. The remaining $1,000 in each consent is disregarded for all tax purposes. (In the case of a personal holding company, see also the example in § 1.565-3(b)