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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations
Title 26: Internal Revenue
§1.162-22 Treble damage payments under the antitrust laws.
(a) In general. In the case of a taxpayer who after December 31, 1969, either is convicted in a criminal action of a violation of the Federal antitrust laws or enters a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to an indictment or information charging such a violation, and whose conviction or plea does not occur in a new trial following an appeal of a conviction on or before such date, no deduction shall be allowed under section 162(a) for two-thirds of any amount paid or incurred after December 31, 1969, with respect to—
(1) Any judgment for damages entered against the taxpayer under section 4 of the Clayton Act (15 U.S.C. 15), as amended, on account of such violation or any related violation of the Federal antitrust laws, provided such related violation occurred prior to the date of the final judgment of such conviction, or
(2) Settlement of any action brought under such section 4 on account of such violation or related violation.
For the purposes of this section, where a civil judgment has been entered or a settlement made with respect to a violation of the antitrust laws and a criminal proceeding is based upon the same violation, the criminal proceeding need not have been brought prior to the civil judgment or settlement. If, in his return for any taxable year, a taxpayer claims a deduction for an amount paid or incurred with respect to a judgment or settlement described in the first sentence of this paragraph and is subsequently convicted of a violation of the antitrust laws which makes a portion of such amount unallowable, then the taxpayer shall file an amended return for such taxable year on which the amount of the deduction is appropriately reduced. Attorney's fees, court costs, and other amounts paid or incurred in connection with a controversy under such section 4 which meet the requirements of section 162 are deductible under that section. For purposes of subparagraph (2) of this paragraph, the amount paid or incurred in settlement shall not include amounts attributable to the plaintiff's costs of suit and attorney's fees, to the extent that such costs or fees have actually been paid.
(b) Conviction. For purposes of paragraph (a) of this section, a taxpayer is convicted of a violation of the antitrust laws if a judgment of conviction (whether or not a final judgment) with respect to such violation has been entered against him, provided a subsequent final judgment of acquittal has not been entered or criminal prosecution with respect to such violation terminated without a final judgment of conviction. During the pendency of an appeal or other action directly contesting a judgment of conviction, the taxpayer should file a protective claim for credit or refund to avoid being barred by the period of limitations on credit or refund under section 6511.
(c) Related violation. For purposes of this section, a violation of the Federal antitrust laws is related to a subsequent violation if (1) with respect to the subsequent violation the United States obtains both a judgment in a criminal proceeding and an injunction against the taxpayer, and (2) the taxpayer's actions which constituted the prior violation would have contravened such injunction if such injunction were applicable at the time of the prior violation.
(d) Settlement following a dismissal of an action or amendment of the complaint. For purposes of paragraph (a)(2) of this section, an amount may be considered as paid in settlement of an action even though the action is dismissed or otherwise disposed of prior to such settlement or the complaint is amended to eliminate the claim with respect to the violation or related violation.
(e) Antitrust laws. The term “antitrust laws” as used in section 162(g) and this section shall include the Federal acts enumerated in paragraph (1) of section 1 of the Clayton Act (15 U.S.C. 12), as amended.
(f) Examples. The application of this section may be illustrated by the following examples:
Example 1. In 1970, the United States instituted a criminal prosecution against X Co., Y Co., A, the president of X Co., and B, the president of Y Co., under section 1 of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, 15 U.S.C. 1. In the indictment, the defendants were charged with conspiring to fix and maintain prices of electrical transformers from 1965 to 1970. All defendants entered pleas of nolo contendere to these charges. These pleas were accepted and judgments of conviction entered. In a companion civil suit, the United States obtained an injunction prohibiting the defendants from conspiring to fix and maintain prices in the electrical transformer market. Thereafter, Z Co. sued X Co. and Y Co. for $300,000 in treble damages under section 4 of the Clayton Act. Z Co.'s complaint alleged that the criminal conspiracy between X Co. and Y Co. forced Z Co. to pay excessive prices for electrical transformers. X Co. and Y Co. each paid Z Co. $85,000 in full settlement of Z Co.'s action. Of each $85,000 paid, $10,000 was attributable to court costs and attorney's fees actually paid by Z Co. Under section 162(g), X Co. and Y Co. are each precluded from deducting as a trade or business expense more than $35,000 of the $85,000 paid to Z Co. in settlement—
Example 2. Assume the same facts as in example (1) except that Z Co.'s claim for treble damages was based on a conspiracy to fix and maintain prices in the sale of electrical transformers during 1963. Although the criminal prosecution of the defendants did not involve 1963 (a year barred by the applicable criminal statute of limitations when the prosecution was instituted), Z Co.'s pleadings alleged that the civil statute of limitations had been tolled by the defendants' fraudulent concealment of their conspiracy. Since the United States has obtained both a judgment in a criminal proceeding and an injunction against the defendants in connection with their activities from 1965 to 1970, and the alleged actions of the defendants in 1963 would have contravened such injunction if it were applicable in 1963, the alleged violation in 1963 is related to the violation from 1965 to 1970. Accordingly, the tax consequences to X Co. and Y Co. of the payments of $85,000 in settlement of Z Co.'s claim against X Co. and Y Co. are the same as in example (1).
Example 3. Assume the same facts as in example (1) except that Z Co.'s claim for treble damages was based on a conspiracy to fix and maintain prices with respect to electrical insulators for high-tension power poles. Since the civil action was not based on the same violation of the Federal antitrust laws as the criminal action, or on a related violation (a violation which would have contravened the injunction if it were applicable), X Co. and Y Co. are not precluded by section 162(g) from deducting as a trade or business expense the entire $85,000 paid by each in settlement of the civil action.
[T.D. 7217, 37 FR 23916, Nov. 10, 1972]