Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Deduction of FSLIC Reserves: In CEBA's Wake

Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Deduction of FSLIC Reserves: In CEBA's Wake

Article excerpt

The Internal Revenue Service, in letter ruling 9252002, cleared up an arcane but persistent timing issue that has plagued savings and loans for several years: the deductibility of payments to a "secondary reserve" maintained by the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation (FSLIC).

The IRS ruled S&Ls were entitled to take a tax deduction for amounts paid into the reserve in May 1987--the time the reserve was extinguished.

First, some background: FSLIC institutions had been required to pay regular insurance premiums and, for a time, additional amounts that were treated as assets and recorded in a secondary reserve account. These amounts could be used to satisfy regular premium obligations and were available for FSLIC losses.

In 1987, in response to a General Accounting Office audit of its solvency, the FSLIC assessed a special premium against some member institutions by extinguishing the secondary reserve.

As a result of this action, there was no possibility the funds in the reserve would be returned. However, the Competitive Equality Bank Act of 1987 (CEBA), enacted later that same year, permitted an offset against future premium obligations based on the balance in the secondary reserve before extinguishment.

Because the reserve was thus recoverable, the IRS was asked to rule on whether the extinguished reserve balance was deductible. …

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