26 U.S. Code § 447 - Method of accounting for corporations engaged in farming

(a) General rule

Except as otherwise provided by law, the taxable income from farming of—

(1) a corporation engaged in the trade or business of farming, or

(2) a partnership engaged in the trade or business of farming, if a corporation is a partner in such partnership,

shall be computed on an accrual method of accounting. This section shall not apply to the trade or business of operating a nursery or sod farm or to the raising or harvesting of trees (other than fruit and nut trees).

(b) Preproductive period expenses

For rules requiring capitalization of certain preproductive period expenses, see section 263A.

(c) Exception for certain corporations

For purposes of subsection (a), a corporation shall be treated as not being a corporation if it is—

(1) an S corporation, or

(2) a corporation the gross receipts of which meet the requirements of subsection (d).

(d) Gross receipts requirements

(1) In general

A corporation meets the requirements of this subsection if, for each prior taxable year beginning after December 31, 1975, such corporation (and any predecessor corporation) did not have gross receipts exceeding $1,000,000. For purposes of the preceding sentence, all corporations which are members of the same controlled group of corporations (within the meaning of section 1563 (a)) shall be treated as 1 corporation.

(2) Special rules for family corporations

(A) In general

In the case of a family corporation, paragraph (1) shall be applied—

(i) by substituting “December 31, 1985,” for “December 31, 1975,”; and

(ii) by substituting “$25,000,000” for “$1,000,000”.

(B) Gross receipts test

(i) Controlled groups Notwithstanding the last sentence of paragraph (1), in the case of a family corporation—

(I) except as provided by the Secretary, only the applicable percentage of gross receipts of any other member of any controlled group of corporations of which such corporation is a member shall be taken into account, and

(II) under regulations, gross receipts of such corporation or of another member of such group shall not be taken into account by such corporation more than once.

(ii) Pass-thru entities For purposes of paragraph (1), if a family corporation holds directly or indirectly any interest in a partnership, estate, trust or other pass-thru entity, such corporation shall take into account its proportionate share of the gross receipts of such entity.

(iii) Applicable percentage For purposes of clause (i), the term “applicable percentage” means the percentage equal to a fraction—

(I) the numerator of which is the fair market value of the stock of another corporation held directly or indirectly as of the close of the taxable year by the family corporation, and

(II) the denominator of which is the fair market value of all stock of such corporation as of such time.

For purposes of this clause, the term “stock” does not include stock described in section 1563 (c)(1).

(C) Family corporation

For purposes of this section, the term “family corporation” means—

(i) any corporation if at least 50 percent of the total combined voting power of all classes of stock entitled to vote, and at least 50 percent of all other classes of stock of the corporation, are owned by members of the same family, and

(ii) any corporation described in subsection (h).

(e) Members of the same family

For purposes of subsection (d)—

(1) the members of the same family are an individual, such individual’s brothers and sisters, the brothers and sisters of such individual’s parents and grandparents, the ancestors and lineal descendants or any of the foregoing, a spouse of any of the foregoing, and the estate of any of the foregoing,

(2) stock owned, directly or indirectly, by or for a partnership or trust shall be treated as owned proportionately by its partners or beneficiaries, and

(3) if 50 percent or more in value of the stock in a corporation (hereinafter in this paragraph referred to as “first corporation”) is owned, directly or through paragraph (2), by or for members of the same family, such members shall be considered as owning each class of stock in a second corporation (or a wholly owned subsidiary of such second corporation) owned, directly or indirectly, by or for the first corporation, in that proportion which the value of the stock in the first corporation which such members so own bears to the value of all the stock in the first corporation.

For purposes of paragraph (1), individuals related by the half blood or by legal adoption shall be treated as if they were related by the whole blood.

(f) Coordination with section 481

In the case of any taxpayer required by this section to change its method of accounting for any taxable year—

(1) such change shall be treated as having been made with the consent of the Secretary,

(2) for purposes of section 481 (a)(2), such change shall be treated as a change not initiated by the taxpayer, and

(3) under regulations prescribed by the Secretary, the net amount of adjustments required by section 481 (a) to be taken into account by the taxpayer in computing taxable income shall be taken into account in each of the 10 taxable years (or the remaining taxable years where there is a stated future life of less than 10 taxable years) beginning with the year of change.

(g) Certain annual accrual accounting methods

(1) In general

Notwithstanding subsection (a) orsection 263A, if—

(A) for its 10 taxable years ending with its first taxable year beginning after December 31, 1975, a corporation or qualified partnership used an annual accrual method of accounting with respect to its trade or business of farming,

(B) such corporation or qualified partnership raises crops which are harvested not less than 12 months after planting, and

(C) such corporation or qualified partnership has used such method of accounting for all taxable years intervening between its first taxable year beginning after December 31, 1975, and the taxable year, such corporation or qualified partnership may continue to employ such method of accounting for the taxable year with respect to its qualified farming trade or business.

(2) Annual accrual method of accounting defined

For purposes of paragraph (1), the term “annual accrual method of accounting” means a method under which revenues, costs, and expenses are computed on an accrual method of accounting and the preproductive period expenses incurred during the taxable year are charged to harvested crops or deducted in determining the taxable income for such years.

(3) Certain nonrecognition transfers

For purposes of this subsection, if—

(A) a corporation acquired substantially all the assets of a qualified farming trade or business from another corporation in a transaction in which no gain or loss was recognized to the transferor or transferee corporation, or

(B) a qualified partnership acquired substantially all the assets of a qualified farming trade or business from one of its partners in a transaction to which section 721 applies, the transferee corporation or qualified partnership shall be deemed to have computed its taxable income on an annual accrual method of accounting during the period for which the transferor corporation or partnership computed its taxable income from such trade or business on an annual accrual method.

(4) Qualified partnership defined

For purposes of this subsection—

(A) Qualified partnership The term “qualified partnership” means a partnership which is engaged in a qualified farming trade or business and each of the partners of which is a corporation other than—

(i) an S corporation, or

(ii) a personal holding company (within the meaning of section 542 (a)).

(B) Qualified farming trade or business

(i) In general The term “qualified farming trade or business” means the trade or business of farming—

(I) sugar cane,

(II) any plant with a preproductive period (as defined in section 263A(e)(3)) of 2 years or less, and

III) any other plant (other than any citrus or almond tree) if an election by the corporation under this subparagraph is in effect. In the case of a partnership and for purposes of paragraph (3)(A), subclauses (II) and (III) shall not apply.

(ii) Effect of election For purposes of paragraphs (1) and (2) of section 263A (e), any election under this subparagraph shall be treated as if it were an election under subsection (d)(3) ofsection 263A.

(iii) Election Unless the Secretary otherwise consents, an election under this subparagraph may be made only for the corporation’s 1st taxable year which begins after December 31, 1986, and during which the corporation engages in a farming business. Any such election, once made, may be revoked only with the consent of the Secretary.

(h) Exception for certain closely held corporations

(1) In general

A corporation is described in this subsection if, on October 4, 1976, and at all times thereafter—

(A) members of 2 families (within the meaning of subsection (e)(1)) have owned (directly or through the application of subsection (e)) at least 65 percent of the total combined voting power of all classes of stock of such corporation entitled to vote, and at least 65 percent of the total number of shares of all other classes of stock of such corporation; or

(B)

(i) members of 3 families (within the meaning of subsection (e)(1)) have owned (directly or through the application of subsection (e)) at least 50 percent of the total combined voting power of all classes of stock of such corporation entitled to vote, and at least 50 percent of the total number of shares of all other classes of stock of such corporation; and

(ii) substantially all of the stock of such corporation which is not so owned (directly or through the application of subsection (e)) by members of such 3 families is owned directly—

(I) by employees of the corporation or members of their families (within the meaning of section 267 (c)(4)), or

(II) by a trust for the benefit of the employees of such corporation which is described in section 401 (a) and which is exempt from taxation under section 501 (a).

(2) Stock held by employees, etc.

For purposes of this subsection, stock which—

(A) is owned directly by employes [1] of the corporation or members of their families (within the meaning of section 267 (c)(4)) or by a trust described in paragraph (1)(B)(ii)(II), and

(B) was acquired on or after October 4, 1976, from the corporation or from a member of a family which, on October 4, 1976, was described in subparagraph (A) or (B)(i) of paragraph (1).

shall be treated as owned by a member of a family which, on October 4, 1976, was described in subparagraph (A) or (B)(i) of paragraph (1).

(3) Corporation must be engaged in farming

This subsection shall apply only in the case of a corporation which was, on October 4, 1976, and at all times thereafter, engaged in the trade or business of farming.

(i) Suspense account for family corporations

(1) In general

If any family corporation is required by this section to change its method of accounting for any taxable year (hereinafter in this subsection referred to as the “year of the change”), notwithstanding subsection (f), such corporation shall establish a suspense account under this subsection in lieu of taking into account adjustments under section 481 (a) with respect to amounts included in the suspense account.

(2) Initial opening balance The initial opening balance of the account described in paragraph (1) shall be the lesser of—

(A) the net adjustments which would have been required to be taken into account under section 481 but for this subsection, or

(B) the amount of such net adjustments determined as of the beginning of the taxable year preceding the year of change.

If the amount referred to in subparagraph (A) exceeds the amount referred to in subparagraph (B), notwithstanding paragraph (1), such excess shall be included in gross income in the year of the change.

(3) Inclusion where corporation ceases to be a family corporation

(A) In general

If the corporation ceases to be a family corporation during any taxable year, the amount in the suspense account (after taking into account prior reductions) shall be included in gross income for such taxable year

(B) Special rule for certain transfers

For purposes of subparagraph (A), any transfer in a corporation after December 15, 1987, shall be treated as a transfer to a person whose ownership could not qualify such corporation as a family corporation unless it is a transfer—

(i) to a member of the family of the transferor, or

(ii) in the case of a corporation described in subsection (h), to a member of a family which on December 15, 1987, held stock in such corporation which qualified the corporation under subsection (h).

(4) Subchapter C transactions

The application of this subsection with respect to a taxpayer which is a party to any transaction with respect to which there is nonrecognition of gain or loss to any party by reason of subchapter C shall be determined under regulations prescribed by the Secretary.

(5) Termination

(A) In general

No suspense account may be established under this subsection by any corporation required by this section to change its method of accounting for any taxable year ending after June 8, 1997.

(B) Phaseout of existing suspense accounts

(i) In general Each suspense account under this subsection shall be reduced (but not below zero) for each taxable year beginning after June 8, 1997, by an amount equal to the lesser of—

(I) the applicable portion of such account, or

(II) 50 percent of the taxable income of the corporation for the taxable year, or, if the corporation has no taxable income for such year, the amount of any net operating loss (as defined in section 172 (c)) for such taxable year. For purposes of the preceding sentence, the amount of taxable income and net operating loss shall be determined without regard to this paragraph.

(ii) Coordination with other reductions The amount of the applicable portion for any taxable year shall be reduced (but not below zero) by the amount of any reduction required for such taxable year under any other provision of this subsection.

(iv) Inclusion in income Any reduction in a suspense account under this paragraph shall be included in gross income for the taxable year of the reduction.

(C) Applicable portion

For purposes of subparagraph (B), the term “applicable portion” means, for any taxable year, the amount which would ratably reduce the amount in the account (after taking into account prior reductions) to zero over the period consisting of such taxable year and the remaining taxable years in such first 20 taxable years.

(D) Amounts after 20th year

Any amount in the account as of the close of the 20th year referred to in subparagraph (C) shall be treated as the applicable portion for each succeeding year thereafter to the extent not reduced under this paragraph for any prior taxable year after such 20th year.

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