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e-CFR data is current as of September 28, 2020

Title 26Chapter ISubchapter APart 1 → §1.183-1


Title 26: Internal Revenue
PART 1—INCOME TAXES (CONTINUED)


§1.183-1   Activities not engaged in for profit.

(a) In general. Section 183 provides rules relating to the allowance of deductions in the case of activities (whether active or passive in character) not engaged in for profit by individuals and electing small business corporations, creates a presumption that an activity is engaged in for profit if certain requirements are met, and permits the taxpayer to elect to postpone determination of whether such presumption applies until he has engaged in the activity for at least 5 taxable years, or, in certain cases, 7 taxable years. Whether an activity is engaged in for profit is determined under section 162 and section 212 (1) and (2) except insofar as section 183(d) creates a presumption that the activity is engaged in for profit. If deductions are not allowable under sections 162 and 212 (1) and (2), the deduction allowance rules of section 183(b) and this section apply. Pursuant to section 641(b), the taxable income of an estate or trust is computed in the same manner as in the case of an individual, with certain exceptions not here relevant. Accordingly, where an estate or trust engages in an activity or activities which are not for profit, the rules of section 183 and this section apply in computing the allowable deductions of such trust or estate. No inference is to be drawn from the provisions of section 183 and the regulations thereunder that any activity of a corporation (other than an electing small business corporation) is or is not a business or engaged in for profit. For rules relating to the deductions that may be taken into account by taxable membership organizations which are operated primarily to furnish services, facilities, or goods to members, see section 277 and the regulations thereunder. For the definition of an activity not engaged in for profit, see §1.183-2. For rules relating to the election contained in section 183(e), see §1.183-3.

(b) Deductions allowable—(1) Manner and extent. If an activity is not engaged in for profit, deductions are allowable under section 183(b) in the following order and only to the following extent:

(i) Amounts allowable as deductions during the taxable year under Chapter 1 of the Code without regard to whether the activity giving rise to such amounts was engaged in for profit are allowable to the full extent allowed by the relevant sections of the Code, determined after taking into account any limitations or exceptions with respect to the allowability of such amounts. For example, the allowability-of-interest expenses incurred with respect to activities not engaged in for profit is limited by the rules contained in section 163(d).

(ii) Amounts otherwise allowable as deductions during the taxable year under Chapter 1 of the Code, but only if such allowance does not result in an adjustment to the basis of property, determined as if the activity giving rise to such amounts was engaged in for profit, are allowed only to the extent the gross income attributable to such activity exceeds the deductions allowed or allowable under subdivision (i) of this subparagraph.

(iii) Amounts otherwise allowable as deductions for the taxable year under Chapter 1 of the Code which result in (or if otherwise allowed would have resulted in) an adjustment to the basis of property, determined as if the activity giving rise to such deductions was engaged in for profit, are allowed only to the extent the gross income attributable to such activity exceeds the deductions allowed or allowable under subdivisions (i) and (ii) of this subparagraph. Deductions falling within this subdivision include such items as depreciation, partial losses with respect to property, partially worthless debts, amortization, and amortizable bond premium.

(2) Rule for deductions involving basis adjustments—(i) In general. If deductions are allowed under subparagraph (1)(iii) of this paragraph, and such deductions are allowed with respect to more than one asset, the deduction allowed with respect to each asset shall be determined separately in accordance with the computation set forth in subdivision (ii) of this subparagraph.

(ii) Basis adjustment fraction. The deduction allowed under subparagraph (1)(iii) of this paragraph is computed by multiplying the amount which would have been allowed, had the activity been engaged in for profit, as a deduction with respect to each particular asset which involves a basis adjustment, by the basis adjustment fraction:

(a) The numerator of which is the total of deductions allowable under subparagraph (1)(iii) of this paragraph, and

(b) The denominator of which is the total of deductions which involve basis adjustments which would have been allowed with respect to the activity had the activity been engaged in for profit.

The amount resulting from this computation is the deduction allowed under subparagraph (1)(iii) of this paragraph with respect to the particular asset. The basis of such asset is adjusted only to the extent of such deduction.

(3) Examples. The provisions of subparagraphs (1) and (2) of this paragraph may be illustrated by the following examples:

Example 1. A, an individual, maintains a herd of dairy cattle, which is an “activity not engaged in for profit” within the meaning of section 183(c). A sold milk for $1,000 during the year. During the year A paid $300 State taxes on gasoline used to transport the cows, milk, etc., and paid $1,200 for feed for the cows. For the year A also had a casualty loss attributable to this activity of $500. A determines the amount of his allowable deductions under section 183 as follows:

(i) First, A computes his deductions allowable under subparagraph (1)(i) of this paragraph as follows:

State gasoline taxes specifically allowed under section 164(a)(5) without regard to whether the activity is engaged in for profit$300
Casualty loss specifically allowed under section 165(c)(3) without regard to whether the activity is engaged in for profit ($500 less $100 limitation)400
Deductions allowable under subparagraph (1)(i) of this paragraph700
(ii) Second, A computes his deductions allowable under subparagraph (1)(ii) of this paragraph (deductions which would be allowed under chapter 1 of the Code if the activity were engaged in for profit and which do not involve basis adjustments) as follows:

Maximum amount of deductions allowable under subparagraph (1)(ii) of this paragraph:

Income from milk sales$1,000
Gross income from activity1,000
Less: deductions allowable under subparagraph (1)(i) of this paragraph700
Maximum amount of deductions allowable under subparagraph (1)(ii) of this paragraph300
Feed for cows1,200
Deduction allowed under subparagraph (1)(ii) of this paragraph300
$900 of the feed expense is not allowed as a deduction under section 183 because the total feed expense ($1,200) exceeds the maximum amount of deductions allowable under subparagraph (1)(ii) of this paragraph ($300). In view of these circumstances, it is not necessary to determine deductions allowable under subparagraph (1)(iii) of this paragraph which would be allowable under chapter 1 of the Code if the activity were engaged in for profit and which involve basis adjustment (the $100 of casualty loss not allowable under subparagraph (1)(i) of this paragraph because of the limitation in section 165(c)(3)) because none of such amount will be allowed as a deduction under section 183.

Example 2. Assume the same facts as in Example 1, except that A also had income from sales of hay grown on the farm of $1,200 and that depreciation of $750 with respect to a barn, and $650 with respect to a tractor would have been allowed with respect to the activity had it been engaged in for profit. A determines the amount of his allowable deductions under section 183 as follows:

(i) First, A computes his deductions allowable under subparagraph (1)(i) of this paragraph as follows:

State gasoline taxes specifically allowed under section 164(a)(5) without regard to whether the activity is engaged in for profit$300
Casualty loss specifically allowed under section 165(c)(3) without regard to whether the activity is engaged in for profit ($500 less $100 limitation)400
Deductions allowable under subparagraph (1)(i) of this paragraph700
(ii) Second, A computes his deductions allowable under subparagraph (1)(ii) of this paragraph (deductions which would be allowable under chapter 1 of the Code if the activity were engaged in for profit and which do not involve basis adjustments) as follows:

Maximum amount of deductions allowable under subparagraph (1)(ii) of this paragraph:

Income from milk sales$1,000
Income from hay sales1,200
Gross income from activity2,200
Less: deductions allowable under subparagraph (1)(i) of this paragraph700
Maximum amount of deductions allowable under subparagraph (1)(ii) of this paragraph1,500
Feed for cows1,200

The entire $1,200 of expenses relating to feed for cows is allowable as a deduction under subparagraph (1)(ii) of this paragraph, since it does not exceed the maximum amount of deductions allowable under such subparagraph.

(iii) Last, A computes the deductions allowable under subparagraph (1)(iii) of this paragraph (deductions which would be allowable under chapter 1 of the Code if the activity were engaged in for profit and which involve basis adjustments) as follows:

Maximum amount of deductions allowable under subparagraph (1)(iii) of this paragraph:

Gross income from farming   $2,200
Less: Deductions allowed under subparagraph (1)(i) of this paragraph$700   
Deductions allowed under subparagraph (1)(ii) of this paragraph1,2001,900
Maximum amount of deductions allowable under subparagraph (1)(iii) of this paragraph   300
(iv) Since the total of A's deductions under chapter 1 of the Code (determined as if the activity was engaged in for profit) which involve basis adjustments ($750 with respect to barn, $650 with respect to tractor, and $100 with respect to limitation on casualty loss) exceeds the maximum amount of the deductions allowable under subparagraph (1)(iii) of this paragraph ($300), A computes his allowable deductions with respect to such assets as follows:

A first computes his basis adjustment fraction under subparagraph (2)(ii) of this paragraph as follows:

The numerator of the fraction is the maximum of deductions allowable under subparagraph (1)(iii) of this paragraph which involve basis adjustments$300
The denominator of the fraction is the total of deductions that involve basis adjustments which would have been allowed with respect to the activity had the activity been engaged in for profit1,500

The basis adjustment fraction is then applied to the amount of each deduction which would have been allowable if the activity were engaged in for profit and which involves a basis adjustment as follows:

Depreciation allowed with respect to barn (300/1,500 × $750)$150
Depreciation allowed with respect to tractor (300/1,500 × $650)130
Deduction allowed with respect to limitation on casualty loss (300/1,500 × $100)20
The basis of the barn and of the tractor are adjusted only by the amount of depreciation actually allowed under section 183 with respect to each (as determined by the above computation). The basis of the asset with regard to which the casualty loss was suffered is adjusted only to the extent of the amount of the casualty loss actually allowed as a deduction under subparagraph (1) (i) and (iii) of this paragraph.

(4) Rule for capital gains and losses—(i) In general. For purposes of section 183 and the regulations thereunder, the gross income from any activity not engaged in for profit includes the total of all capital gains attributable to such activity determined without regard to the section 1202 deduction. Amounts attributable to an activity not engaged in for profit which would be allowable as a deduction under section 1202, without regard to section 183, shall be allowable as a deduction under section 183(b)(1) in accordance with the rules stated in this subparagraph.

(ii) Cases where deduction not allowed under section 183. No deduction is allowable under section 183(b)(1) with respect to capital gains attributable to an activity not engaged in for profit if:

(a) Without regard to section 183 and the regulations thereunder, there is no excess of net long-term capital gain over net short-term capital loss for the year, or

(b) There is no excess of net long-term capital gain attributable to the activity over net short-term capital loss attributable to the activity.

(iii) Allocation of deduction. If there is:

(a) An excess of net long-term capital gain over net short-term capital loss attributable to an activity not engaged in for profit, and

(b) Such an excess attributable to all activities, determined without regard to section 183 and the regulations thereunder, the deduction allowable under section 183(b)(1) attributable to capital gains with respect to each activity not engaged in for profit (with respect to which there is an excess of net long-term capital gain over net short-term capital loss for the year) shall be an amount equal to the deduction allowable under section 1202 for the taxable year (determined without regard to section 183) multiplied by a fraction the numerator of which is the excess of the net long-term capital gain attributable to the activity over the net short-term capital loss attributable to the activity and the denominator of which is an amount equal to the total excess of net long-term capital gain over net short-term capital loss for all activities with respect to which there is such excess. The amount of the total section 1202 deduction allowable for the year shall be reduced by the amount determined to be allocable to activities not engaged in for profit and accordingly allowed as a deduction under section 183(b)(1).

(iv) Example. The provisions of this subparagraph may be illustrated by the following example:

Example. A, an individual who uses the cash receipts and disbursement method of accounting and the calendar year as the taxable year, has three activities not engaged in for profit. For his taxable year ending on December 31, 1973, A has a $200 net long-term capital gain from activity No. 1, a $100 net short-term capital loss from activity No. 2, and a $300 net long-term capital gain from activity No. 3. In addition, A has a $500 net long-term capital gain from another activity which he engages in for profit. A computes his deductions for capital gains for calendar year 1973 as follows:

Section 1202 deduction without regard to section 183 is determined as follows:

Net long-term capital gain from activity No. 1$200
Net long-term capital gain from activity No. 3300
Net long-term capital gain from activity engaged in for profit500
Total net long-term capital gain from all activities1,000
Less: Net short-term capital loss attributable to activity No. 2100
Aggregate net long-term capital gain over net short-term capital loss from all activities900
Section 1202 deduction determined without regard to section 183 (one-half of $900)$450
Allocation of the total section 1202 deduction among A's various activities:

Portion allocable to activity No. 1 which is deductible under section 183(b)(1) (Excess net long-term capital gain attributable to activity No. 1 ($200) over total excess net long-term capital gain attributable to all of A's activities with respect to which there is such an excess ($1,000) times amount of section 1202 deduction ($450))90
Portion allocable to activity No. 3 which is deductible under section 183(b)(1) (Excess net long-term capital gain attributable to activity No. 3 ($300) over total excess net long-term capital gain attributable to all of A's activities with respect to which there is such an excess ($1,000) times amount of section 1202 deduction ($450))135
Portion allocable to all activities engaged in for profit (total section 1202 deduction ($450) less section 1202 deduction allowable to activities Nos. 1 and 3 ($225))225
Total section 1202 deduction deductible under sections 1202 and 183(b)(1)450

(c) Presumption that activity is engaged in for profit—(1) In general. If for:

(i) Any 2 of 7 consecutive taxable years, in the case of an activity which consists in major part of the breeding, training, showing, or racing of horses, or

(ii) Any 2 of 5 consecutive taxable years, in the case of any other activity, the gross income derived from an activity exceeds the deductions attributable to such activity which would be allowed or allowable if the activity were engaged in for profit, such activity is presumed, unless the Commissioner establishes to the contrary, to be engaged in for profit. For purposes of this determination the deduction permitted by section 1202 shall not be taken into account. Such presumption applies with respect to the second profit year and all years subsequent to the second profit year within the 5- or 7-year period beginning with the first profit year. This presumption arises only if the activity is substantially the same activity for each of the relevant taxable years, including the taxable year in question. If the taxpayer does not meet the requirements of section 183(d) and this paragraph, no inference that the activity is not engaged in for profit shall arise by reason of the provisions of section 183. For purposes of this paragraph, a net operating loss deduction is not taken into account as a deduction. For purposes of this subparagraph a short taxable year constitutes a taxable year.

(2) Examples. The provisions of subparagraph (1) of this paragraph may be illustrated by the following examples, in each of which it is assumed that the taxpayer has not elected, in accordance with section 183(e), to postpone determination of whether the presumption described in section 183(d) and this paragraph is applicable.

Example 1. For taxable years 1970-74, A, an individual who uses the cash receipts and disbursement method of accounting and the calendar year as the taxable year, is engaged in the activity of farming. In taxable years 1971, 1973, and 1974, A's deductible expenditures with respect to such activity exceed his gross income from the activity. In taxable years 1970 and 1972 A has income from the sale of farm produce of $30,000 for each year. In each of such years A had expenses for feed for his livestock of $10,000, depreciation of equipment of $10,000, and fertilizer cost of $5,000 which he elects to take as a deduction. A also has a net operating loss carryover to taxable year 1970 of $6,000. A is presumed, for taxable years 1972, 1973, and 1974, to have engaged in the activity of farming for profit, since for 2 years of a 5-consecutive-year period the gross income from the activity ($30,000 for each year) exceeded the deductions (computed without regard to the net operating loss) which are allowable in the case of the activity ($25,000 for each year).

Example 2. For the taxable years 1970 and 1971, B, an individual who uses the cash receipts and disbursement method of accounting and the calendar year as taxable year, engaged in raising pure-bred Charolais cattle for breeding purposes. The operation showed a loss during 1970. At the end of 1971, B sold a substantial portion of his herd and the cattle operation showed a profit for that year. For all subsequent relevant taxable years B continued to keep a few Charolais bulls at stud. In 1972, B started to raise Tennessee Walking Horses for breeding and show purposes, utilizing substantially the same pasture land, barns, and (with structural modifications) the same stalls. The Walking Horse operations showed a small profit in 1973 and losses in 1972 and 1974 through 1976.

(i) Assuming that under paragraph (d)(1) of this section the raising of cattle and raising of horses are determined to be separate activities, no presumption that the Walking Horse operation was carried on for profit arises under section 183(d) and this paragraph since this activity was not the same activity that generated the profit in 1971 and there are not, therefore, 2 profit years attributable to the horse activity.

(ii) Assuming the same facts as in (i) above, if there were no stud fees received in 1972 with respect to Charolais bulls, but for 1973 stud fees with respect to such bulls exceed deductions attributable to maintenance of the bulls in that year, the presumption will arise under section 183(d) and this paragraph with respect to the activity of raising and maintaining Charolais cattle for 1973 and for all subsequent years within the 5-year period beginning with taxable year 1971, since the activity of raising and maintaining Charolais cattle is the same activity in 1971 and in 1973, although carried on by B on a much reduced basis and in a different manner. Since it has been assumed that the horse and cattle operations are separate activities, no presumption will arise with respect to the Walking Horse operation because there are not 2 profit years attributable to such horse operation during the period in question.

(iii) Assuming, alternatively, that the raising of cattle and raising of horses would be considered a single activity under paragraph (d)(1) of this section, B would receive the benefit of the presumption beginning in 1973 with respect to both the cattle and horses since there were profits in 1971 and 1973. The presumption would be effective through 1977 (and longer if there is an excess of income over deductions in this activity in 1974, 1975, 1976, or 1977 which would extend the presumption) if, under section 183(d) and subparagraph (3) of this paragraph, it was determined that the activity consists in major part of the breeding, training, showing, or racing of horses. Otherwise, the presumption would be effective only through 1975 (assuming no excess of income over deductions in this activity in 1974 or 1975 which would extend the presumption).

(3) Activity which consists in major part of the breeding, training, showing, or racing of horses. For purposes of this paragraph an activity consists in major part of the breeding, training, showing, or racing of horses for the taxable year if the average of the portion of expenditures attributable to breeding, training, showing, and racing of horses for the 3 taxable years preceding the taxable year (or, in the case of an activity which has not been conducted by the taxpayer for 3 years, for so long as it has been carried on by him) was at least 50 percent of the total expenditures attributable to the activity for such prior taxable years.

(4) Transitional rule. In applying the presumption described in section 183(d) and this paragraph, only taxable years beginning after December 31, 1969, shall be taken into account. Accordingly, in the case of an activity referred to in subparagraph (1) (i) or (ii) of this paragraph, section 183(d) does not apply prior to the second profitable taxable year beginning after December 31, 1969, since taxable years prior to such date are not taken into account.

(5) Cross reference. For rules relating to section 183(e) which permits a taxpayer to elect to postpone determination of whether any activity shall be presumed to be “an activity engaged in for profit” by operation of the presumption described in section 183(d) and this paragraph until after the close of the fourth taxable year (sixth taxable year, in the case of activity which consists in major part of breeding, training, showing, or racing of horses) following the taxable year in which the taxpayer first engages in the activity, see §1.183-3.

(d) Activity defined—(1) Ascertainment of activity. In order to determine whether, and to what extent, section 183 and the regulations thereunder apply, the activity or activities of the taxpayer must be ascertained. For instance, where the taxpayer is engaged in several undertakings, each of these may be a separate activity, or several undertakings may constitute one activity. In ascertaining the activity or activities of the taxpayer, all the facts and circumstances of the case must be taken into account. Generally, the most significant facts and circumstances in making this determination are the degree of organizational and economic interrelationship of various undertakings, the business purpose which is (or might be) served by carrying on the various undertakings separately or together in a trade or business or in an investment setting, and the similarity of various undertakings. Generally, the Commissioner will accept the characterization by the taxpayer of several undertakings either as a single activity or as separate activities. The taxpayer's characterization will not be accepted, however, when it appears that his characterization is artificial and cannot be reasonably supported under the facts and circumstances of the case. If the taxpayer engages in two or more separate activities, deductions and income from each separate activity are not aggregated either in determining whether a particular activity is engaged in for profit or in applying section 183. Where land is purchased or held primarily with the intent to profit from increase in its value, and the taxpayer also engages in farming on such land, the farming and the holding of the land will ordinarily be considered a single activity only if the farming activity reduces the net cost of carrying the land for its appreciation in value. Thus, the farming and holding of the land will be considered a single activity only if the income derived from farming exceeds the deductions attributable to the farming activity which are not directly attributable to the holding of the land (that is, deductions other than those directly attributable to the holding of the land such as interest on a mortgage secured by the land, annual property taxes attributable to the land and improvements, and depreciation of improvements to the land).

(2) Rules for allocation of expenses. If the taxpayer is engaged in more than one activity, an item of deduction or income may be allocated between two or more of these activities. Where property is used in several activities, and one or more of such activities is determined not to be engaged in for profit, deductions relating to such property must be allocated between the various activities on a reasonable and consistently applied basis.

(3) Example. The provisions of this paragraph may be illustrated by the following example:

Example. (i) A, an individual, owns a small house located near the beach in a resort community. Visitors come to the area for recreational purposes during only 3 months of the year. During the remaining 9 months of the year houses such as A's are not rented. Customarily, A arranges that the house will be leased for 2 months of 3-month recreational season to vacationers and reserves the house for his own vacation during the remaining month of the recreational season. In 1971, A leases the house for 2 months for $1,000 per month and actually uses the house for his own vacation during the other month of the recreational season. For 1971, the expenses attributable to the house are $1,200 interest, $600 real estate taxes, $600 maintenance, $300 utilities, and $1,200 which would have been allowed as depreciation had the activity been engaged in for profit. Under these facts and circumstances, A is engaged in a single activity, holding the beach house primarily for personal purposes, which is an “activity not engaged in for profit” within the meaning of section 183(c). See paragraph (b)(9) of §1.183-2.

(ii) Since the $1,200 of interest and the $600 of real estate taxes are specifically allowable as deductions under sections 163 and 164(a) without regard to whether the beach house activity is engaged in for profit, no allocation of these expenses between the uses of the beach house is necessary. However, since section 262 specifically disallows personal, living, and family expenses as deductions, the maintenance and utilities expenses and the depreciation from the activity must be allocated between the rental use and the personal use of the beach house. Under the particular facts and circumstances, 23 (2 months of rental use over 3 months of total use) of each of these expenses are allocated to the rental use, and 13 (1 month of personal use over 3 months of total use) of each of these expenses are allocated to the personal use as follows:

   Rental use
2/3—
expenses allocable to section 183(b)(2)
Personal use
1/3—
expenses allocable to section 262
Maintenance expense $600$400$200
Utilities expense $300200100
Depreciation $1,200800400
Total1,400700

The $700 of expenses and depreciation allocated to the personal use of the beach house are disallowed as a deduction under section 262. In addition, the allowability of each of the expenses and the depreciation allocated to section 183(b)(2) is determined under paragraph (b)(1) (ii) and (iii) of this section. Thus, the maximum amount allowable as a deduction under section 183(b)(2) is $200 ($2,000 gross income from activity, less $1,800 deductions under section 183(b)(1)). Since the amounts described in section 183(b)(2) ($1,400) exceed the maximum amount allowable ($200), and since the amounts described in paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section ($600) exceed such maximum amount allowable ($200), none of the depreciation (an amount described in paragraph (b)(1)(iii) of this section) is allowable as a deduction.

(e) Gross income from activity not engaged in for profit defined. For purposes of section 183 and the regulations thereunder, gross income derived from an activity not engaged in for profit includes the total of all gains from the sale, exchange, or other disposition of property, and all other gross receipts derived from such activity. Such gross income shall include, for instance, capital gains, and rents received for the use of property which is held in connection with the activity. The taxpayer may determine gross income from any activity by subtracting the cost of goods sold from the gross receipts so long as he consistently does so and follows generally accepted methods of accounting in determining such gross income.

(f) Rule for electing small business corporations. Section 183 and this section shall be applied at the corporate level in determining the allowable deductions of an electing small business corporation.

[T.D. 7198, 37 FR 13680, July 13, 1972]

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