This section shall apply to prepaid dues income if and only if the taxpayer makes an election under this section with respect to the trade or business in connection with which such income is received. The election shall be made in such manner as the Secretary may by regulations prescribe. No election may be made with respect to a trade or business if in computing taxable income the cash receipts and disbursements method of accounting is used with respect to such trade or business.
An election made under this section shall apply to all prepaid dues income received in connection with the trade or business with respect to which the taxpayer has made the election; except that the taxpayer may, to the extent permitted under regulations prescribed by the Secretary, include in gross income for the taxable year of receipt the entire amount of any prepaid dues income if the liability from which it arose is to end within 12 months after the date of receipt. Except as provided in subsection (d), and election made under this section shall not apply to any prepaid dues income received before the first taxable year for which the election is made.
A taxpayer may, without the consent of the Secretary, make an election under this section for its first taxable year in which it receives prepaid dues income in the trade or business. Such election shall be made not later than the time prescribed by law for filing the return for the taxable year (including extensions thereof) with respect to which such election is made.
An election under this section shall be effective for the taxable year with respect to which it is first made and for all subsequent taxable years, unless the taxpayer secures the consent of the Secretary to the revocation of such election. For purposes of this title, the computation of taxable income under an election made under this section shall be treated as a method of accounting.
If a taxpayer makes an election under this section with respect to prepaid dues income, such taxpayer shall include in gross income, for each taxable year to which such election applies, not only that portion of prepaid dues income received in such year otherwise includible in gross income for such year under this section, but shall also include in gross income for such year an additional amount equal to the amount of prepaid dues income received in the 3 taxable years preceding the first taxable year to which such election applies which would have been included in gross income in the taxable year had the election been effective 3 years earlier.
A taxpayer who makes an election with respect to prepaid dues income, and who includes in gross income for any taxable year to which the election applies an additional amount computed under paragraph (1), shall be permitted to deduct, for such taxable year and for each of the 4 succeeding taxable years, an amount equal to one-fifth of such additional amount, but only to the extent that such additional amount was also included in the taxpayer’s gross income during any of the 3 taxable years preceding the first taxable year to which such election applies.
The term “prepaid dues income” means any amount (includible in gross income) which is received by a membership organization in connection with, and is directly attributable to, a liability to render services or make available membership privileges over a period of time which extends beyond the close of the taxable year in which such amount is received.
The term “liability” means a liability to render services or make available membership privileges over a period of time which does not exceed 36 months, which liability shall be deemed to exist ratably over the period of time that such services are required to be rendered, or that such membership privileges are required to be made available.