26 CFR § 1.858-1 - Dividends paid by a real estate investment trust after close of taxable year.

§ 1.858-1 Dividends paid by a real estate investment trust after close of taxable year.

(a) General rule. Under section 858, a real estate investment trust may elect to treat certain dividends that are distributed within a specified period after the close of a taxable year as having been paid during the taxable year. The dividend is taken into account in determining the deduction for dividends paid for the taxable year in which it is treated as paid. The dividend may be an ordinary dividend or, subject to the requirements of sections 857(b)(3)(C) and 858(c), a capital gain dividend. The trust may make the dividend declaration required by section 858(a)(1) either before or after the close of the taxable year as long as the declaration is made before the time prescribed by law for filing its return for the taxable year (including the period of any extension of time granted for filing the return).

(b) Election -

(1) Method of making election. The election must be made in the return filed by the trust for the taxable year. The election shall be made by treating the dividend (or portion thereof) to which the election applies as a dividend paid during the taxable year of the trust in computing its real estate investment trust taxable income and, if applicable, the alternative tax imposed by section 857(b)(3)(A). (In the case of an election with respect to a taxable year ending before October 5, 1976, if the dividend (or portion thereof) to which the election is to apply is a capital gain dividend, the trust shall treat the dividend as paid during such taxable year in computing the amount of capital gains dividends paid during the taxable year.) In the case of an election with respect to a taxable year beginning after October 4, 1976, the trust must also specify in its return (or in a statement attached to its return) the exact dollar amount that is to be treated as having been paid during the taxable year.

(2) Limitation based on earnings and profits. The election provided in section 858(a) may be made only to the extent that the earnings and profits of the taxable year (computed with the application of sections 857(d) and § 1.857-7) exceed the total amount of distributions out of such earnings and profits actually made during the taxable year. For purposes of the preceding sentence, deficiency dividends and distributions with respect to which an election has been made for a prior year under section 858(a) are disregarded in determining the total amount of distributions out of earnings and profits actually made during the taxable year. The dividend or portion thereof, with respect to which the real estate investment trust has made a valid election under section 858(a), shall be considered as paid out of the earnings and profits of the taxable year for which such election is made, and not out of the earnings and profits of the taxable year in which the distribution is actually made.

(3) Additional limitation based on amount specified. The amount treated under section 858(a) as having been paid in a taxable year beginning after October 4, 1976, cannot exceed the lesser of (i) the dollar amount specified by the trust in its return (or a statement attached thereto) in making the election or (ii) the amount allowable under the limitation prescribed in paragraph (b)(2) of this section.

(4) Irrevocability of the election. After the expiration of the time for filing the return for the taxable year for which an election is made under section 858(a), such election shall be irrevocable with respect to the dividend or portion thereof to which it applies.

(c) Receipt by shareholders. Under section 858(b), the dividend or portion thereof, with respect to which a valid election has been made, will be includable in the gross income of the shareholders of the real estate investment trust for the taxable year in which the dividend is received by them.

(d) Illustrations. The application of paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) of this section may be illustrated by the following examples:

Example 1.
The X Trust, a real estate investment trust, had taxable income (and earnings and profits) for the calendar year 1961 of $100,000. During that year the trust distributed to shareholders taxable dividends aggregating $88,000. On March 10, 1962, the trust declared a dividend of $37,000 payable to shareholders on March 20, 1962. Such dividend consisted of the first regular quarterly dividend for 1962 of $25,000 plus an additional $12,000 representing that part of the taxable income for 1961 which was not distributed in 1961. On March 15, 1962, the X Trust filed its Federal income tax return and elected therein to treat $12,000 of the total dividend of $37,000 to be paid to shareholders on March 20, 1962, as having been paid during the taxable year 1961. Assuming that the X Trust actually distributed the entire amount of the dividend of $37,000 on March 20, 1962, an amount equal to $12,000 thereof will be treated for the purposes of section 857(a) as having been paid during the taxable year 1961. Upon distribution of such dividend the trust becomes a qualified real estate investment trust for the taxable year 1961. Such amount ($12,000) will be considered by the X Trust as a distribution out of the earnings and profits for the taxable year 1961, and will be treated by the shareholders as a taxable dividend for the taxable year in which such distribution is received by them. However, assuming that the X Trust is not a qualified real estate investment trust for the calendar year 1962, nevertheless, the $12,000 portion of the dividend (paid on March 20, 1962) which the trust elected to relate to the calendar year 1961, will not qualify as a dividend for purposes of section 34, 116, or 243.
Example 2.
The Y Trust, a real estate investment trust, had taxable income (and earnings and profits) for the calendar year 1964 of $100,000, and for 1965 taxable income (and earnings and profits) of $125,000. On January 1, 1964, the trust had a deficit in its earnings and profits accumulated since February 28, 1913, of $115,000. During the year 1964 the trust distributed to shareholders taxable dividends aggregating $85,000. On March 5, 1965, the trust declared a dividend of $65,000 payable to shareholders on March 31, 1965. On March 15, 1965, the Y Trust filed its Federal income tax return in which it included $40,000 of the total dividend of $65,000 payable to shareholders on March 31, 1965, as a dividend paid by it during the taxable year 1964. On March 31, 1965, the Y Trust distributed the entire amount of the dividend of $65,000 declared on March 5, 1965. The election under section 858(a) is valid only to the extent of $15,000, the amount of the undistributed earnings and profits for 1964 ($100,000 earnings and profits less $85,000 distributed during 1964). The remainder ($50,000) of the $65,000 dividend paid on March 31, 1965, could not be the subject of an election, and such amount will be regarded as a distribution by the Y Trust out of earnings and profits for the taxable year 1965. Assuming that the only other distribution by the Y Trust during 1965 was a distribution of $75,000 paid as a dividend on October 31, 1965, the total amount of the distribution of $65,000 paid on March 31, 1965, is to be treated by the shareholders as taxable dividends for the taxable year in which such dividend is received. The Y Trust will treat the amount of $15,000 as a distribution of the earnings or profits of the trust for the taxable year 1964, and the remaining $50,000 as a distribution of the earnings or profits for the year 1965. The distribution of $75,000 on October 31, 1966, is, of course, a taxable dividend out of the earnings and profits for the year 1965.
Example 3.
Assume the facts are the same as in example 2, except that the taxable years involved are calendar years 1977 and 1978, and Y Trust specified in its Federal income tax return for 1977 that the dollar amount of $40,000 of the $65,000 distribution payable to shareholders on March 31, 1978, is to be treated as having been paid in 1977. The result will be the same as in example 2, since the amount of the undistributed earnings and profits for 1977 is less than the $40,000 amount specified by Y Trust in making its election. Accordingly, the election is valid only to the extent of $15,000. Y Trust will treat the amount of $15,000 as a distribution, in 1977, of earnings and profits of the trust for the taxable year 1977 and the remaining $50,000 as a distribution, in 1978, of the earnings and profits for 1978.

(e) Notice to shareholders. Section 858(c) provides that, in the case of dividends with respect to which a real estate investment trust has made an election under section 858(a), any notice to shareholders required under part II, subchapter M, chapter 1 of the Code, with respect to such amounts, shall be made not later than 30 days after the close of the taxable year in which the distribution is made. Thus, the notice requirement of section 857(b)(3)(C) and paragraph (f) of § 1.857-6 with respect to capital gains dividends may be satisfied with respect to amounts to which section 858(a) and this section apply if the notice relating to such amounts is mailed to the shareholders not later than 30 days after the close of the taxable year in which the distribution is made. If the notice under section 858(c) reltes to an election with respect to any capital gains dividends, such capital gains dividends shall be aggregated by the real estate investment trust with the designated capital gains dividends actually paid during the taxable year to which the election applies (not including deficiency dividends or dividends with respect to which an election has been made for a prior taxable year under section 858) to determine whether the aggregate of the designated capital gains dividends with respect to such taxable year exceeds the net capital gain of the trust. See section 857(b)(3)(C) and paragraph (f) of § 1.857-6.

(Sec. 856(d)(4) (90 Stat. 1750; 26 U.S.C. 856(d)(4)); sec. 856(e)(5) (88 Stat. 2113; 26 U.S.C. 856(e)(5)); sec. 856(f)(2) (90 Stat. 1751; 26 U.S.C. (856(f)(2)); sec. 856(g)(2) (90 Stat. 1753; 26 U.S.C. 856(g)(2)); sec. 858(a) (74 Stat. 1008; 26 U.S.C. 858(a)); sec. 859(c) (90 Stat. 1743; 26 U.S.C. 859(c)); sec. 859(e) (90 Stat. 1744; 26 U.S.C. 859(e)); sec. 6001 (68A Stat. 731; 26 U.S.C. 6001); sec. 6011 (68A Stat. 732; 26 U.S.C. 6011); sec. 6071 (68A Stat. 749, 26 U.S.C. 6071); sec. 6091 (68A Stat. 752; 26 U.S.C. 6091); sec. 7805 (68A Stat. 917; 26 U.S.C. 7805), Internal Revenue Code of 1954))
[T.D. 6598, 27 FR 4089, Apr. 28, 1962, as amended by T.D. 7767, 46 FR 11279, Feb. 6, 1981]