(a) A payment made directly to a person or legal entity will be combined with the pro rata interest of the person or legal entity in payments received by a legal entity in which the person or legal entity has a direct or indirect ownership interest, unless the payments of the legal entity have been reduced by the pro rata share of the person or legal entity.
(b) A payment made to a legal entity will be attributed to those persons who have a direct and indirect ownership interest in the legal entity, unless the payment of the legal entity has been reduced by the pro rata share of the person.
(c) Attribution of payments made to legal entities will be tracked through four levels of ownership in legal entities as follows:
(1) First level of ownership - any payment made to a legal entity that is owned in whole or in part by a person will be attributed to the person in an amount that represents the direct ownership interest in the first-tier or payment legal entity;
(i) Second level of ownership - any payment made to a first-tier legal entity that is owned in whole or in part by another legal entity (referred to as a second-tier legal entity) will be attributed to the second-tier legal entity in proportion to the ownership of the second-tier legal entity in the first-tier legal entity;
(ii) If the second-tier legal entity is owned in whole or in part by a person, the amount of the payment made to the first-tier legal entity will be attributed to the person in the amount that represents the indirect ownership in the first-tier legal entity by the person.
(3) Third and fourth levels - except as provided in paragraph (2)(ii) of this section, any payments made to a legal entity at the third and fourth tiers of ownership will be attributed in the same manner as specified in paragraph (2)(i) of this section.
(4) Fourth-tier ownership - if the fourth-tier of ownership is that of a legal entity and not that of a person, a reduction in payment will be applied to the first-tier or payment legal entity in the amount that represents the indirect ownership in the first-tier or payment legal entity by the fourth-tier legal entity.
(d) For purposes of administering direct attribution, and to determine a person's ownership interest in a legal entity that receives a payment subject to limitation; the ownership interest on June 1 of each year will be used.
(1) If the change in ownership interest is due to the death of an interest holder in the legal entity or the legal entity did not exist on June 1 of the applicable year, the Deputy Administrator may determine that a change after June 1 is considered relevant or effective for the current year.
(2) Changes that occur after June 1 cannot be used to increase the amount of program payments a legal entity, or its members, is eligible to receive directly or indirectly for the applicable year.
(e) Direct attribution of payments is not applicable to a cooperative association of producers with respect to commodities produced by the members of the association that are marketed by the association on behalf of the members of the association. The payments will instead be attributed to the producers as persons.