Estimating length of contract.

(i) Estimating length of contract. A taxpayer must use a reasonable estimate of the time required to complete a contract when necessary to classify the contract (e.g., to determine whether the five-year completion rule for qualified ship contracts under 1.460-2(d), or the two-year completion rule for exempt construction contracts under 1.460-3(b), is satisfied, but not to determine whether a contract is completed within the contracting year under paragraph (b)(1) of this section). To be considered reasonable, an estimate of the time required to complete the contract must include anticipated time for delay, rework, change orders, technology or design problems, or other problems that reasonably can be anticipated considering the nature of the contract and prior experience. A contract term that specifies an expected completion or delivery date may be considered evidence that the taxpayer reasonably expects to complete or deliver the subject matter of the contract on or about the date specified, especially if the contract provides bona fide penalties for failing to meet the specified date. If a taxpayer classifies a contract based on a reasonable estimate of completion time, the contract will not be reclassified based on the actual (or another reasonable estimate of) completion time. A taxpayer's estimate of completion time will not be considered unreasonable if a contract is not completed within the estimated time primarily because of unforeseeable factors not within the taxpayer's control, such as third-party litigation, extreme weather conditions, strikes, or delays in securing permits or licenses.


26 CFR § 1.460-1

Scoping language

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