Retail Inventory Method, 62327-62329 [2011-25946]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 195 / Friday, October 7, 2011 / Proposed Rules Issued in Renton, Washington, on September 29, 2011. Ali Bahrami, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2011–26084 Filed 10–6–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 1 [REG–125949–10] RIN 1545–BJ64 Retail Inventory Method Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking. AGENCY: This document contains proposed regulations relating to the retail inventory method of accounting. The regulations restate and clarify the computation of ending inventory values under the retail inventory method and provide a special rule for certain taxpayers that receive margin protection payments and similar vendor allowances. The regulations affect taxpayers that are retailers and elect to use a retail inventory method. DATES: Written or electronically generated comments and requests for a public hearing must be received by January 5, 2012. ADDRESSES: Send submissions to: CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG–125949–10), room 5203, Internal Revenue Service, P.O. Box 7604, Ben Franklin Station, Washington, DC 20044. Submissions may be hand delivered Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. to: CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG–125949– 10), Courier’s Desk, Internal Revenue Service, 1111 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC. Alternatively, taxpayers may submit comments electronically via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http:// www.regulations.gov (IRS REG–125949– 10). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Concerning the proposed regulations, Natasha M. Mulleneaux, (202) 622– 3967; concerning submission of comments and requests for a public hearing, Richard Hurst at Richard.A.Hurst@irscounsel.treas.gov. pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 SUMMARY: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background This document contains proposed amendments to 26 CFR part 1 relating VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:24 Oct 06, 2011 Jkt 226001 to the retail inventory method under § 1.471–8 of the Income Tax Regulations. Section 471 provides that a taxpayer’s method of accounting for inventories must clearly reflect income. Section 1.471–2(c) provides that the bases of inventory valuation most commonly used and meeting the requirements of section 471 are (1) cost and (2) cost or market, whichever is lower (LCM). Section 1.471–8 allows retailers to approximate cost or LCM by using the retail inventory method. A last-in, first out (LIFO) taxpayer that elects to use the retail inventory method must approximate cost. Under the retail inventory method, the retail selling price of ending inventory is converted to approximate cost or approximate LCM using a costto-retail ratio, or cost complement. The numerator of the cost complement is the value of beginning inventory plus the cost of purchases during the taxable year, and the denominator is the retail selling prices of beginning inventories plus the initial retail selling prices of purchases. The cost complement is then multiplied by the retail selling price of ending inventory (multiplicand) to determine the ending inventory value. Section 1.471–3 provides that, for inventory valuation purposes, the cost of purchases during the year generally includes invoice price less trade or other discounts. A discount may be based on a retailer’s sales volume (salesbased allowance) or on the quantity of merchandise a retailer purchases (volume-based allowance), or may relate to a retailer’s reduction in retail selling price (markdown allowance or margin protection payment). A vendor may provide a retailer with a markdown allowance or margin protection payment when the retailer temporarily or permanently reduces the retail selling price of its inventory to sell it. A markdown allowance or margin protection payment differs from other types of discounts because it is intended to maintain the retailer’s profit margin and therefore is directly related to the inventory selling price. Under proposed § 1.471–3(e) (75 FR 78944), the amount of an allowance, discount, or price rebate a taxpayer earns by selling specific merchandise (a sales-based vendor allowance) is a reduction in the cost of the merchandise sold and does not reduce the inventory cost or value of goods on hand at the end of the taxable year. PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 62327 Explanation of Provisions 1. Overview The proposed regulations restructure and restate the regulations under § 1.471–8 in plain language. The proposed regulations also add rules addressing the treatment of sales-based vendor allowances and of vendor markdown allowances and margin protection payments in the retail inventory method computation. 2. Sales-Based Vendor Allowances The proposed regulations clarify the interaction of proposed § 1.471–3(e) with the retail inventory method by excluding from the numerator of the cost complement formula the amount of a sales-based vendor allowance. 3. Computation of Cost Complement Under the Retail LCM Method The retail inventory method determines an ending inventory value by maintaining proportionality between costs and selling prices. Under the retail LCM method, a reduction in retail selling price reduces the value of ending inventory in the same ratio as the cost complement. If a taxpayer earns an allowance, discount, or price rebate, the inventory cost in the numerator of the cost complement declines, resulting in a reduction of ending inventory value computed under the retail inventory method. If the allowance, discount, or price rebate is related to a permanent markdown of the retail selling price (as in the case of a markdown allowance or margin protection payment), ending inventory value is further reduced as a result of the decrease in ending retail selling prices (the multiplicand in the formula). This additional reduction of ending inventory value caused by reducing both the numerator of the cost complement and the multiplicand (1) Generally results in a lower ending inventory value for a retail LCM method taxpayer than for a similarly situated first-in, first-out (FIFO) taxpayer that values inventory at LCM, and (2) does not clearly reflect income. To address this distortion, the proposed regulations provide that a retail LCM method taxpayer may not reduce the numerator of the cost complement for an allowance, discount, or price rebate that is related to or intended to compensate for a permanent markdown of retail selling prices. Thus, in the case of markdown allowances and margin protection payments, the value of ending inventory as computed under the retail LCM method is reduced solely as a result of the reduction in retail selling price, avoiding an unwarranted E:\FR\FM\07OCP1.SGM 07OCP1 62328 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 195 / Friday, October 7, 2011 / Proposed Rules additional reduction in inventory value for a single markdown allowance and more reasonably approximating LCM. As an alternative to this proposed modification, the retail inventory method could achieve the same result by permitting taxpayers to reduce the numerator of the cost complement for all non-sales based allowances, discounts, or price rebates, including markdown allowances, but requiring a reduction of the denominator of the cost complement for all permanent markdowns related to markdown allowances. Comments are specifically requested on whether the final regulations should provide this or other alternative retail LCM methods. 4. Temporary Price Adjustments The proposed regulations clarify that under the retail inventory method taxpayers do not adjust the cost complement or ending retail selling prices for temporary markdowns and markups. Effective/Applicability Date A public hearing will be scheduled if requested in writing by any person that timely submits comments. If a public hearing is scheduled, notice of the date, time, and place for the hearing will be published in the Federal Register. Drafting Information The principal author of these regulations is Natasha M. Mulleneaux of the Office of the Associate Chief Counsel (Income Tax & Accounting). Other personnel from the IRS and Treasury Department participated in their development. List of Subjects in 26 CFR Part 1 Income taxes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. Proposed Amendments to the Regulations Accordingly, 26 CFR part 1 is proposed to be amended as follows: PART 1—INCOME TAXES Paragraph 1. The authority citation for part 1 continues to read in part as follows: These regulations are proposed to apply for taxable years beginning after the date the regulations are published as final regulations in the Federal Register. Par. 2. Section 1.471–8 is revised to read as follows: Special Analyses § 1.471–8 It has been determined that this notice of proposed rulemaking is not a significant regulatory action as defined in Executive Order 12866. Therefore, a regulatory assessment is not required. It also has been determined that section 553(b) of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 5) does not apply to these regulations, and because these regulations do not impose a collection of information on small entities, the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6) does not apply. Pursuant to section 7805(f) of the Internal Revenue Code, this notice of proposed rulemaking will be submitted to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for comment on their impact on small business. pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 Comments and Requests for a Public Hearing Before these proposed regulations are adopted as final regulations, consideration will be given to any written comments that are submitted timely to the IRS. Comments may be submitted electronically or via a signed original with eight (8) copies. Comments are requested on the clarity of the proposed rules and how they can be made easier to understand. All comments will be available for public inspection and copying. VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:24 Oct 06, 2011 Jkt 226001 Authority: 26 U.S.C. 7805 * * * Inventories of retail merchants. (a) In general. A taxpayer that is a retail merchant may use the retail inventory method of accounting described in this section. The retail inventory method uses a formula to convert the retail selling price of ending inventory to an approximation of cost (retail cost method) or an approximation of lower of cost or market (retail LCM method). A taxpayer may use the retail inventory method instead of valuing inventory at cost under § 1.471–3 or lower of cost or market under § 1.471– 4. (b) Computation—(1) In general. A taxpayer computes the value of ending inventory under the retail inventory method by multiplying a cost complement by the retail selling prices of the goods on hand at the end of the taxable year. (2) Cost complement—(i) In general. The cost complement is a ratio computed as follows— (A) The numerator is the value of beginning inventory plus the cost of goods purchased during the taxable year; and (B) The denominator is the retail selling prices of beginning inventory plus the retail selling prices of goods purchased during the year (that is, the bona fide retail selling prices of the items at the time acquired), adjusted for PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 all permanent markups and markdowns, including markup and markdown cancellations and corrections. The denominator is not adjusted for temporary markups or markdowns. (ii) Sales-based vendor allowances. A taxpayer may not reduce the numerator of the cost complement by the amount of an allowance, discount, or price rebate a taxpayer earns by selling specific merchandise. (iii) Special rules for cost complement for retail LCM method—(A) Margin protection payments and similar allowances. A taxpayer using the retail inventory method to approximate LCM may not reduce the numerator of the cost complement by the amount of an allowance, discount, or price rebate that is related to or intended to compensate for a permanent reduction in the taxpayer’s retail selling price of inventory (for example, a margin protection payment or markdown allowance). (B) Exclusion of markdowns in denominator. A taxpayer using the retail inventory method to approximate LCM excludes markdowns (and markdown cancellations or corrections) from the denominator of the cost complement. Any markups must be reduced by the markdowns made to cancel or correct them. (3) Ending inventory retail selling prices. A taxpayer must include all permanent markups and markdowns but may not include temporary markups or markdowns in determining the retail selling prices of goods on hand at the end of the taxable year. A taxpayer may not include a markdown that is not an actual reduction of retail selling price. (c) Special rules for LIFO taxpayers. A taxpayer using the last-in, first-out (LIFO) inventory method with the retail inventory method uses the retail inventory method to approximate cost. See § 1.472–1(k) for additional adjustments for a taxpayer using the LIFO inventory method with the retail cost method. (d) Scope of retail inventory method. A taxpayer may use the retail inventory method to value ending inventory for a department, a class of goods, or a stockkeeping unit. A taxpayer maintaining more than one department or dealing in classes of goods with different percentages of gross profit must compute cost complements separately for each department or class of goods. (e) Examples. The following examples illustrate the rules of this section: Example 1. (i) R, a retail merchant who uses the retail method to approximate LCM, has no beginning inventory in 2010. R purchases 40 tables during 2010 for $60 each for a total of $2,400. R offers the tables for E:\FR\FM\07OCP1.SGM 07OCP1 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 195 / Friday, October 7, 2011 / Proposed Rules sale at $100 each for an aggregate retail selling price of $4,000. R does not sell any tables at a price of $100, so R permanently marks down the retail selling price of its tables to $90 each. As a result of the $10 markdown, R’s supplier provides R a $6 per table margin protection payment. R sells 25 tables during 2010 and has 15 tables in ending inventory at the end of 2010. (ii) Under paragraph (b)(2)(i)(A) of this section, the numerator of the cost complement is the aggregate cost of the tables. Under paragraph (b)(2)(iii)(A) of this section, R may not reduce the numerator of the cost complement by the amount of the margin protection payment. Under paragraph (b)(2)(i)(B) of this section, the denominator of the cost complement is the aggregate of the bona fide retail selling prices of all the tables at the time acquired. Under paragraph (b)(2)(iii)(B) of this section, R excludes the markdown from the denominator of the cost complement. Therefore, R’s cost complement is $2,400/$4,000, or 60 percent. (iii) Under paragraph (b)(3) of this section, R includes the permanent markdown in determining year-end retail selling prices. Therefore, the aggregate retail selling price of R’s ending table inventory is $1,350 (15 * $90). Approximating LCM under the retail method, the value of R’s ending table inventory is $810 (60 percent * $1,350). Example 2. (i) The facts are the same as in Example 1, except that R permanently reduces the retail selling price of all 40 tables to $50 per unit and the 15 tables on hand at the end of the year are marked for sale at that price. In contrast to the $10 markdown, the additional $40 markdown is unrelated to a Flooding source(s) margin protection payment or other allowance. (ii) Under paragraph (b)(2)(iii)(B) of this section, R excludes the markdowns from the denominator of the cost complement. Therefore, R’s cost complement is $2,400/ $4,000, or 60 percent. (iii) Under paragraph (b)(3) of this section, R includes the markdowns in determining year-end retail selling prices. Therefore, the aggregate retail selling price of R’s ending inventory is $750 (15 * $50). Approximating LCM under the retail method, the value of R’s ending inventory is $450 (60 percent * $750). Example 3. (i) The facts are the same as in Example 1, except that R uses the LIFO inventory method. R must value inventories at cost and, under paragraph (c) of this section, uses the retail method to approximate cost. (ii) Under paragraph (b)(2)(i)(A) of this section, R reduces the numerator of the cost complement by the amount of the margin protection payment. Under paragraph (b)(2)(i)(B) of this section, R includes the markdown in the denominator of the cost complement. Therefore, R’s cost complement is $2,160/$3,600, or 60 percent. (iii) Under paragraph (b)(3) of this section, R includes the markdown in determining year-end retail selling prices. Therefore, the aggregate retail selling price of R’s ending inventory is $1,350 (15 * $90). Approximating cost under the retail method, the value of R’s ending inventory is $810 (60 percent * $1,350). (f) Effective/applicability date. This section applies to taxable years beginning after the date these regulations are published as final regulations in the Federal Register. Steven T. Miller, Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement. [FR Doc. 2011–25946 Filed 10–6–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4830–01–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency 44 CFR Part 67 [Docket ID FEMA–2010–0003; Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA–B–1101] Proposed Flood Elevation Determinations Correction In proposed rule document 2011– 19545 appearing on pages 46715–46716 in the issue of August 3, 2011, make the following correction: In the proposed rule document 2011– 19545, the table appearing on pages 46715–46716 was printed incorrectly. It was corrected and appears below: * Elevation in feet (NGVD) + Elevation in feet (NAVD) # Depth in feet above ground ∧ Elevation in meters (MSL) Location of referenced elevation * * 62329 Effective Communities affected Modified Anne Arundel County, Maryland, and Incorporated Areas Cabin Branch ....................................... Approximately 122 feet downstream of Chessie System. +8 +7 Approximately 325 feet upstream of Andover Road. At the Midway Branch confluence ...................... + 115 + 118 None + 127 None + 214 Hall Creek ............................................ Approximately 780 feet upstream of Clark Road. At the most downstream Calvert County boundary. + 43 + 40 Little Patuxent River ............................ At the most upstream Calvert County boundary Approximately 600 feet upstream of the Patuxent River confluence. + 54 + 43 + 52 + 46 + 130 + 132 Marley Creek ....................................... Approximately 1,456 feet upstream of Brock Bridge Road. Approximately 485 feet upstream of Arundel Expressway. +8 +7 Approximately 165 feet upstream of Elevation Road. + 28 + 26 pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 Franklin Branch .................................... VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:03 Oct 06, 2011 Jkt 226001 PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\07OCP1.SGM 07OCP1 Unincorporated Areas of Anne Arundel County. Unincorporated Areas of Anne Arundel County. Unincorporated Areas of Anne Arundel County. Unincorporated Areas of Anne Arundel County. Unincorporated Areas of Anne Arundel County.

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 195 (Friday, October 7, 2011)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 62327-62329]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-25946]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY

Internal Revenue Service

26 CFR Part 1

[REG-125949-10]
RIN 1545-BJ64


Retail Inventory Method

AGENCY: Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This document contains proposed regulations relating to the 
retail inventory method of accounting. The regulations restate and 
clarify the computation of ending inventory values under the retail 
inventory method and provide a special rule for certain taxpayers that 
receive margin protection payments and similar vendor allowances. The 
regulations affect taxpayers that are retailers and elect to use a 
retail inventory method.

DATES: Written or electronically generated comments and requests for a 
public hearing must be received by January 5, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Send submissions to: CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-125949-10), room 
5203, Internal Revenue Service, P.O. Box 7604, Ben Franklin Station, 
Washington, DC 20044. Submissions may be hand delivered Monday through 
Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. to: CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-
125949-10), Courier's Desk, Internal Revenue Service, 1111 Constitution 
Avenue, NW., Washington, DC. Alternatively, taxpayers may submit 
comments electronically via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov (IRS REG-125949-10).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Concerning the proposed regulations, 
Natasha M. Mulleneaux, (202) 622-3967; concerning submission of 
comments and requests for a public hearing, Richard Hurst at 
Richard.A.Hurst@irscounsel.treas.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    This document contains proposed amendments to 26 CFR part 1 
relating to the retail inventory method under Sec.  1.471-8 of the 
Income Tax Regulations.
    Section 471 provides that a taxpayer's method of accounting for 
inventories must clearly reflect income. Section 1.471-2(c) provides 
that the bases of inventory valuation most commonly used and meeting 
the requirements of section 471 are (1) cost and (2) cost or market, 
whichever is lower (LCM). Section 1.471-8 allows retailers to 
approximate cost or LCM by using the retail inventory method. A last-
in, first out (LIFO) taxpayer that elects to use the retail inventory 
method must approximate cost.
    Under the retail inventory method, the retail selling price of 
ending inventory is converted to approximate cost or approximate LCM 
using a cost-to-retail ratio, or cost complement. The numerator of the 
cost complement is the value of beginning inventory plus the cost of 
purchases during the taxable year, and the denominator is the retail 
selling prices of beginning inventories plus the initial retail selling 
prices of purchases. The cost complement is then multiplied by the 
retail selling price of ending inventory (multiplicand) to determine 
the ending inventory value.
    Section 1.471-3 provides that, for inventory valuation purposes, 
the cost of purchases during the year generally includes invoice price 
less trade or other discounts. A discount may be based on a retailer's 
sales volume (sales-based allowance) or on the quantity of merchandise 
a retailer purchases (volume-based allowance), or may relate to a 
retailer's reduction in retail selling price (markdown allowance or 
margin protection payment). A vendor may provide a retailer with a 
markdown allowance or margin protection payment when the retailer 
temporarily or permanently reduces the retail selling price of its 
inventory to sell it. A markdown allowance or margin protection payment 
differs from other types of discounts because it is intended to 
maintain the retailer's profit margin and therefore is directly related 
to the inventory selling price.
    Under proposed Sec.  1.471-3(e) (75 FR 78944), the amount of an 
allowance, discount, or price rebate a taxpayer earns by selling 
specific merchandise (a sales-based vendor allowance) is a reduction in 
the cost of the merchandise sold and does not reduce the inventory cost 
or value of goods on hand at the end of the taxable year.

Explanation of Provisions

1. Overview

    The proposed regulations restructure and restate the regulations 
under Sec.  1.471-8 in plain language. The proposed regulations also 
add rules addressing the treatment of sales-based vendor allowances and 
of vendor markdown allowances and margin protection payments in the 
retail inventory method computation.

2. Sales-Based Vendor Allowances

    The proposed regulations clarify the interaction of proposed Sec.  
1.471-3(e) with the retail inventory method by excluding from the 
numerator of the cost complement formula the amount of a sales-based 
vendor allowance.

3. Computation of Cost Complement Under the Retail LCM Method

    The retail inventory method determines an ending inventory value by 
maintaining proportionality between costs and selling prices. Under the 
retail LCM method, a reduction in retail selling price reduces the 
value of ending inventory in the same ratio as the cost complement.
    If a taxpayer earns an allowance, discount, or price rebate, the 
inventory cost in the numerator of the cost complement declines, 
resulting in a reduction of ending inventory value computed under the 
retail inventory method. If the allowance, discount, or price rebate is 
related to a permanent markdown of the retail selling price (as in the 
case of a markdown allowance or margin protection payment), ending 
inventory value is further reduced as a result of the decrease in 
ending retail selling prices (the multiplicand in the formula). This 
additional reduction of ending inventory value caused by reducing both 
the numerator of the cost complement and the multiplicand (1) Generally 
results in a lower ending inventory value for a retail LCM method 
taxpayer than for a similarly situated first-in, first-out (FIFO) 
taxpayer that values inventory at LCM, and (2) does not clearly reflect 
income.
    To address this distortion, the proposed regulations provide that a 
retail LCM method taxpayer may not reduce the numerator of the cost 
complement for an allowance, discount, or price rebate that is related 
to or intended to compensate for a permanent markdown of retail selling 
prices. Thus, in the case of markdown allowances and margin protection 
payments, the value of ending inventory as computed under the retail 
LCM method is reduced solely as a result of the reduction in retail 
selling price, avoiding an unwarranted

[[Page 62328]]

additional reduction in inventory value for a single markdown allowance 
and more reasonably approximating LCM.
    As an alternative to this proposed modification, the retail 
inventory method could achieve the same result by permitting taxpayers 
to reduce the numerator of the cost complement for all non-sales based 
allowances, discounts, or price rebates, including markdown allowances, 
but requiring a reduction of the denominator of the cost complement for 
all permanent markdowns related to markdown allowances. Comments are 
specifically requested on whether the final regulations should provide 
this or other alternative retail LCM methods.

4. Temporary Price Adjustments

    The proposed regulations clarify that under the retail inventory 
method taxpayers do not adjust the cost complement or ending retail 
selling prices for temporary markdowns and markups.

Effective/Applicability Date

    These regulations are proposed to apply for taxable years beginning 
after the date the regulations are published as final regulations in 
the Federal Register.

Special Analyses

    It has been determined that this notice of proposed rulemaking is 
not a significant regulatory action as defined in Executive Order 
12866. Therefore, a regulatory assessment is not required. It also has 
been determined that section 553(b) of the Administrative Procedure Act 
(5 U.S.C. chapter 5) does not apply to these regulations, and because 
these regulations do not impose a collection of information on small 
entities, the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6) does not 
apply. Pursuant to section 7805(f) of the Internal Revenue Code, this 
notice of proposed rulemaking will be submitted to the Chief Counsel 
for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for comment on their 
impact on small business.

Comments and Requests for a Public Hearing

    Before these proposed regulations are adopted as final regulations, 
consideration will be given to any written comments that are submitted 
timely to the IRS. Comments may be submitted electronically or via a 
signed original with eight (8) copies. Comments are requested on the 
clarity of the proposed rules and how they can be made easier to 
understand. All comments will be available for public inspection and 
copying.
    A public hearing will be scheduled if requested in writing by any 
person that timely submits comments. If a public hearing is scheduled, 
notice of the date, time, and place for the hearing will be published 
in the Federal Register.

Drafting Information

    The principal author of these regulations is Natasha M. Mulleneaux 
of the Office of the Associate Chief Counsel (Income Tax & Accounting). 
Other personnel from the IRS and Treasury Department participated in 
their development.

List of Subjects in 26 CFR Part 1

    Income taxes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Proposed Amendments to the Regulations

    Accordingly, 26 CFR part 1 is proposed to be amended as follows:

PART 1--INCOME TAXES

    Paragraph 1. The authority citation for part 1 continues to read in 
part as follows:

    Authority:  26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *

    Par. 2. Section 1.471-8 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  1.471-8  Inventories of retail merchants.

    (a) In general. A taxpayer that is a retail merchant may use the 
retail inventory method of accounting described in this section. The 
retail inventory method uses a formula to convert the retail selling 
price of ending inventory to an approximation of cost (retail cost 
method) or an approximation of lower of cost or market (retail LCM 
method). A taxpayer may use the retail inventory method instead of 
valuing inventory at cost under Sec.  1.471-3 or lower of cost or 
market under Sec.  1.471-4.
    (b) Computation--(1) In general. A taxpayer computes the value of 
ending inventory under the retail inventory method by multiplying a 
cost complement by the retail selling prices of the goods on hand at 
the end of the taxable year.
    (2) Cost complement--(i) In general. The cost complement is a ratio 
computed as follows--
    (A) The numerator is the value of beginning inventory plus the cost 
of goods purchased during the taxable year; and
    (B) The denominator is the retail selling prices of beginning 
inventory plus the retail selling prices of goods purchased during the 
year (that is, the bona fide retail selling prices of the items at the 
time acquired), adjusted for all permanent markups and markdowns, 
including markup and markdown cancellations and corrections. The 
denominator is not adjusted for temporary markups or markdowns.
    (ii) Sales-based vendor allowances. A taxpayer may not reduce the 
numerator of the cost complement by the amount of an allowance, 
discount, or price rebate a taxpayer earns by selling specific 
merchandise.
    (iii) Special rules for cost complement for retail LCM method--(A) 
Margin protection payments and similar allowances. A taxpayer using the 
retail inventory method to approximate LCM may not reduce the numerator 
of the cost complement by the amount of an allowance, discount, or 
price rebate that is related to or intended to compensate for a 
permanent reduction in the taxpayer's retail selling price of inventory 
(for example, a margin protection payment or markdown allowance).
    (B) Exclusion of markdowns in denominator. A taxpayer using the 
retail inventory method to approximate LCM excludes markdowns (and 
markdown cancellations or corrections) from the denominator of the cost 
complement. Any markups must be reduced by the markdowns made to cancel 
or correct them.
    (3) Ending inventory retail selling prices. A taxpayer must include 
all permanent markups and markdowns but may not include temporary 
markups or markdowns in determining the retail selling prices of goods 
on hand at the end of the taxable year. A taxpayer may not include a 
markdown that is not an actual reduction of retail selling price.
    (c) Special rules for LIFO taxpayers. A taxpayer using the last-in, 
first-out (LIFO) inventory method with the retail inventory method uses 
the retail inventory method to approximate cost. See Sec.  1.472-1(k) 
for additional adjustments for a taxpayer using the LIFO inventory 
method with the retail cost method.
    (d) Scope of retail inventory method. A taxpayer may use the retail 
inventory method to value ending inventory for a department, a class of 
goods, or a stock-keeping unit. A taxpayer maintaining more than one 
department or dealing in classes of goods with different percentages of 
gross profit must compute cost complements separately for each 
department or class of goods.
    (e) Examples. The following examples illustrate the rules of this 
section:

    Example 1. (i) R, a retail merchant who uses the retail method 
to approximate LCM, has no beginning inventory in 2010. R purchases 
40 tables during 2010 for $60 each for a total of $2,400. R offers 
the tables for

[[Page 62329]]

sale at $100 each for an aggregate retail selling price of $4,000. R 
does not sell any tables at a price of $100, so R permanently marks 
down the retail selling price of its tables to $90 each. As a result 
of the $10 markdown, R's supplier provides R a $6 per table margin 
protection payment. R sells 25 tables during 2010 and has 15 tables 
in ending inventory at the end of 2010.
    (ii) Under paragraph (b)(2)(i)(A) of this section, the numerator 
of the cost complement is the aggregate cost of the tables. Under 
paragraph (b)(2)(iii)(A) of this section, R may not reduce the 
numerator of the cost complement by the amount of the margin 
protection payment. Under paragraph (b)(2)(i)(B) of this section, 
the denominator of the cost complement is the aggregate of the bona 
fide retail selling prices of all the tables at the time acquired. 
Under paragraph (b)(2)(iii)(B) of this section, R excludes the 
markdown from the denominator of the cost complement. Therefore, R's 
cost complement is $2,400/$4,000, or 60 percent.
    (iii) Under paragraph (b)(3) of this section, R includes the 
permanent markdown in determining year-end retail selling prices. 
Therefore, the aggregate retail selling price of R's ending table 
inventory is $1,350 (15 * $90). Approximating LCM under the retail 
method, the value of R's ending table inventory is $810 (60 percent 
* $1,350).
    Example 2. (i) The facts are the same as in Example 1, except 
that R permanently reduces the retail selling price of all 40 tables 
to $50 per unit and the 15 tables on hand at the end of the year are 
marked for sale at that price. In contrast to the $10 markdown, the 
additional $40 markdown is unrelated to a margin protection payment 
or other allowance.
    (ii) Under paragraph (b)(2)(iii)(B) of this section, R excludes 
the markdowns from the denominator of the cost complement. 
Therefore, R's cost complement is $2,400/$4,000, or 60 percent.
    (iii) Under paragraph (b)(3) of this section, R includes the 
markdowns in determining year-end retail selling prices. Therefore, 
the aggregate retail selling price of R's ending inventory is $750 
(15 * $50). Approximating LCM under the retail method, the value of 
R's ending inventory is $450 (60 percent * $750).
    Example 3. (i) The facts are the same as in Example 1, except 
that R uses the LIFO inventory method. R must value inventories at 
cost and, under paragraph (c) of this section, uses the retail 
method to approximate cost.
    (ii) Under paragraph (b)(2)(i)(A) of this section, R reduces the 
numerator of the cost complement by the amount of the margin 
protection payment. Under paragraph (b)(2)(i)(B) of this section, R 
includes the markdown in the denominator of the cost complement. 
Therefore, R's cost complement is $2,160/$3,600, or 60 percent.
    (iii) Under paragraph (b)(3) of this section, R includes the 
markdown in determining year-end retail selling prices. Therefore, 
the aggregate retail selling price of R's ending inventory is $1,350 
(15 * $90). Approximating cost under the retail method, the value of 
R's ending inventory is $810 (60 percent * $1,350).

    (f) Effective/applicability date. This section applies to taxable 
years beginning after the date these regulations are published as final 
regulations in the Federal Register.

 Steven T. Miller,
Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement.
[FR Doc. 2011-25946 Filed 10-6-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4830-01-P