Internal Revenue Bulletin:  2007-51 

December 17, 2007 

REG-115910-07

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking by Cross-Reference to Temporary Regulations Information Reporting on Employer-Owned Life Insurance Contracts


AGENCY:

Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking by cross-reference to temporary regulations.

SUMMARY:

Elsewhere in this issue of the Bulletin, the IRS is issuing temporary regulations concerning information reporting on employer-owned life insurance contracts under section 6039I of the Internal Revenue Code (Code). The temporary regulations generally apply to taxpayers that are engaged in a trade or business and that are directly or indirectly a beneficiary of a life insurance contract covering the life of an insured who is an employee of the trade or business on the date the contract is issued. The text of those temporary regulations (T.D. 9364) also serves as the text of these proposed regulations.

DATES:

Written or electronic comments and requests for a public hearing must be received by January 14, 2008.

ADDRESSES:

Send submissions to: CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-115910-07), room 5203, Internal Revenue Service, PO Box 7604, Ben Franklin Station, Washington, DC 20044. Submissions may be hand-delivered Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. to CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-115910-07), Courier’s Desk, Internal Revenue Service, 1111 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington DC, or sent the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov (IRS REG-115910-07).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Concerning the regulations, Linda K. Boyd, 202-622-3970; concerning submissions and requests for a public hearing, contact Kelly Banks, 202-622-7180 (not toll-free numbers).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background and Explanation of Provisions

The Pension Protection Act of 2006, Public Law No. 109-280, 120 Stat. 780 (2006), added sections 101(j) and 6039I to the Internal Revenue Code concerning employer-owned life insurance contracts.

Section 101(j)(1) provides that in the case of an employer-owned life insurance contract, the amount of death benefits excluded from gross income under section 101(a) shall not exceed an amount equal to the sum of the premiums and other amounts paid by the policyholder for the contract. Section 101(j)(2), however, sets forth exceptions to this rule for certain contracts for which notice and consent and other requirements are met. Section 6039I requires information reporting with respect to certain employer-owned life insurance contracts at such time and in such manner as the Secretary shall by regulations prescribe.

Temporary regulations in this issue of the Bulletin provide that the Commissioner may prescribe the form and manner of satisfying the reporting requirements imposed by section 6039I. The preamble to the temporary regulations explains the temporary regulations.

Special Analyses

It has been determined that this proposed regulation is not a significant regulatory action as defined in Executive Order 12866. Therefore, a regulatory assessment is not required. It has also been determined that section 553(b) of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 5) does not apply to this regulation.

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6) does not apply to this proposed regulation because the regulation does not impose a collection of information on small entities. Even though a substantial number of small businesses may be subject to the requirements of section 6039I, it is anticipated that whatever requirements the Commissioner may prescribe pursuant to this regulation will not impose a “significant economic impact” because the information requested will already be available to taxpayers and the burden of compliance will be minimal.

Pursuant to section 7805(f) of the Internal Revenue Code, this Regulation has been submitted to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for comment on its impact on small business.

Comments and Requests for a Public Hearing

Before these proposed regulations are adopted as final regulations, consideration will be given to any written (a signed original and eight (8) copies) or electronic comments that are submitted timely to the IRS. The IRS and Treasury Department request comments on the clarity of the proposed rules and how they can be made easier to understand. All comments will be available for public inspection and copying. A public hearing will be scheduled if requested in writing by any person that timely submits written comments. If a public hearing is scheduled, notice of the date, time, and place for the public hearing will be published in the Federal Register.

The IRS and Treasury Department are aware that guidance may be needed under section 101(j) and request comments on that provision as well. In particular, comments are requested on the need for guidance concerning (1) determination of the status of insured individuals as “highly compensated employees” or “highly compensated individuals;” (2) requirements a taxpayer must meet to satisfy the notice and consent requirements of section 101(j)(4); and (3) the consequences of a section 1035 exchange of an employer-owned life insurance contract. The IRS and Treasury Department anticipate that future guidance, if any, under section 101(j) will not be applied retroactively to the detriment of taxpayers who make a good faith effort to comply with section 101(j) based on a reasonable interpretation of that provision.

Proposed Amendments to the Regulations

Accordingly, 26 CFR part 1 is proposed to be amended as follows:

PART 1—INCOME TAXES

Paragraph 1. The authority citation for part 1 is amended by adding an entry in numerical order to read in part as follows:

Authority: 26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *

Section 1.6039I-1 also issued under 26 U.S.C. 6039I. * * *

Par. 2. Section 1.6039I-1 is added to read as follows:

§1.6039I-1 Reporting of certain employer-owned life insurance contracts.

[The text of this proposed section is the same as the text of §1.6039I-1T published elsewhere in this issue of the bulletin].

Linda E. Stiff,
Deputy Commissioner for
Services and Enforcement.

Note

(Filed by the Office of the Federal Register on November 9, 2007, 8:45 a.m., and published in the issue of the Federal Register for November 13, 2007, 72 F.R. 63838)

Drafting Information

The principal author of these regulations is Linda K. Boyd, Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Financial Institutions & Products). However, other personnel from the IRS and Treasury Department participated in their development.

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