26 CFR § 1.72-15 - Applicability of section 72 to accident or health plans.

§ 1.72-15 Applicability of section 72 to accident or health plans.

(a) Applicability of section. This section provides the rules for determining the taxation of amounts received from an employer-established plan which provides for distributions that are taxable under section 72 (or for distributions that are taxable under section 402 (a)(2) or (e), or section 403(a)(2), in the case of lump sum distributions) and which also provides for distributions that may be excludable from gross income under section 104 or 105 as accident or health benefits. For example, this section will apply to a pension plan described in section 401 and exempt under section 501 which provides for the payment of pensions at retirement and the payment of an earlier pension in the event of permanent disability. This section will also apply to a profit-sharing plan described in section 401 and exempt under section 501 which provides for periodic distribution of the amount standing to the account of a participant during any period that the participant is absent from work due to a personal injury or sickness and for the distribution of any balance standing to the account of the participant upon his separation from service. For purposes of this section, the term “contributions of the employee” includes contributions by the employer which were includible in the employee's gross income. Paragraphs (d), (h), and (i) of this section apply for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2015.

(b) General rule. Section 72 does not apply to any amount received as an accident or health benefit, and the tax treatment of any such amount shall be determined under sections 104 and 105. See paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section, paragraph (d) of § 1.104-1, and §§ 1.105-1 through 1.105-5. Section 72 (or, in the case of certain total distributions, section 402(a)(2) or section 403(a)(2)) does apply to any amount which is received under a plan to which this section applies and which is not an accident or health benefit. See paragraph (e) of this section.

(c) Accident or health benefits attributable to employee contributions.

(1) If a plan to which this section applies provides that any portion of the accident or health benefits is attributable to the contributions of the employee to such plan, then such portion of such benefits is excludable from gross income under section 104(a)(3) and paragraph (d) of § 1.104-1. Neither section 72 nor section 105 applies to any accident or health benefits (whether paid before or after retirement) attributable to contributions of the employee. Since such portion is excludable under section 104(a)(3), such portion is not subject to the dollar limitation of section 105(d) and if such portion is payable after the retirement of the employee, it is excludable without regard to the provisions of § 1.105-4 and section 72.

(2) In determining the taxation of any amounts received as accident or health benefits from a plan to which this section applies, the first step is to determine the portion, if any, of the contributions of the employee which is used to provide the accident or health benefits and the portion of the accident or health benefits attributable to such portion of the employee's contributions. If such a plan expressly provides that the accident or health benefits are provided in whole or in part by employee contributions and the portion of employee contributions to be used for such purpose, the contributions so used will be treated as used to provide accident or health benefits. However, if the plan does not expressly provide that the accident or health benefits are to be provided with employee contributions and the portion of employee contributions to be used for such purpose, it will be presumed that none of the employee contributions is used to provide such benefits. Thus, in the case of a contributory pension plan, it will be presumed that the disability pension is provided by employer contributions, unless the plan expressly provides otherwise, or in the case of a contributory profit-sharing plan providing that a portion of the amount standing to the account of each participant will be used to purchase accident or health insurance, it will be presumed that such insurance is purchased with employer contributions, unless the plan expressly provides otherwise. Similarly, unless the plan expressly provides otherwise, it will be presumed that if a contributory profit-sharing plan provides for periodic distributions from the account of a participant during any absence from work because of a personal injury or sickness, all such distributions which do not exceed the contributions of the employer plus earnings thereon are provided by employer contributions.

(3) Any employee contributions that are treated under subparagraph (2) of this paragraph as used to provide accident or health benefits shall not be included for any purpose under section 72 as employee contributions or as aggregate premiums or other consideration paid. Thus, in the case of a pension plan, or in the case of a profit-sharing plan providing that a portion of the amount standing to the account of each participant will be used to purchase accident or health insurance, any employee whose contributions are so used must make the adjustment provided by this subparagraph irrespective of whether such employee receives any accident or health benefits under such plan. However, in the case of a profit-sharing plan providing for periodic distributions from the account of a participant during any absence from work because of a personal injury or sickness, an adjustment under this subparagraph is required only when an employee receives distributions in excess of the employer contributions and earnings thereon or receives distributions consisting in whole or in part of his own contributions.

(4) If any of the employee contributions are treated under subparagraph (2) of this paragraph as used to provide any of the accident or health benefits, the portion of the benefits attributable to employee contributions shall be determined in accordance with § 1.105-1. Any accident or health benefits that are excludable under section 104(a)(3) shall not be included in the expected return for purposes of section 72.

(d) Accident or health benefits attributable to employer contributions. Any amounts received as accident or health benefits and not attributable to contributions of the employee are includible in gross income except to the extent that the amounts are excludable from gross income under section 105(b) or (c) and the regulations under those sections. See § 1.402(a)-1(e) for rules relating to the use of a qualified plan under section 401(a) to pay premiums for accident or health insurance.

(e) Other benefits under the plan. The taxability of amounts that are received under a plan to which this section applies and that are not accident or health benefits is determined under section 72 (or, in the case of certain total distributions, under section 402(a)(2) or section 403(a)(2)) without regard to any exclusion or inclusion of accident or health benefits under sections 104 and 105. For example, the investment in the contract or aggregate premiums paid is determined without regard to the exclusion of any amount under section 104 or 105, and the annuity starting date is determined without regard to the receipt of any accident or health benefits. However, if any employee contributions are used to provide any accident or health benefits, the investment in the contract or aggregate premiums paid must be adjusted as provided in paragraph (c)(3) of this section.

(f) [Reserved]

(g) Payments to or on behalf of a self-employed individual. A self-employed individual is not considered an employee for purposes of section 105, relating to amounts received by employees under accident and health plans, nor for purposes of excluding under section 104(a)(3) amounts received by him under an accident and health plan as referred to in section 105(e). See section 105(g) and paragraph (a) of § 1.105-1. Therefore, the other paragraphs of this section are not applicable to amounts received by or on behalf of a self-employed individual. Except where accident or health benefits are provided through an insurance contract or an arrangement having the effect of insurance, all amounts received by or on behalf of a self-employed individual from a plan described in section 401(a) and exempt under section 501(a) or a plan described in section 403(a) shall be taxed as otherwise provided in section 72, 402, or 403. If the accident or health benefits are paid under an insurance contract or under an arrangement having the effect of insurance, section 104(a)(3) shall apply. Section 72 shall not apply to any amounts received under such circumstances.

(h) Medical benefits for retired employees, etc. See § 1.402(a)-1(e)(2) for rules relating to the payment of medical benefits described in section 401(h) under a qualified pension or annuity plan.

(i) Special rules -

(1) In general. For purposes of section 72(b) and (d) and this section, the taxpayer must maintain such records as are necessary to substantiate the amount treated as an investment in the taxpayer's annuity contract.

(2) Delegation to Commissioner. The Commissioner may prescribe a form and instructions with respect to the taxpayer's past and current treatment of amounts received under section 72 or 105, and the taxpayer's computation, or recomputation, of the taxpayer's investment in his or her annuity contract. This form may be required to be filed with the taxpayer's returns for years in which the amounts are excluded under section 72 or 105.

[T.D. 6500, 25 FR 11402, Nov. 26, 1960, as amended by T.D. 6676, 28 FR 10135, Sept. 17, 1963; T.D. 6722, 29 FR 5069, Apr. 14, 1964; T.D. 6770, 29 FR 15366, Nov. 17, 1964; T.D. 7352, 40 FR 16664, Apr. 14, 1975; T.D. 9665, 79 FR 26841, May 12, 2014; T.D. 9849, 84 FR 9233, Mar. 14, 2019]