San Francisco Tax Preparation / CPA: Farm NOL Election Procedures Provided

Filed in CCH NEWS FEED by on August 28, 2021

The IRS has provided a procedure for making elections and revocations under Act Sec. 2303(e) of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) ( P.L. 116-136) for taxpayers with a net operating loss (NOL) for any tax year beginning in 2018, 2019, or 2020, all or a portion of which consists of a farming loss (farming loss NOLs). The procedure is effective on the date of its release, June 30, 2021.

Specifically, the procedure:

  • prescribes when and how to make an election with regard to all NOLs of the taxpayer, regardless of whether the NOL is a farming loss NOL;
  • provides that a taxpayer is treated as having made a deemed election under Act Sec. 2303(e)(1) of the CARES Act if the taxpayer, before December 27, 2020, filed one or more original or amended tax returns, or applications for tentative refund, that disregard the CARES Act amendments with regard to a farming loss NOL; and
  • prescribes when and how to revoke an election made under Code Sec. 172(b)(1)(B)(iv) or (b)(3) to waive the two-year carryback period for the farming loss portion of a farming loss NOL incurred in a tax year beginning in 2018 or 2019.

TCJA Amendments to NOL Rules
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) ( P.L. 115-97) amended the NOL rules to provide that, with regard to NOLs arising in a tax year beginning after 2017, the amount allowed as an NOL deduction cannot exceed 80 percent of the taxable income computed without regard to any NOL deduction (the 80-percent limitation). The 80-percent limitation does not apply in the case of a non-life insurance company. The TCJA also eliminated NOL carrybacks, except that a two-year carryback period is allowed for the portion of an NOL that is a farming loss. Taxpayers entitled to this two-year carryback period may make an irrevocable election to waive it. A separate rule provides that any taxpayer entitled to an NOL carryback period may irrevocably elect to relinquish the entire carryback period with respect to that NOL for any tax year. The TCJA changes relating to loss carrybacks apply to NOLs arising in tax years beginning after 2017.

CARES Act Amendments to NOL Rules
The CARES Act temporarily suspended the 80-percent limitation so that it applies only to NOLs arising in tax years beginning after 2017 that are deducted in tax years beginning after 2020. In addition, it provided a five-year carryback period for any NOL arising in a tax year beginning after 2017 and before 2021. The two-year carryback period for farming losses does not apply to any such NOL.

CTRA 2020 Amendments to CARES Act
The COVID-related Tax Relief Act of 2020 (CTRA 2020), which was enacted as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA 2021) ( P.L. 116-260) amended Act Sec. 2303 of the CARES Act by adding a new subsection (e), which took effect as if originally included in that CARES Act, to provide that a taxpayer with a farming loss NOL for any tax year beginning in 2018, 2019, or 2020, may make an election to disregard the CARES Act amendments.

If a taxpayer makes the election: (i) the 80-percent limitation applies to determine the NOL deduction for each tax year beginning in 2018, 2019, or 2020 to the extent the deduction is attributable to NOLs arising in tax years beginning after 2017, but the 80-percent limitation does not apply to determine the NOL deduction for any tax year beginning before 2018, (ii) the modified taxable income rule applies with regard to each tax year beginning in 2018, 2019, or 2020, and (iii) the NOL carryback period is determined under Code Sec. 172(b), as amended by the TCJA and effective prior to enactment of the CARES Act, for any NOL arising in any tax year beginning in 2018, 2019, or 2020.

An election to disregard the CARES Act amendments (an affirmative election) must be made in the manner prescribed by the IRS. Once made, an election is irrevocable. An affirmative election must be made by the due date, including extensions of time, for filing the taxpayer’s tax return for the first tax year ending after December 27, 2020.

In the case of any taxpayer with a farming loss NOL that files a tax return before December 27, 2020, that disregards the CARES Act amendments, the taxpayer is treated as having made a deemed election (a deemed election) unless the taxpayer amends the return to reflect such amendments by the due date (including extensions of time) for filing the taxpayer’s tax return for the first tax year ending after December 27, 2020.

A taxpayer can revoke an election made under Code Sec. 172(b)(1)(B)(iv) or (b)(3) to waive the two-year carryback period if the election (i) was made before December 27, 2020; and (ii) relates to the two-year carryback period for the portion of any farming loss NOL that is a farming loss arising in tax years beginning in 2018 or 2019.

Procedure for Making Elections to Disregard CARES Act Amendments
Affirmative election. A taxpayer with a farming loss NOL, other than a taxpayer making a deemed election described below, may make an affirmative election under Act Sec. 2303(e)(1) of the CARES Act if: (i) the farming loss NOL arose in any tax year beginning in 2018, 2019, or 2020; and (ii) the taxpayer:

  • makes the affirmative election on a statement described below by the due date, including extensions of time, for filing the taxpayer’s tax return for the first tax year ending after December 27, 2020; and
  • attaches a statement to its tax return for the first tax year ending after December 27, 2020, that provides at the top: “The taxpayer elects under § 2303(e)(1) of the CARES Act and Revenue Procedure 2021-14 to disregard the amendments made by § 2303(a) of the CARES Act for taxable years beginning in 2018, 2019, and 2020, and the amendments made by § 2303(b) of the CARES Act that would otherwise apply to any net operating loss arising in any taxable year beginning in 2018, 2019, or 2020. The taxpayer incurred a Farming Loss NOL, as defined in section 1.01 of Revenue Procedure 2021-14, in [list each applicable taxable year beginning in 2018, 2019, or 2020].” The taxpayer should also attach a copy of the statement to any original or amended tax return or application for tentative refund on which the taxpayer claims a deduction attributable to a two-year NOL carryback pursuant to the affirmative election.

Deemed election. A taxpayer is treated as having made a deemed election under Act Sec. 2303(e)(1) of the CARES Act if the taxpayer, before December 27, 2020, filed one or more original or amended tax returns, or applications for tentative refund, that disregard the CARES Act amendments with regard to a farming loss NOL. Special procedure is provided for certain taxpayers whose two-year carryback claims filed before December 27, 2020, were rejected. Generally, if such a taxpayer wants to continue to pursue those claims, the taxpayer should submit complete copies of their rejected applications or claims, including the original or amended tax returns for the tax years in which the NOLs arose, in the manner set forth in the procedure.

A taxpayer will not be treated as having made a deemed election if, for each tax year for which the taxpayer filed an original or amended tax return or an application for tentative refund that treated a farming loss NOL in a manner that disregards the CARES Act amendments, the taxpayer subsequently files either (i) an amended return by the due date, including extensions of time, for filing the taxpayer’s tax return for the first tax year ending after December 27, 2020, or (ii) an application for tentative refund within the required time for filing such an application and also by the due date, including extensions of time, for filing the taxpayer’s tax return for the first tax year ending after December 27, 2020. The amended return or application must properly reflect the treatment of each farming loss NOL under the CARES Act amendments.

Procedure for Revocation of Election Not to Apply the Two-year Carryback Period for Farming Losses
A taxpayer that elected under Code Sec. 172(b)(1)(B)(iv) or (b)(3) not to have the two-year carryback period apply to the farming loss portion of a farming loss NOL incurred in a tax year beginning in 2018 or 2019 may revoke that election, if the taxpayer:

  • made that election before December 27, 2020;
  • makes the revocation by the date that is three years after the due date, including extensions of time, for filing the return for the tax year the farming loss NOL was incurred; and
  • attaches a statement to an amended return for the loss year that provides at the top: “Pursuant to section 4.01 of Rev. Proc. 2021-14 the taxpayer is revoking a prior §172(b)(1)(B)(iv) or § 172(b)(3) election not to have the two-year carryback period provided by § 172(b)(1)(B)(i) apply to the Farming Loss NOL, as defined in section 1.01 of Rev. Proc. 2021-14, incurred in the taxable year.”

Consolidated Groups
The procedure provides special rules for consolidated groups for making an affirmative election, consequences of affirmative and deemed elections, and reliance on rules in Reg. §1.1502-21 regarding the application of the 80-percent limitation.