26 CFR § 1.612-3 - Depletion; treatment of bonus and advanced royalty.
(1) If a bonus in addition to royalties is received upon the grant of an economic interest in a mineral deposit, or standing timber, there shall be allowed to the payee as a cost depletion deduction in respect of the bonus an amount equal to that proportion of his basis for depletion as provided in section 612 and § 1.612-1 which the amount of the bonus bears to the sum of the bonus and the royalties expected to be received. Such allowance shall be deducted from the payee's basis for depletion and the remainder of the basis is recoverable through depletion deductions as the royalties are thereafter received. (But see paragraph (e) of this section.) For example, a taxpayer leases mineral property to another reserving a one-eighth royalty and in addition receives a bonus of $10,000. Assuming that the taxpayer's basis with respect to the mineral property is $21,000 and that the royalties expected to be received are estimated to total $20,000, the depletion on the bonus would be $7,000:
(2) If the grant of an economic interest in a mineral deposit or standing timber with respect to which a bonus was received expires, terminates, or is abandoned before there has been any income derived from the extraction of mineral or cutting of timber, the payee shall adjust his capital account by restoring thereto the depletion deduction taken on the bonus and a corresponding amount must be returned as income in the year of such expiration, termination, or abandonment.
(3) In the case of the payor, payment of the bonus constitutes a capital investment made for the acquisition of an economic interest in a mineral deposit or standing timber recoverable through the depletion allowance. See paragraph (c)(5)(ii) of § 1.613-2 in cases in which percentage depletion is used.
(b) Advanced royalties.
(1) If the owner of an operating interest in a mineral deposit or standing timber is required to pay royalties on a specified number of units of such mineral or timber annually whether or not extracted or cut within the year, and may apply any amounts paid on account of units not extracted or cut within the year against the royalty on the mineral or timber thereafter extracted or cut, the payee shall compute cost depletion on the number of units so paid for in advance of extraction or cutting and shall treat the amount so determined as an allowable deduction for depletion from the gross income of the year in which such payment or payments are made. No deduction for depletion by such payee shall be claimed or allowed in any subsequent year on account of the extraction or cutting in such year of any mineral or timber so paid for in advance and for which deduction has once been made. (But see paragraph (e) of this section.)
(2) If the right to extract minerals or to cut timber against which the advanced royalties may be applied expires, terminates, or is abandoned before all such minerals or timber have been extracted or cut, the payee shall adjust his capital account by restoring thereto the depletion deductions made in prior years on account of any units of mineral or timber paid for in advance but not extracted or cut, and a corresponding amount must be returned as income for the year of such expiration, termination or abandonment. (But see paragraph (e) of this section.)
(3) The payor shall treat the advanced royalties paid or accrued in connection with mineral property as deductions from gross income for the year the mineral product, in respect of which the advanced royalties were paid or accrued, is sold. For purposes of the preceding sentence, in the case of mineral sold before production the mineral product is considered to be sold when the mineral is produced (i.e., when a mineral product first exists). However, in the case of advanced mineral royalties paid or accrued in connection with mineral property as a result of a minimum royalty provision, the payor, at his option, may instead treat the advanced royalties as deductions from gross income for the year in which the advanced royalties are paid or accrued. See section 446 (relating to general rule for methods of accounting) and the regulations thereunder. For purposes of this paragraph, a minimum royalty provision requires that a substantially uniform amount of royalties be paid at least annually either over the life of the lease or for a period of at least 20 years, in the absence of mineral production requiring payment of aggregate royalties in a greater amount. For purposes of the preceding sentence, in the case of a lease which is subject to renewal or extension, the period for which it can be renewed or extended shall be treated as part of the term of the original lease. For special rules applicable when the payor is a sublessor of coal or domestic iron ore, see paragraph (b)(3) of § 1.631-3. Every taxpayer who pays or accrues advanced royalties resulting from a minimum royalty provision must make an election as to the treatment of all such advanced royalties in his return for the first taxable year ending after December 31, 1939, in which the advanced royalties are paid or accrued. The taxpayer's treatment of the advanced royalties for the first year shall be deemed to be the exercise of the election. Accordingly, a failure to deduct the advanced royalties for that year will constitute an election to have all the advanced royalties treated as deductions for the year of the sale of the mineral product in respect of which the advanced royalties are paid or accrued. See section 7807(b)(2). For additional rules relating to elections in the case of partners and partnerships, see section 703(b) and the regulations thereunder. the provisions of this subparagraph do not allow as deductions from gross income amounts disallowed as deductions under other provisions of the Code, such as section 461 (relating to general rule for taxable year of deduction), section 465 (relating to deductions limited to amount at risk in case of certain activities), or section 704(d) (relating to limitation on allowance to partners of partnership losses).
(4) The application of subparagraphs (2) and (3) of this paragraph may be illustrated by the following examples:
(c) Delay rental.
(1) A delay rental is an amount paid for the privilege of deferring development of the property and which could have been avoided by abandonment of the lease, or by commencement of development operations, or by obtaining production.
(2) Since a delay rental is in the nature of rent it is ordinary income to the payee and not subject to depletion. The payor may at his election deduct such amount as an expense, or under section 266 and the regulations thereunder, charge it to depletable capital account.
(d) Percentage depletion deduction with respect to bonus and advanced royalty. In lieu of the allowance based on cost depletion computed under paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section, the payees referred to therein may be allowed a depletion deduction in respect of any bonus or advanced royalty for the taxable year in an amount computed on the basis of the percentage of gross income from the property as provided in section 613 and the regulations thereunder. However, for special rules applicable to certain bonuses and advanced royalties received in connection with oil or gas properties, see paragraph (j) of § 1.613A-3.
(e) Cross reference. In the case of bonuses and advanced royalties received in connection with a contract of disposal of timber covered by section 631(b) or coal or iron ore covered by section 631(c), see that section and the regulations thereunder.