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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations
Title 26: Internal Revenue
§1.168(i)-2 Lease term.
(a) In general. For purposes of section 168, a lease term is determined under all the facts and circumstances. Paragraph (b) of this section and §1.168(j)-1T, Q&A 17, describe certain circumstances that will result in a period of time not included in the stated duration of an original lease (additional period) nevertheless being included in the lease term. These rules do not prevent the inclusion of an additional period in the lease term in other circumstances.
(b) Lessee retains financial obligation—(1) In general. An additional period of time during which a lessee may not continue to be the lessee will nevertheless be included in the lease term if the lessee (or a related person)—
(i) Has agreed that one or both of them will or could be obligated to make a payment of rent or a payment in the nature of rent with respect to such period; or
(ii) Has assumed or retained any risk of loss with respect to the property for such period (including, for example, by holding a note secured by the property).
(2) Payments in the nature of rent. For purposes of paragraph (b)(1)(i) of this section, a payment in the nature of rent includes a payment intended to substitute for rent or to fund or supplement the rental payments of another. For example, a payment in the nature of rent includes a payment of any kind (whether denominated as supplemental rent, as liquidated damages, or otherwise) that is required to be made in the event that—
(i) The leased property is not leased for the additional period;
(ii) The leased property is leased for the additional period under terms that do not satisfy specified terms and conditions;
(iii) There is a failure to make a payment of rent with respect to such additional period; or
(iv) Circumstances similar to those described in paragraph (b)(2) (i), (ii), or (iii) of this section occur.
(3) De minimis rule. For the purposes of this paragraph (b), obligations to make de minimis payments will be disregarded.
(c) Multiple leases or subleases. If property is subject to more than one lease (including any sublease) entered into as part of a single transaction (or a series of related transactions), the lease term includes all periods described in one or more of such leases. For example, if one taxable corporation leases property to another taxable corporation for a 20-year term and, as part of the same transaction, the lessee subleases the property to a tax-exempt entity for a 10-year term, then the lease term of the property for purposes of section 168 is 20 years. During the period of tax-exempt use, the property must be depreciated under the alternative depreciation system using the straight line method over the greater of its class life or 25 years (125 percent of the 20-year lease term).
(d) Related person. For purposes of paragraph (b) of this section, a person is related to the lessee if such person is described in section 168(h)(4).
(e) Changes in status. Section 168(i)(5) (changes in status) applies if an additional period is included in a lease term under this section and the leased property ceases to be tax-exempt use property for such additional period.
(f) Example. The following example illustrates the principles of this section. The example does not address common law doctrines or other authorities that may apply to cause an additional period to be included in the lease term or to recharacterize a lease as a conditional sale or otherwise for federal income tax purposes. Unless otherwise indicated, parties to the transactions are not related to one another.
Example. Financial obligation with respect to an additional period. (i) Facts. X, a taxable corporation, and Y, a foreign airline whose income is not subject to United States taxation, enter into a lease agreement under which X agrees to lease an aircraft to Y for a period of 10 years. The lease agreement provides that, at the end of the lease period, Y is obligated to find a subsequent lessee (replacement lessee) to enter into a subsequent lease (replacement lease) of the aircraft from X for an additional 10-year period. The provisions of the lease agreement require that any replacement lessee be unrelated to Y and that it not be a tax-exempt entity as defined in section 168(h)(2). The provisions of the lease agreement also set forth the basic terms and conditions of the replacement lease, including its duration and the required rental payments. In the event Y fails to secure a replacement lease, the lease agreement requires Y to make a payment to X in an amount determined under the lease agreement.
(ii) Application of this section. The lease agreement between X and Y obligates Y to make a payment in the event the aircraft is not leased for the period commencing after the initial 10-year lease period and ending on the date the replacement lease is scheduled to end. Accordingly, pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section, the term of the lease between X and Y includes such additional period, and the lease term is 20 years for purposes of section 168.
(iii) Facts modified. Assume the same facts as in paragraph (i) of this Example, except that Y is required to guarantee the payment of rentals under the 10-year replacement lease and to make a payment to X equal to the present value of any excess of the replacement lease rental payments specified in the lease agreement between X and Y, over the rental payments actually agreed to be paid by the replacement lessee. Pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section, the term of the lease between X and Y includes the additional period, and the lease term is 20 years for purposes of section 168.
(iv) Changes in status. If, upon the conclusion of the stated duration of the lease between X and Y, the aircraft either is returned to X or leased to a replacement lessee that is not a tax-exempt entity as defined in section 168(h)(2), the subsequent method of depreciation will be determined pursuant to section 168(i)(5).
(g) Effective date—(1) In general. Except as provided in paragraph (g)(2) of this section, this section applies to leases entered into on or after April 20, 1995.
(2) Special rules. Paragraphs (b)(1)(ii) and (c) of this section apply to leases entered into after April 26, 1996.
[T.D. 8667, 61 FR 18677, Apr. 29, 1996]