U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Oct 27, 2020
(a) In general. Section 451(e) provides that for taxable years beginning after December 31, 1975, a taxpayer whose principal trade or business is farming (within the meaning of § 6420 (c)(3)) and who reports taxable income on the cash receipts and disbursements method of accounting may elect to defer for one year a certain portion of income. The income which may be deferred is the amount of gain realized during the taxable year from the sale or exchange of that number of livestock sold or exchanged solely on account of a drought which caused an area to be designated as eligible for assistance by the Federal Government (regardless of whether the designation is made by the President or by an agency or department of the Federal Government). That number is equal to the excess of the number of livestock sold or exchanged over the number which would have been sold or exchanged had the taxpayer followed its usual business practices in the absence of such drought. For example, if in the past it has been a taxpayer's practice to sell or exchange annually 400 head of beef cattle but due to qualifying drought conditions 550 head were sold in a given taxable year, only income from the sale of 150 head may qualify for deferral under this section. The election is not available with respect to livestock described in section 1231(b)(3) (relating to cattle, horses (and other livestock) held by the taxpayer for 24 months (12 months) and used for draft, breeding, dairy, or sporting purposes).
(b) Usual business. The determination of the number of animals which a taxpayer would have sold if it had followed its usual business practice in the absence of drought will be made in light of all facts and circumstances. In the case of taxpayers who have not established a usual business practice, reliance will be placed upon the usual business practice of similarly situated taxpayers in the same general region as the taxpayer.
(c) Special rules - (1) Connection with drought area. To qualify under section 451(e) and this section, the livestock need not be raised, and the sale or exchange need not take place, in a drought area. However, the sale or exchange of the livestock must occur solely on account of drought conditions, the existence of which affected the water, grazing, or other requirements of the livestock so as to necessitate their sale or exchange.
(2) Sale prior to designation of area as eligible for Federal assistance. The provisions of this section will apply regardless of whether all or a portion of the excess number of animals were sold or exchanged before an area becomes eligible for Federal assistance, so long as the drought which caused such dispositions also caused the area to be designated as eligible for Federal assistance.
(d) Classifications of livestock with respect to which the election may be made. The election to have the provisions of section 451(e) apply must be made separately for each broad generic classification of animals (e.g., hogs, sheep, cattle) for which the taxpayer wishes the provisions to apply. Separate elections shall not be made solely by reason of the animals' age, sex, or breed.
(e) Computation - (1) Determination of amount deferred. The amount of income which may be deferred for a classification of livestock pursuant to this section shall be determined in the following manner. The total amount of income realized from the sale or exchange of all livestock in the classification during the taxable year shall be divided by the total number of all such livestock sold. The resulting quotient shall then be multiplied by the excess number of such livestock sold on account of drought.
(2) Example. The provisions of this paragraph may be illustrated by the following example:
(f) Successive elections. If a taxpayer makes an election under section 451(e) for successive years, the amount deferred from one year to the next year shall not be deemed to have been received from the sale or exchange of livestock during the later year. In addition, in determining the taxpayer's normal business practice for the later year, earlier years for which an election under section 451(e) was made shall not be considered.
(g) Time and manner of making election. The election provided for in this section must be made by the later of (1) the due date for filing the income tax return (determined with regard to any extensions of time granted the taxpayer for filing such return) for the taxable year in which the early sale of livestock occurs, or (2) (the 90th day after the date these regulations are published as a Treasury decision in the
(1) A declaration that the taxpayer is making an election under section 451(e);
(2) Evidence of the existence of the drought conditions which forced the early sale or exchange of the livestock and the date, if known, on which an area was designated as eligible for assistance by the Federal Government as a result of the drought conditions.
(3) A statement explaining the relationship of the drought area to the taxpayer's early sale or exchange of the livestock;
(4) The total number of animals sold in each of the three preceding years;
(5) The number of animals which would have been sold in the taxable year had the taxpayer followed its normal business practice in the absence of drought;
(6) The total number of animals sold, and the number sold on account of drought, during the taxable year; and
(7) A computation, pursuant to paragraph (e) of this section, of the amount of income to be deferred for each such classification.
(h) Revocation of election. Once an election under this section is made for a taxable year, it may be revoked only with the approval of the Commissioner.
(i) Cross reference. For provisions relating to the involuntary conversion of livestock sold on account of drought see section 1033(e) and the regulations thereunder.