Determination of the Maximum Value of a Vehicle for Use With the Fleet-Average and Vehicle Cents-per-Mile Valuation Rules, 44258-44262 [2019-18044]

Download as PDF 44258 Proposed Rules Federal Register Vol. 84, No. 164 Friday, August 23, 2019 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules. DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 1 [REG–101378–19] RIN 1545–BP14 Determination of the Maximum Value of a Vehicle for Use With the FleetAverage and Vehicle Cents-per-Mile Valuation Rules Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking. AGENCY: This document sets forth proposed regulations regarding special valuation rules for employers and employees to use in determining the amount to include in an employee’s gross income for personal use of an employer-provided vehicle. The proposed regulations reflect changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Public Law 115–97 (the Act). DATES: Comments and requests for a public hearing must be received by October 22, 2019. ADDRESSES: Submit electronic submissions via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov (indicate IRS and REG–101378–19) by following the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted to the Federal eRulemaking Portal, comments cannot be edited or withdrawn. The Department of the Treasury (Treasury Department) and the IRS will publish for public availability any comment received to its public docket, whether submitted electronically or in hard copy. Send hard copy submissions to: CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG–101378–19), 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–101378– 19), Courier’s Desk, Internal Revenue jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:14 Aug 22, 2019 Jkt 247001 Service, 1111 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20224. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Concerning the proposed regulations, Gabriel J. Minc at (202) 317–4774; concerning submissions of comments or to request a public hearing, Regina L. Johnson at (202) 317–6901 (not toll-free numbers). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background If an employer provides an employee with a vehicle that is available to the employee for personal use, the value of the personal use must generally be included in the employee’s income under section 61 of the Internal Revenue Code (the Code). In addition, benefits paid as remuneration for employment, including the personal use of employerprovided vehicles, generally are also wages for purposes of the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA), the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) and the Collection of Income Tax at Source on Wages (federal income tax withholding). Sections 3121(a), 3306(b), and 3401(a). The amount that must be included in the employee’s income and wages for the personal use of an employerprovided vehicle generally is determined by reference to the vehicle’s fair market value (FMV). However, the regulations under section 61 provide special valuation rules for employerprovided vehicles. If an employer chooses to use a special valuation rule, the special value is treated as the FMV of the benefit for income tax and employment tax purposes. § 1.61– 21(b)(4). Two such special valuation rules, the fleet-average valuation rule and the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule, are set forth in § 1.61–21(d)(5)(v) and § 1.61–21(e), respectively. These two special valuation rules are subject to limitations, including that they may be used only in connection with vehicles having values that do not exceed a maximum amount set forth in the regulations. Under the current § 1.61–21 regulations (the final regulations), the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule may be used only to value the personal use of a vehicle having a value no greater than $12,800 (the sum of the maximum recovery deductions allowable under section 280F(a)(2) for the recovery period of the vehicle). PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 § 1.61–21(e)(1)(iii). The fleet-average valuation rule may be used only to value the personal use of vehicles having values no greater than $16,500. § 1.61–21(d)(5)(v)(D). (The fleet-average valuation rule uses the term ‘‘automobile’’ rather than ‘‘vehicle.’’ For convenience, this preamble uses the term ‘‘vehicle’’ except in specific discussions of the fleet-average valuation rule or the section 280F depreciation limitations.) Under the final regulations, each of these maximum values is adjusted annually pursuant to section 280F(d)(7). The Fleet-Average Valuation Rule The fleet-average valuation rule is an optional component of a special valuation rule called the automobile lease valuation rule set forth in § 1.61– 21(d). Under the automobile lease valuation rule, the value of the personal use of an employer-provided automobile available to an employee for an entire year is the portion of the annual lease value determined under the regulations (Annual Lease Value) relating to the availability of the automobile for personal use. Furthermore, provided the FMV of the automobile does not exceed the maximum value permitted under § 1.61–21(d)(5)(v), an employer with a fleet of 20 or more automobiles may use a fleet-average value for purposes of calculating the Annual Lease Value of any automobile in the fleet. The fleet-average value is the average of the fair market values of all the automobiles in the fleet. However, § 1.61–21(d)(5)(v)(D) provides that the value of an employee’s personal use of an automobile may not be determined under the fleet-average valuation rule for a calendar year if the FMV of the automobile on the first date the automobile is made available to the employee exceeds the base value of $16,500, as adjusted annually pursuant to section 280F(d)(7). Section 1.61– 21(d)(5)(v)(D) provides that the first such adjustment shall be for calendar year 1989, subject to minor modifications to the section 280F(d)(7) formula specified in the regulations. In other words, under the final regulations, the maximum value for use of the fleetaverage rule is the base value of $16,500, as adjusted annually under section 280F(d)(7) every year since 1989. E:\FR\FM\23AUP1.SGM 23AUP1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 164 / Friday, August 23, 2019 / Proposed Rules Prior to enactment of the Act, the automobile price inflation adjustment of section 280F(d)(7)(B) was calculated using the ‘‘new car’’ component of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) ‘‘automobile component.’’ Beginning in 2005, the IRS began to calculate the price inflation adjustment for trucks and vans separately from cars using the ‘‘new truck’’ component of the CPI, and continued using the ‘‘new car’’ component of the CPI for automobiles other than trucks and vans. Rev. Proc. 2005–48, 2005–32 I.R.B. 271. For 2017, the year prior to the enactment of the Act, the maximum value for use of this rule was $21,100 for a passenger automobile and $23,300 for a truck or van. See Notice 2017–03, 2017–2 I.R.B. 368. Section 1.61–21(d)(5)(v)(B) provides that the fleet-average valuation rule may be used by an employer as of January 1 of any calendar year following the calendar year in which the employer acquires a sufficient number of automobiles to total a fleet of 20 or more, each one satisfying the maximum value requirement of § 1.61– 21(d)(5)(v)(D). The Annual Lease Value calculated for automobiles in the fleet, based on the fleet-average value, must remain in effect for the period that begins with the first January 1 the fleetaverage valuation rule is applied by the employer to the automobiles in the fleet and ends on December 31 of the subsequent calendar year. The Annual Lease Value for each subsequent twoyear period is calculated by determining the fleet average value of the automobiles in the fleet as of the first January 1 of such period. An employer may cease using the fleet-average valuation rule as of any January 1. jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with PROPOSALS 2. The Vehicle Cents-per-Mile Valuation Rule Another special valuation rule is the vehicle cents-per-mile rule in § 1.61– 21(e). Under § 1.61–21(e), if an employer provides an employee with the use of a vehicle that the employer reasonably expects will be regularly used in the employer’s trade or business throughout the calendar year (or such shorter period as the vehicle may be owned or leased by the employer), or that satisfies the requirements of § 1.61– 21(e)(1)(ii) (i.e., the vehicle is actually driven at least 10,000 miles in the year and use of the vehicle during the year is primarily by employees), the value of the personal use may be determined based on the applicable standard mileage rate multiplied by the total number of miles the vehicle is driven by the employee for personal purposes. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:14 Aug 22, 2019 Jkt 247001 Section 1.61–21(e)(1)(iii)(A) provides that the value of the personal use may not be determined under the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule for a calendar year if the fair market value of the vehicle on the first date the vehicle is made available to the employee exceeds the sum of the maximum recovery deductions allowable under section 280F(a) for a five-year period for an automobile first placed in service during that calendar year (whether or not the automobile is actually placed in service during that year), as adjusted by section 280F(d)(7). The final regulations also provide that, under this rule, with respect to a vehicle placed in service in or after 1989, the limitation on value is $12,800, as adjusted under section 280F(d)(7). In other words, under the final regulations, the maximum value of a vehicle for use of the vehicle centsper-mile valuation rule is the base value of $12,800, as adjusted annually under section 280F(d)(7) since 1989. As with the fleet-average valuation rule, beginning in 2005, the IRS calculated the price inflation adjustment for trucks and vans separately from cars. See Rev. Proc. 2005–48. For 2017, the year prior to the enactment of the Act, the maximum value for use of the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule was $15,900 for a passenger automobile and $17,800 for a truck or van. See Notice 2017–03. Section 1.61–21(e)(5)(i) states that an employer must adopt the vehicle centsper-mile valuation rule for a vehicle to take effect by the first day on which the vehicle is used by an employee of the employer for personal use (or, if another special valuation rule called the commuting valuation rule of § 1.61– 21(f) is used when the vehicle is first used by an employee of the employer for personal use, the first day on which the commuting valuation rule is not used). Section 1.61–21(e)(5)(ii) also provides, in part, that once the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule has been adopted for a vehicle by an employer, the rule must be used by the employer for all subsequent years in which the vehicle qualifies for use of the rule, except that the employer may, for any year during which use of the vehicle qualifies for the commuting valuation rule of § 1.61–21(f), use the commuting valuation rule with respect to the vehicle. 3. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Changes and the Maximum Vehicle Values for 2018 and 2019 The Act made the following amendments to the Code: (1) For owners of passenger automobiles, section 280F(a), as PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 44259 modified by section 13202(a)(1) of the Act, imposes dollar limitations on the depreciation deduction for the year the taxpayer places the passenger automobile in service and for each succeeding year. The amendments made by the Act substantially increase the maximum annual dollar limitations on the depreciation deductions for passenger automobiles. The new dollar limitations are based on the depreciation, over a five-year recovery period, of a passenger automobile with a cost of $50,000 (formerly $12,800). (2) Section 11002(d)(8) of the Act amended section 280F(d)(7)(B) effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017. Pursuant to these amendments, the price inflation amount for automobiles (including trucks and vans) is calculated using both the CPI automobile component and the Chained Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (C–CPI–U) automobile component. a. Notice 2019–08—The Maximum Value for 2018 To implement the changes described above, Notice 2019–08, 2019–3 I.R.B. 354, provides interim guidance for 2018 on new procedures for calculating the price inflation adjustments to the maximum vehicle values for use with the special valuation rules under § 1.61– 21(d) and (e) using section 280F(d)(7), as modified by sections 11002 and 13202 of the Act. Notice 2019–08 states that the Treasury Department and the IRS anticipated that further guidance would be issued in the form of proposed regulations and expected that the regulations would be consistent with the rules set forth in Notice 2019–08. Notice 2019–08 provides that, consistent with the substantial increase in the dollar limitations on depreciation deductions under section 280F(a), as modified by section 13202(a)(1) of the Act, the Treasury Department and the IRS intend to amend § 1.61–21(d) and (e) to incorporate a higher base value of $50,000 as the maximum value for use of the vehicle cents-per-mile and fleetaverage valuation rules effective for the 2018 calendar year. Notice 2019–08 further states that the Treasury Department and the IRS intend that the regulations would be modified to provide that this $50,000 base value will be adjusted annually using section 280F(d)(7) for 2019 and subsequent years. Accordingly, Notice 2019–08 provides that, for 2018, the maximum value for use of the vehicle cents-permile and fleet-average valuation rules is $50,000. Finally, for 2018 and 2019, Notice 2019–08 provides that the Treasury E:\FR\FM\23AUP1.SGM 23AUP1 44260 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 164 / Friday, August 23, 2019 / Proposed Rules jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with PROPOSALS Department and the IRS will not publish separate maximum values for trucks and vans for use with the fleet-average and vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rules. As noted above, the Act amended section 280F(d)(7)(B) to make inflation adjustments based on the CPI and C– CPI–U automobile component. The C– CPI–U automobile component does not currently have separate components for new cars and new trucks. Accordingly, due to the lack of data, the Treasury Department and the IRS will publish only one maximum value of a vehicle for use with the vehicle cents-per-mile and fleet-average valuation rules beginning in 2019. b. Notice 2019–34—The Maximum Vehicle Value for 2019 Notice 2019–34, 2019–22 I.R.B. 1257, provides that the inflation-adjusted maximum value of an employerprovided vehicle (including cars, vans and trucks) first made available to employees for personal use in calendar year 2019 for which the vehicle centsper-mile valuation rule provided under § 1.61–21(e), or the fleet-average valuation rule provided under § 1.61– 21(d), may be applicable is $50,400. Notice 2019–34 also provides information about the manner in which the Treasury Department and the IRS intend to publish this maximum vehicle value in the future. As noted in Notice 2019–34, Rev. Proc. 2010–51, 2010–51 I.R.B. 883, provides rules for using optional standard mileage rates in computing the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical, or moving expense purposes. Section 2.12(1) of Rev. Proc. 2010–51 provides that the IRS publishes both the standard mileage rates for the use of an automobile for business, charitable, medical, and moving expense purposes, and the maximum standard automobile cost that may be used in computing the allowance under a fixed and variable rate (FAVR) plan, in a separate annual notice. See, e.g., Notice 2019–02, 2019– 02 I.R.B. 281. Notice 2019–34 indicates that, in amending § 1.61–21(d) and (e) to incorporate a higher base value of $50,000 as the maximum value for use with the vehicle cents-per-mile and the fleet-average valuation rules, the IRS and Treasury Department expected that the maximum value for use of those rules for 2019 and subsequent years would be the same as the maximum standard automobile cost that may be used in computing the allowance under a FAVR plan. Accordingly, Notice 2019–34 provides that the maximum value for use with the fleet-average and VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:14 Aug 22, 2019 Jkt 247001 vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rules will be published in the annual notice providing the standard mileage rates for use of an automobile for business, charitable, medical, and moving expense purposes and the maximum standard automobile cost that may be used in computing the allowance under a FAVR plan. Notice 2019–34 also provides that the Treasury Department and the IRS intend to revise § 1.61–21(d) to include a transition rule for any employer that did not qualify to use the fleet-average valuation rule prior to January 1, 2018 because the inflation-adjusted maximum value requirement of § 1.61– 21(d)(5)(v)(D), as published by the IRS in a notice or revenue procedure applicable to the year the automobile was first made available to any employee of the employer, was not met. In such a case, under the transition rule, the employer may adopt the fleetaverage valuation rule for 2018 or 2019, provided the requirements of § 1.61– 21(d)(5)(v) are met for that year using the maximum values set forth in Notice 2019–08 ($50,000) or Notice 2019–34 ($50,400), respectively. In addition, Notice 2019–34 states that the Treasury Department and the IRS intend to revise § 1.61–21(e) to provide a transition rule for vehicles first made available to employees for personal use before calendar year 2018, if the employer did not qualify under § 1.61–21(e)(5) to adopt the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule for the vehicle on the first day on which the vehicle was used by the employee for personal use because the fair market value of the vehicle exceeded the inflation-adjusted limitation of § 1.61– 21(e)(1)(iii) as published by the IRS in a notice or revenue procedure applicable to the year the vehicle was first used by the employee for personal use. In such a case, under the transition rule, the employer may first adopt the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule for the 2018 or 2019 taxable year based on the maximum fair market value of a vehicle for purposes of the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule set forth in Notice 2019–08 ($50,000) or Notice 2019–34 ($50,400), respectively. Similarly, Notice 2019–34 also provides that the Treasury Department and the IRS intend to amend § 1.61– 21(e) to provide a transition rule for a vehicle first placed in service before calendar year 2018 if the commuting valuation rule of § 1.61–21(f) was used when the vehicle was first used by an employee of the employer for personal use, and the employer did not qualify to switch to the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule on the first day on which PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 the commuting valuation rule was not used because the vehicle had a fair market value in excess of the inflationadjusted maximum permitted under § 1.61–21(e)(1)(iii) as published by the IRS in a notice or revenue procedure applicable to the year the commuting valuation rule was first not used. Under the transition rule, the employer may adopt the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule for the 2018 or 2019 taxable year based on the maximum fair market value of the vehicle for purposes of the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule set forth in Notice 2019–08 or Notice 2019–34, respectively. With respect to the transition rules described above, Notice 2019–34 adds that, consistent with § 1.61–21(e)(5), an employer that adopts the vehicle centsper-mile valuation rule must continue to use the rule for all subsequent years in which the vehicle qualifies for use of the rule, except that the employer may, for any year during which use of the vehicle qualifies for the commuting valuation rule of § 1.61–21(f), use the commuting valuation rule with respect to the vehicle. Explanation of Provisions These proposed regulations update the fleet-average and vehicle cents-permile valuation rules described in § 1.61– 21(d) and (e), respectively, to align the limitations on the maximum vehicle fair market values for use of these special valuation rules with the changes made by the Act to the depreciation limitations in section 280F. Specifically, consistent with the substantial increase in the dollar limitations on depreciation deductions under section 280F(a), these proposed regulations increase, effective for the 2018 calendar year, the maximum base fair market value of a vehicle for use of the fleet-average or vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule to $50,000. As previously, the maximum fair market value of a vehicle for purposes of the fleet-average and vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule is adjusted annually under section 280F(d)(7). This annual adjustment will be calculated in accordance with section 280F(d)(7) as amended by the Act. Consistent with Notice 2019–34, the Treasury Department and the IRS expect that the inflation-adjusted maximum fair market value for a vehicle for purposes of the fleet-average and vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rules will be included in the annual notice published by the IRS providing the standard mileage rates for the use of an automobile for business, charitable, medical, and moving expense purposes and the maximum standard automobile E:\FR\FM\23AUP1.SGM 23AUP1 jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 164 / Friday, August 23, 2019 / Proposed Rules cost for purposes of an allowance under a FAVR plan. Furthermore, consistent with Notice 2019–34, the following transition rules are included in these proposed regulations: (1) With respect to the fleet-average valuation rule, if an employer did not qualify to use the fleet-average valuation rule prior to January 1, 2018 with respect to an automobile because the fair market value of the automobile exceeded the inflation-adjusted maximum value requirement of § 1.61– 21(d)(5)(v)(D), as published by the IRS in a notice or revenue procedure applicable to the year the automobile was first made available to any employee of the employer, the employer may adopt the fleet-average valuation rule for 2018 or 2019, provided the fair market value of the automobile does not exceed $50,000 on January 1, 2018, or $50,400 on January 1, 2019, respectively. (2) With respect to the vehicle centsper-mile valuation rule, for a vehicle first made available to any employee of the employer for personal use before calendar year 2018, if an employer did not qualify under § 1.61–21(e)(5) to adopt the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule on the first day on which the vehicle was used by the employee for personal use because the fair market value of the vehicle exceeded the inflation-adjusted limitation of § 1.61– 21(e)(1)(iii), as published by the IRS in a notice or revenue procedure applicable to the year the vehicle was first used by the employee for personal use, the employer may first adopt the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule for the 2018 or 2019 taxable year with respect to the vehicle, provided the fair market value of the vehicle does not exceed $50,000 on January 1, 2018, or $50,400 on January 1, 2019, respectively. Similarly, if the commuting valuation rule of § 1.61– 21(f) was utilized when the vehicle was first used by an employee of the employer for personal use, and the employer did not qualify to switch to the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule on the first day on which the commuting valuation rule was not used because the vehicle had a fair market value in excess of the inflation-adjusted limitation of § 1.61–21(e)(1)(iii), as published by the IRS in a notice or revenue procedure applicable to the year the commuting valuation rule was first not used, the employer may adopt the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule for the 2018 or 2019 taxable year, provided the fair market value of the vehicle does not exceed $50,000 on January 1, 2018, or $50,400 on January VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:14 Aug 22, 2019 Jkt 247001 1, 2019, respectively. However, consistent with § 1.61–21(e)(5), an employer that adopts the vehicle centsper-mile valuation rule must continue to use the rule for all subsequent years in which the vehicle qualifies for use of the rule, except that the employer may, for any year during which use of the vehicle qualifies for the commuting valuation rule of § 1.61–21(f), use the commuting valuation rule with respect to the vehicle. Until amendments to the final regulations are published under Treas. Reg. § 1.61–21(d) and (e) in the Federal Register, taxpayers may rely on the guidance provided in these proposed regulations. Special Analyses These proposed regulations are not subject to review under section 6(b) of Executive Order 12866 pursuant to the Memorandum of Agreement (April 11, 2018) between the Department of the Treasury and the Office of Management and Budget regarding review of tax regulations. It is hereby certified that these proposed regulations will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6). This certification is based on the fact that the proposed regulations would update existing regulations to comport with the statutory changes to section 280F made by the Act. Although the proposed regulations might affect a substantial number of small entities, the economic impact of the proposed regulations is not expected to be significant. Since the current vehicle valuation rules in the regulations are tied to inflation adjustments under section 280F, the statutory changes to section 280F necessitate modifications to the procedures for calculating annual inflation adjustments to the maximum fair market value of a vehicle permitted for use with the fleet-average and vehicle cents-per-mile special valuation rules. These proposed revised special valuation rules are consistent with the base values and methodology used for section 280F purposes and simplify the determination of the amount employers must include in employees’ income and wages for income and employment tax purposes for the personal use of employer-provided vehicles. The modifications that would be made by these proposed regulations to the maximum fair market value of a vehicle permitted for use with the fleet-average and vehicle cents-per-mile special valuation rules, and the transition rules provided in connection with these PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 44261 proposed regulations, increase the number of employers and employees that may take advantage of the special valuation rules, without increasing costs to the employer. Notwithstanding this certification that the proposed regulations would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, the Treasury Department and the IRS invite comments on the impacts these proposed regulations may have on small entities. Pursuant to section 7805(f), these proposed regulations will be submitted to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for comment on its impact on small business. Comments and Requests for Public Hearing The Treasury Department and the IRS request comments on all aspects of the proposed rules. Before these proposed regulations are adopted as final regulations, consideration will be given to any comments that are submitted timely to the IRS as prescribed in this preamble under the ADDRESSES heading. All comments are available at https:// www.regulations.gov or upon request. If a public hearing is scheduled, notice of the date, time, and place of the public hearing will be published in the Federal Register. Drafting Information The principal author of these regulations is Gabriel Minc of the Office of the Associate Chief Counsel (Employee Benefits, Exempt Organizations, and Employment Tax). However, other personnel from the IRS and the Treasury Department participated in their development. Statement of Availability The IRS Notices and Revenue Procedures cited in this preamble are published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin (or Cumulative Bulletin) and are available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Publishing Office, Washington, DC 20402, or by visiting the IRS website at http://www.irs.gov. 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: E:\FR\FM\23AUP1.SGM 23AUP1 44262 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 164 / Friday, August 23, 2019 / Proposed Rules 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 1.61–21 is amended by revising paragraph (d)(5)(v)(D), adding paragraphs (d)(5)(v)(G) and (H), revising paragraph (e)(1)(iii)(A), revising paragraph (e)(5)(i), and adding paragraphs (e)(5)(vi) and (e)(6), to read as follows: ■ § 1.61–21 Taxation of fringe benefits. jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with PROPOSALS * * * * * (d) * * * (5) * * * (v) * * * (D) Limitations on use of fleet-average rule. The rule provided in this paragraph (d)(5)(v) may not be used for any automobile the fair market value of which (determined pursuant to paragraphs (d)(5)(i) through (iv) of this section as of the first date on which the automobile is made available to any employee of the employer for personal use) exceeds $50,000, as adjusted by section 280F(d)(7). The first such adjustment shall be for calendar year 2019. In addition, the rule provided in this paragraph (d)(5)(v) may only be used for automobiles that the employer reasonably expects will regularly be used in the employer’s trade or business. For rules concerning when an automobile is regularly used in the employer’s business, see paragraph (e)(1)(iv) of this section. * * * * * (G) Transition rule for 2018 and 2019. Notwithstanding paragraph (d)(5)(v)(B) of this section, an employer that did not qualify to use the fleet-average valuation rule prior to January 1, 2018 with respect to any automobile (including a truck or van) because the fair market value of the vehicle exceeded the inflation-adjusted maximum value requirement of paragraph (d)(5)(v)(D) of this section, as published by the Service in a notice or revenue procedure applicable to the year the vehicle was first made available to any employee of the employer, may adopt the fleetaverage valuation rule for 2018 or 2019 with respect to the vehicle, provided the fair market value of the vehicle does not exceed $50,000 on January 1, 2018, or $50,400 on January 1, 2019, respectively. (H) Applicability date. Paragraphs (d)(5)(v)(D), and (G) of this section apply to taxable years beginning on or after [INSERT DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE FINAL RULE IN THE Federal Register]. Notwithstanding the first VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:14 Aug 22, 2019 Jkt 247001 sentence of this paragraph (d)(5)(v)(H), any taxpayer may choose to apply paragraph (d)(5)(v)(G) of this section beginning on or after January 1, 2018. * * * * * (e) * * * (1) * * * (iii) * * * (A) In general. The value of the use of an automobile (as defined in paragraph (d)(1)(ii) of this section) may not be determined under the vehicle cents-permile valuation rule of this paragraph (e) for a calendar year if the fair market value of the automobile (determined pursuant to paragraphs (d)(5)(i) through (iv) of this section as of the first date on which the automobile is made available to any employee of the employer for personal use) exceeds $50,000, as adjusted by section 280F(d)(7). The first such adjustment shall be for calendar year 2019. * * * * * (5) * * * (i) Use of the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule by an employer. An employer must adopt the vehicle centsper-mile valuation rule of this paragraph (e) for a vehicle to take effect by the first day on which the vehicle is used by an employee of the employer for personal use (or, if the commuting valuation rule of paragraph (f) of this section is used when the vehicle is first used by an employee of the employer for personal use, the first day on which the commuting valuation rule is not used). * * * * * (vi) Transition rule for 2018 and 2019. For a vehicle first made available to any employee of the employer for personal use before calendar year 2018, if an employer did not qualify under this paragraph (e)(5) to adopt the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule on the first day on which the vehicle is used by the employee for personal use because the fair market value of the vehicle exceeded the inflation-adjusted limitation of paragraph (e)(1)(iii), as published by the Service in a notice or revenue procedure applicable to the year the vehicle was first used by the employee for personal use, may first adopt the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule for the 2018 or 2019 taxable year, provided the fair market value of the vehicle does not exceed $50,000 on January 1, 2018, or $50,400 on January 1, 2019, respectively. Similarly, for a vehicle first made available to any employee of the employer for personal use before calendar year 2018, if the commuting valuation rule of paragraph (f) of this section was used when the vehicle was first used by the employee for personal PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 use, and the employer did not qualify to switch to the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule of this paragraph (e) on the first day on which the commuting valuation rule of paragraph (f) of this section was not used because the vehicle had a fair market value in excess of the inflation-adjusted limitation of paragraph (e)(1)(iii) of this section, as published by the Service in a notice or revenue procedure applicable to the year the commuting valuation rule was first not used, the employer may adopt the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule for the 2018 or 2019 taxable year, provided the fair market value of the vehicle does not exceed $50,000 on January 1, 2018, or $50,400 on January 1, 2019, respectively. However, in accordance with paragraph (e)(5)(ii) of this section, an employer that adopts the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule pursuant to this paragraph (e)(5)(vi) must continue to use the rule for all subsequent years in which the vehicle qualifies for use of the rule, except that the employer may, for any year during which use of the vehicle qualifies for the commuting valuation rule of paragraph (f) of this section, use the commuting valuation rule with regard to the vehicle. (6) Applicability date. Paragraphs (e)(1)(iii)(A) and (e)(5)(i), and (vi) of this section apply to taxable years beginning on or after [INSERT DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE FINAL RULE IN THE Federal Register]. Notwithstanding the first sentence of this paragraph (e)(6), any taxpayer may choose to apply paragraph (e)(5)(vi) of this section beginning on or after January 1, 2018. * * * * * Kirsten Wielobob, Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement. [FR Doc. 2019–18044 Filed 8–22–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4830–01–P DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 1 [REG–105476–18] RIN 1545–BO60 Withholding of Tax and Information Reporting With Respect to Interests in Partnerships Engaged in the Conduct of a U.S. Trade or Business; Hearing Cancellation Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury. AGENCY: E:\FR\FM\23AUP1.SGM 23AUP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 164 (Friday, August 23, 2019)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 44258-44262]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-18044]


========================================================================
Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

========================================================================


Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 164 / Friday, August 23, 2019 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 44258]]


=======================================================================
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DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY

Internal Revenue Service

26 CFR Part 1

[REG-101378-19]
RIN 1545-BP14


Determination of the Maximum Value of a Vehicle for Use With the 
Fleet-Average and Vehicle Cents-per-Mile Valuation Rules

AGENCY: Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

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

SUMMARY: This document sets forth proposed regulations regarding 
special valuation rules for employers and employees to use in 
determining the amount to include in an employee's gross income for 
personal use of an employer-provided vehicle. The proposed regulations 
reflect changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Public Law 115-97 
(the Act).

DATES: Comments and requests for a public hearing must be received by 
October 22, 2019.

ADDRESSES: Submit electronic submissions via the Federal eRulemaking 
Portal at www.regulations.gov (indicate IRS and REG-101378-19) by 
following the online instructions for submitting comments. Once 
submitted to the Federal eRulemaking Portal, comments cannot be edited 
or withdrawn. The Department of the Treasury (Treasury Department) and 
the IRS will publish for public availability any comment received to 
its public docket, whether submitted electronically or in hard copy. 
Send hard copy submissions to: CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-101378-19), 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-
101378-19), Courier's Desk, Internal Revenue Service, 1111 Constitution 
Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20224.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Concerning the proposed regulations, 
Gabriel J. Minc at (202) 317-4774; concerning submissions of comments 
or to request a public hearing, Regina L. Johnson at (202) 317-6901 
(not toll-free numbers).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    If an employer provides an employee with a vehicle that is 
available to the employee for personal use, the value of the personal 
use must generally be included in the employee's income under section 
61 of the Internal Revenue Code (the Code). In addition, benefits paid 
as remuneration for employment, including the personal use of employer-
provided vehicles, generally are also wages for purposes of the Federal 
Insurance Contributions Act (FICA), the Federal Unemployment Tax Act 
(FUTA) and the Collection of Income Tax at Source on Wages (federal 
income tax withholding). Sections 3121(a), 3306(b), and 3401(a).
    The amount that must be included in the employee's income and wages 
for the personal use of an employer-provided vehicle generally is 
determined by reference to the vehicle's fair market value (FMV). 
However, the regulations under section 61 provide special valuation 
rules for employer-provided vehicles. If an employer chooses to use a 
special valuation rule, the special value is treated as the FMV of the 
benefit for income tax and employment tax purposes. Sec.  1.61-
21(b)(4). Two such special valuation rules, the fleet-average valuation 
rule and the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule, are set forth in 
Sec.  1.61-21(d)(5)(v) and Sec.  1.61-21(e), respectively. These two 
special valuation rules are subject to limitations, including that they 
may be used only in connection with vehicles having values that do not 
exceed a maximum amount set forth in the regulations.
    Under the current Sec.  1.61-21 regulations (the final 
regulations), the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule may be used 
only to value the personal use of a vehicle having a value no greater 
than $12,800 (the sum of the maximum recovery deductions allowable 
under section 280F(a)(2) for the recovery period of the vehicle). Sec.  
1.61-21(e)(1)(iii). The fleet-average valuation rule may be used only 
to value the personal use of vehicles having values no greater than 
$16,500. Sec.  1.61-21(d)(5)(v)(D). (The fleet-average valuation rule 
uses the term ``automobile'' rather than ``vehicle.'' For convenience, 
this preamble uses the term ``vehicle'' except in specific discussions 
of the fleet-average valuation rule or the section 280F depreciation 
limitations.) Under the final regulations, each of these maximum values 
is adjusted annually pursuant to section 280F(d)(7).

The Fleet-Average Valuation Rule

    The fleet-average valuation rule is an optional component of a 
special valuation rule called the automobile lease valuation rule set 
forth in Sec.  1.61-21(d). Under the automobile lease valuation rule, 
the value of the personal use of an employer-provided automobile 
available to an employee for an entire year is the portion of the 
annual lease value determined under the regulations (Annual Lease 
Value) relating to the availability of the automobile for personal use. 
Furthermore, provided the FMV of the automobile does not exceed the 
maximum value permitted under Sec.  1.61-21(d)(5)(v), an employer with 
a fleet of 20 or more automobiles may use a fleet-average value for 
purposes of calculating the Annual Lease Value of any automobile in the 
fleet.
    The fleet-average value is the average of the fair market values of 
all the automobiles in the fleet. However, Sec.  1.61-21(d)(5)(v)(D) 
provides that the value of an employee's personal use of an automobile 
may not be determined under the fleet-average valuation rule for a 
calendar year if the FMV of the automobile on the first date the 
automobile is made available to the employee exceeds the base value of 
$16,500, as adjusted annually pursuant to section 280F(d)(7). Section 
1.61-21(d)(5)(v)(D) provides that the first such adjustment shall be 
for calendar year 1989, subject to minor modifications to the section 
280F(d)(7) formula specified in the regulations. In other words, under 
the final regulations, the maximum value for use of the fleet-average 
rule is the base value of $16,500, as adjusted annually under section 
280F(d)(7) every year since 1989.

[[Page 44259]]

    Prior to enactment of the Act, the automobile price inflation 
adjustment of section 280F(d)(7)(B) was calculated using the ``new 
car'' component of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) ``automobile 
component.'' Beginning in 2005, the IRS began to calculate the price 
inflation adjustment for trucks and vans separately from cars using the 
``new truck'' component of the CPI, and continued using the ``new car'' 
component of the CPI for automobiles other than trucks and vans. Rev. 
Proc. 2005-48, 2005-32 I.R.B. 271. For 2017, the year prior to the 
enactment of the Act, the maximum value for use of this rule was 
$21,100 for a passenger automobile and $23,300 for a truck or van. See 
Notice 2017-03, 2017-2 I.R.B. 368.
    Section 1.61-21(d)(5)(v)(B) provides that the fleet-average 
valuation rule may be used by an employer as of January 1 of any 
calendar year following the calendar year in which the employer 
acquires a sufficient number of automobiles to total a fleet of 20 or 
more, each one satisfying the maximum value requirement of Sec.  1.61-
21(d)(5)(v)(D). The Annual Lease Value calculated for automobiles in 
the fleet, based on the fleet-average value, must remain in effect for 
the period that begins with the first January 1 the fleet-average 
valuation rule is applied by the employer to the automobiles in the 
fleet and ends on December 31 of the subsequent calendar year. The 
Annual Lease Value for each subsequent two-year period is calculated by 
determining the fleet average value of the automobiles in the fleet as 
of the first January 1 of such period. An employer may cease using the 
fleet-average valuation rule as of any January 1.

2. The Vehicle Cents-per-Mile Valuation Rule

    Another special valuation rule is the vehicle cents-per-mile rule 
in Sec.  1.61-21(e). Under Sec.  1.61-21(e), if an employer provides an 
employee with the use of a vehicle that the employer reasonably expects 
will be regularly used in the employer's trade or business throughout 
the calendar year (or such shorter period as the vehicle may be owned 
or leased by the employer), or that satisfies the requirements of Sec.  
1.61-21(e)(1)(ii) (i.e., the vehicle is actually driven at least 10,000 
miles in the year and use of the vehicle during the year is primarily 
by employees), the value of the personal use may be determined based on 
the applicable standard mileage rate multiplied by the total number of 
miles the vehicle is driven by the employee for personal purposes.
    Section 1.61-21(e)(1)(iii)(A) provides that the value of the 
personal use may not be determined under the vehicle cents-per-mile 
valuation rule for a calendar year if the fair market value of the 
vehicle on the first date the vehicle is made available to the employee 
exceeds the sum of the maximum recovery deductions allowable under 
section 280F(a) for a five-year period for an automobile first placed 
in service during that calendar year (whether or not the automobile is 
actually placed in service during that year), as adjusted by section 
280F(d)(7). The final regulations also provide that, under this rule, 
with respect to a vehicle placed in service in or after 1989, the 
limitation on value is $12,800, as adjusted under section 280F(d)(7). 
In other words, under the final regulations, the maximum value of a 
vehicle for use of the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule is the 
base value of $12,800, as adjusted annually under section 280F(d)(7) 
since 1989. As with the fleet-average valuation rule, beginning in 
2005, the IRS calculated the price inflation adjustment for trucks and 
vans separately from cars. See Rev. Proc. 2005-48. For 2017, the year 
prior to the enactment of the Act, the maximum value for use of the 
vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule was $15,900 for a passenger 
automobile and $17,800 for a truck or van. See Notice 2017-03.
    Section 1.61-21(e)(5)(i) states that an employer must adopt the 
vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule for a vehicle to take effect by 
the first day on which the vehicle is used by an employee of the 
employer for personal use (or, if another special valuation rule called 
the commuting valuation rule of Sec.  1.61-21(f) is used when the 
vehicle is first used by an employee of the employer for personal use, 
the first day on which the commuting valuation rule is not used). 
Section 1.61-21(e)(5)(ii) also provides, in part, that once the vehicle 
cents-per-mile valuation rule has been adopted for a vehicle by an 
employer, the rule must be used by the employer for all subsequent 
years in which the vehicle qualifies for use of the rule, except that 
the employer may, for any year during which use of the vehicle 
qualifies for the commuting valuation rule of Sec.  1.61-21(f), use the 
commuting valuation rule with respect to the vehicle.

3. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Changes and the Maximum Vehicle Values for 
2018 and 2019

    The Act made the following amendments to the Code:
    (1) For owners of passenger automobiles, section 280F(a), as 
modified by section 13202(a)(1) of the Act, imposes dollar limitations 
on the depreciation deduction for the year the taxpayer places the 
passenger automobile in service and for each succeeding year. The 
amendments made by the Act substantially increase the maximum annual 
dollar limitations on the depreciation deductions for passenger 
automobiles. The new dollar limitations are based on the depreciation, 
over a five-year recovery period, of a passenger automobile with a cost 
of $50,000 (formerly $12,800).
    (2) Section 11002(d)(8) of the Act amended section 280F(d)(7)(B) 
effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017. Pursuant to 
these amendments, the price inflation amount for automobiles (including 
trucks and vans) is calculated using both the CPI automobile component 
and the Chained Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (C-CPI-U) 
automobile component.
a. Notice 2019-08--The Maximum Value for 2018
    To implement the changes described above, Notice 2019-08, 2019-3 
I.R.B. 354, provides interim guidance for 2018 on new procedures for 
calculating the price inflation adjustments to the maximum vehicle 
values for use with the special valuation rules under Sec.  1.61-21(d) 
and (e) using section 280F(d)(7), as modified by sections 11002 and 
13202 of the Act. Notice 2019-08 states that the Treasury Department 
and the IRS anticipated that further guidance would be issued in the 
form of proposed regulations and expected that the regulations would be 
consistent with the rules set forth in Notice 2019-08.
    Notice 2019-08 provides that, consistent with the substantial 
increase in the dollar limitations on depreciation deductions under 
section 280F(a), as modified by section 13202(a)(1) of the Act, the 
Treasury Department and the IRS intend to amend Sec.  1.61-21(d) and 
(e) to incorporate a higher base value of $50,000 as the maximum value 
for use of the vehicle cents-per-mile and fleet-average valuation rules 
effective for the 2018 calendar year. Notice 2019-08 further states 
that the Treasury Department and the IRS intend that the regulations 
would be modified to provide that this $50,000 base value will be 
adjusted annually using section 280F(d)(7) for 2019 and subsequent 
years. Accordingly, Notice 2019-08 provides that, for 2018, the maximum 
value for use of the vehicle cents-per-mile and fleet-average valuation 
rules is $50,000.
    Finally, for 2018 and 2019, Notice 2019-08 provides that the 
Treasury

[[Page 44260]]

Department and the IRS will not publish separate maximum values for 
trucks and vans for use with the fleet-average and vehicle cents-per-
mile valuation rules. As noted above, the Act amended section 
280F(d)(7)(B) to make inflation adjustments based on the CPI and C-CPI-
U automobile component. The C-CPI-U automobile component does not 
currently have separate components for new cars and new trucks. 
Accordingly, due to the lack of data, the Treasury Department and the 
IRS will publish only one maximum value of a vehicle for use with the 
vehicle cents-per-mile and fleet-average valuation rules beginning in 
2019.
b. Notice 2019-34--The Maximum Vehicle Value for 2019
    Notice 2019-34, 2019-22 I.R.B. 1257, provides that the inflation-
adjusted maximum value of an employer-provided vehicle (including cars, 
vans and trucks) first made available to employees for personal use in 
calendar year 2019 for which the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule 
provided under Sec.  1.61-21(e), or the fleet-average valuation rule 
provided under Sec.  1.61-21(d), may be applicable is $50,400. Notice 
2019-34 also provides information about the manner in which the 
Treasury Department and the IRS intend to publish this maximum vehicle 
value in the future.
    As noted in Notice 2019-34, Rev. Proc. 2010-51, 2010-51 I.R.B. 883, 
provides rules for using optional standard mileage rates in computing 
the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, 
charitable, medical, or moving expense purposes. Section 2.12(1) of 
Rev. Proc. 2010-51 provides that the IRS publishes both the standard 
mileage rates for the use of an automobile for business, charitable, 
medical, and moving expense purposes, and the maximum standard 
automobile cost that may be used in computing the allowance under a 
fixed and variable rate (FAVR) plan, in a separate annual notice. See, 
e.g., Notice 2019-02, 2019-02 I.R.B. 281.
    Notice 2019-34 indicates that, in amending Sec.  1.61-21(d) and (e) 
to incorporate a higher base value of $50,000 as the maximum value for 
use with the vehicle cents-per-mile and the fleet-average valuation 
rules, the IRS and Treasury Department expected that the maximum value 
for use of those rules for 2019 and subsequent years would be the same 
as the maximum standard automobile cost that may be used in computing 
the allowance under a FAVR plan. Accordingly, Notice 2019-34 provides 
that the maximum value for use with the fleet-average and vehicle 
cents-per-mile valuation rules will be published in the annual notice 
providing the standard mileage rates for use of an automobile for 
business, charitable, medical, and moving expense purposes and the 
maximum standard automobile cost that may be used in computing the 
allowance under a FAVR plan.
    Notice 2019-34 also provides that the Treasury Department and the 
IRS intend to revise Sec.  1.61-21(d) to include a transition rule for 
any employer that did not qualify to use the fleet-average valuation 
rule prior to January 1, 2018 because the inflation-adjusted maximum 
value requirement of Sec.  1.61-21(d)(5)(v)(D), as published by the IRS 
in a notice or revenue procedure applicable to the year the automobile 
was first made available to any employee of the employer, was not met. 
In such a case, under the transition rule, the employer may adopt the 
fleet-average valuation rule for 2018 or 2019, provided the 
requirements of Sec.  1.61-21(d)(5)(v) are met for that year using the 
maximum values set forth in Notice 2019-08 ($50,000) or Notice 2019-34 
($50,400), respectively.
    In addition, Notice 2019-34 states that the Treasury Department and 
the IRS intend to revise Sec.  1.61-21(e) to provide a transition rule 
for vehicles first made available to employees for personal use before 
calendar year 2018, if the employer did not qualify under Sec.  1.61-
21(e)(5) to adopt the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule for the 
vehicle on the first day on which the vehicle was used by the employee 
for personal use because the fair market value of the vehicle exceeded 
the inflation-adjusted limitation of Sec.  1.61-21(e)(1)(iii) as 
published by the IRS in a notice or revenue procedure applicable to the 
year the vehicle was first used by the employee for personal use. In 
such a case, under the transition rule, the employer may first adopt 
the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule for the 2018 or 2019 taxable 
year based on the maximum fair market value of a vehicle for purposes 
of the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule set forth in Notice 2019-
08 ($50,000) or Notice 2019-34 ($50,400), respectively.
    Similarly, Notice 2019-34 also provides that the Treasury 
Department and the IRS intend to amend Sec.  1.61-21(e) to provide a 
transition rule for a vehicle first placed in service before calendar 
year 2018 if the commuting valuation rule of Sec.  1.61-21(f) was used 
when the vehicle was first used by an employee of the employer for 
personal use, and the employer did not qualify to switch to the vehicle 
cents-per-mile valuation rule on the first day on which the commuting 
valuation rule was not used because the vehicle had a fair market value 
in excess of the inflation-adjusted maximum permitted under Sec.  1.61-
21(e)(1)(iii) as published by the IRS in a notice or revenue procedure 
applicable to the year the commuting valuation rule was first not used. 
Under the transition rule, the employer may adopt the vehicle cents-
per-mile valuation rule for the 2018 or 2019 taxable year based on the 
maximum fair market value of the vehicle for purposes of the vehicle 
cents-per-mile valuation rule set forth in Notice 2019-08 or Notice 
2019-34, respectively.
    With respect to the transition rules described above, Notice 2019-
34 adds that, consistent with Sec.  1.61-21(e)(5), an employer that 
adopts the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule must continue to use 
the rule for all subsequent years in which the vehicle qualifies for 
use of the rule, except that the employer may, for any year during 
which use of the vehicle qualifies for the commuting valuation rule of 
Sec.  1.61-21(f), use the commuting valuation rule with respect to the 
vehicle.

Explanation of Provisions

    These proposed regulations update the fleet-average and vehicle 
cents-per-mile valuation rules described in Sec.  1.61-21(d) and (e), 
respectively, to align the limitations on the maximum vehicle fair 
market values for use of these special valuation rules with the changes 
made by the Act to the depreciation limitations in section 280F. 
Specifically, consistent with the substantial increase in the dollar 
limitations on depreciation deductions under section 280F(a), these 
proposed regulations increase, effective for the 2018 calendar year, 
the maximum base fair market value of a vehicle for use of the fleet-
average or vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule to $50,000. As 
previously, the maximum fair market value of a vehicle for purposes of 
the fleet-average and vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule is adjusted 
annually under section 280F(d)(7). This annual adjustment will be 
calculated in accordance with section 280F(d)(7) as amended by the Act. 
Consistent with Notice 2019-34, the Treasury Department and the IRS 
expect that the inflation-adjusted maximum fair market value for a 
vehicle for purposes of the fleet-average and vehicle cents-per-mile 
valuation rules will be included in the annual notice published by the 
IRS providing the standard mileage rates for the use of an automobile 
for business, charitable, medical, and moving expense purposes and the 
maximum standard automobile

[[Page 44261]]

cost for purposes of an allowance under a FAVR plan.
    Furthermore, consistent with Notice 2019-34, the following 
transition rules are included in these proposed regulations:
    (1) With respect to the fleet-average valuation rule, if an 
employer did not qualify to use the fleet-average valuation rule prior 
to January 1, 2018 with respect to an automobile because the fair 
market value of the automobile exceeded the inflation-adjusted maximum 
value requirement of Sec.  1.61-21(d)(5)(v)(D), as published by the IRS 
in a notice or revenue procedure applicable to the year the automobile 
was first made available to any employee of the employer, the employer 
may adopt the fleet-average valuation rule for 2018 or 2019, provided 
the fair market value of the automobile does not exceed $50,000 on 
January 1, 2018, or $50,400 on January 1, 2019, respectively.
    (2) With respect to the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule, for 
a vehicle first made available to any employee of the employer for 
personal use before calendar year 2018, if an employer did not qualify 
under Sec.  1.61-21(e)(5) to adopt the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation 
rule on the first day on which the vehicle was used by the employee for 
personal use because the fair market value of the vehicle exceeded the 
inflation-adjusted limitation of Sec.  1.61-21(e)(1)(iii), as published 
by the IRS in a notice or revenue procedure applicable to the year the 
vehicle was first used by the employee for personal use, the employer 
may first adopt the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule for the 2018 
or 2019 taxable year with respect to the vehicle, provided the fair 
market value of the vehicle does not exceed $50,000 on January 1, 2018, 
or $50,400 on January 1, 2019, respectively. Similarly, if the 
commuting valuation rule of Sec.  1.61-21(f) was utilized when the 
vehicle was first used by an employee of the employer for personal use, 
and the employer did not qualify to switch to the vehicle cents-per-
mile valuation rule on the first day on which the commuting valuation 
rule was not used because the vehicle had a fair market value in excess 
of the inflation-adjusted limitation of Sec.  1.61-21(e)(1)(iii), as 
published by the IRS in a notice or revenue procedure applicable to the 
year the commuting valuation rule was first not used, the employer may 
adopt the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule for the 2018 or 2019 
taxable year, provided the fair market value of the vehicle does not 
exceed $50,000 on January 1, 2018, or $50,400 on January 1, 2019, 
respectively. However, consistent with Sec.  1.61-21(e)(5), an employer 
that adopts the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule must continue to 
use the rule for all subsequent years in which the vehicle qualifies 
for use of the rule, except that the employer may, for any year during 
which use of the vehicle qualifies for the commuting valuation rule of 
Sec.  1.61-21(f), use the commuting valuation rule with respect to the 
vehicle.
    Until amendments to the final regulations are published under 
Treas. Reg. Sec.  1.61-21(d) and (e) in the Federal Register, taxpayers 
may rely on the guidance provided in these proposed regulations.

Special Analyses

    These proposed regulations are not subject to review under section 
6(b) of Executive Order 12866 pursuant to the Memorandum of Agreement 
(April 11, 2018) between the Department of the Treasury and the Office 
of Management and Budget regarding review of tax regulations.
    It is hereby certified that these proposed regulations will not 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 
6). This certification is based on the fact that the proposed 
regulations would update existing regulations to comport with the 
statutory changes to section 280F made by the Act. Although the 
proposed regulations might affect a substantial number of small 
entities, the economic impact of the proposed regulations is not 
expected to be significant.
    Since the current vehicle valuation rules in the regulations are 
tied to inflation adjustments under section 280F, the statutory changes 
to section 280F necessitate modifications to the procedures for 
calculating annual inflation adjustments to the maximum fair market 
value of a vehicle permitted for use with the fleet-average and vehicle 
cents-per-mile special valuation rules. These proposed revised special 
valuation rules are consistent with the base values and methodology 
used for section 280F purposes and simplify the determination of the 
amount employers must include in employees' income and wages for income 
and employment tax purposes for the personal use of employer-provided 
vehicles. The modifications that would be made by these proposed 
regulations to the maximum fair market value of a vehicle permitted for 
use with the fleet-average and vehicle cents-per-mile special valuation 
rules, and the transition rules provided in connection with these 
proposed regulations, increase the number of employers and employees 
that may take advantage of the special valuation rules, without 
increasing costs to the employer.
    Notwithstanding this certification that the proposed regulations 
would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of 
small entities, the Treasury Department and the IRS invite comments on 
the impacts these proposed regulations may have on small entities. 
Pursuant to section 7805(f), these proposed regulations will be 
submitted to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business 
Administration for comment on its impact on small business.

Comments and Requests for Public Hearing

    The Treasury Department and the IRS request comments on all aspects 
of the proposed rules.
    Before these proposed regulations are adopted as final regulations, 
consideration will be given to any comments that are submitted timely 
to the IRS as prescribed in this preamble under the ADDRESSES heading.
    All comments are available at https://www.regulations.gov or upon 
request. If a public hearing is scheduled, notice of the date, time, 
and place of the public hearing will be published in the Federal 
Register.

Drafting Information

    The principal author of these regulations is Gabriel Minc of the 
Office of the Associate Chief Counsel (Employee Benefits, Exempt 
Organizations, and Employment Tax). However, other personnel from the 
IRS and the Treasury Department participated in their development.

Statement of Availability

    The IRS Notices and Revenue Procedures cited in this preamble are 
published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin (or Cumulative Bulletin) and 
are available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government 
Publishing Office, Washington, DC 20402, or by visiting the IRS website 
at http://www.irs.gov.

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:

[[Page 44262]]

PART 1--INCOME TAXES

0
Paragraph 1. The authority citation for part 1 continues to read in 
part as follows:

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

0
Par. 2. Section 1.61-21 is amended by revising paragraph (d)(5)(v)(D), 
adding paragraphs (d)(5)(v)(G) and (H), revising paragraph 
(e)(1)(iii)(A), revising paragraph (e)(5)(i), and adding paragraphs 
(e)(5)(vi) and (e)(6), to read as follows:


Sec.  1.61-21   Taxation of fringe benefits.

* * * * *
    (d) * * *
    (5) * * *
    (v) * * *
    (D) Limitations on use of fleet-average rule. The rule provided in 
this paragraph (d)(5)(v) may not be used for any automobile the fair 
market value of which (determined pursuant to paragraphs (d)(5)(i) 
through (iv) of this section as of the first date on which the 
automobile is made available to any employee of the employer for 
personal use) exceeds $50,000, as adjusted by section 280F(d)(7). The 
first such adjustment shall be for calendar year 2019. In addition, the 
rule provided in this paragraph (d)(5)(v) may only be used for 
automobiles that the employer reasonably expects will regularly be used 
in the employer's trade or business. For rules concerning when an 
automobile is regularly used in the employer's business, see paragraph 
(e)(1)(iv) of this section.
* * * * *
    (G) Transition rule for 2018 and 2019. Notwithstanding paragraph 
(d)(5)(v)(B) of this section, an employer that did not qualify to use 
the fleet-average valuation rule prior to January 1, 2018 with respect 
to any automobile (including a truck or van) because the fair market 
value of the vehicle exceeded the inflation-adjusted maximum value 
requirement of paragraph (d)(5)(v)(D) of this section, as published by 
the Service in a notice or revenue procedure applicable to the year the 
vehicle was first made available to any employee of the employer, may 
adopt the fleet-average valuation rule for 2018 or 2019 with respect to 
the vehicle, provided the fair market value of the vehicle does not 
exceed $50,000 on January 1, 2018, or $50,400 on January 1, 2019, 
respectively.
    (H) Applicability date. Paragraphs (d)(5)(v)(D), and (G) of this 
section apply to taxable years beginning on or after [INSERT DATE OF 
PUBLICATION OF THE FINAL RULE IN THE Federal Register]. Notwithstanding 
the first sentence of this paragraph (d)(5)(v)(H), any taxpayer may 
choose to apply paragraph (d)(5)(v)(G) of this section beginning on or 
after January 1, 2018.
* * * * *
    (e) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (iii) * * *
    (A) In general. The value of the use of an automobile (as defined 
in paragraph (d)(1)(ii) of this section) may not be determined under 
the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule of this paragraph (e) for a 
calendar year if the fair market value of the automobile (determined 
pursuant to paragraphs (d)(5)(i) through (iv) of this section as of the 
first date on which the automobile is made available to any employee of 
the employer for personal use) exceeds $50,000, as adjusted by section 
280F(d)(7). The first such adjustment shall be for calendar year 2019.
* * * * *
    (5) * * *
    (i) Use of the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule by an 
employer. An employer must adopt the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation 
rule of this paragraph (e) for a vehicle to take effect by the first 
day on which the vehicle is used by an employee of the employer for 
personal use (or, if the commuting valuation rule of paragraph (f) of 
this section is used when the vehicle is first used by an employee of 
the employer for personal use, the first day on which the commuting 
valuation rule is not used).
* * * * *
    (vi) Transition rule for 2018 and 2019. For a vehicle first made 
available to any employee of the employer for personal use before 
calendar year 2018, if an employer did not qualify under this paragraph 
(e)(5) to adopt the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule on the first 
day on which the vehicle is used by the employee for personal use 
because the fair market value of the vehicle exceeded the inflation-
adjusted limitation of paragraph (e)(1)(iii), as published by the 
Service in a notice or revenue procedure applicable to the year the 
vehicle was first used by the employee for personal use, may first 
adopt the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule for the 2018 or 2019 
taxable year, provided the fair market value of the vehicle does not 
exceed $50,000 on January 1, 2018, or $50,400 on January 1, 2019, 
respectively. Similarly, for a vehicle first made available to any 
employee of the employer for personal use before calendar year 2018, if 
the commuting valuation rule of paragraph (f) of this section was used 
when the vehicle was first used by the employee for personal use, and 
the employer did not qualify to switch to the vehicle cents-per-mile 
valuation rule of this paragraph (e) on the first day on which the 
commuting valuation rule of paragraph (f) of this section was not used 
because the vehicle had a fair market value in excess of the inflation-
adjusted limitation of paragraph (e)(1)(iii) of this section, as 
published by the Service in a notice or revenue procedure applicable to 
the year the commuting valuation rule was first not used, the employer 
may adopt the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule for the 2018 or 
2019 taxable year, provided the fair market value of the vehicle does 
not exceed $50,000 on January 1, 2018, or $50,400 on January 1, 2019, 
respectively. However, in accordance with paragraph (e)(5)(ii) of this 
section, an employer that adopts the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation 
rule pursuant to this paragraph (e)(5)(vi) must continue to use the 
rule for all subsequent years in which the vehicle qualifies for use of 
the rule, except that the employer may, for any year during which use 
of the vehicle qualifies for the commuting valuation rule of paragraph 
(f) of this section, use the commuting valuation rule with regard to 
the vehicle.
    (6) Applicability date. Paragraphs (e)(1)(iii)(A) and (e)(5)(i), 
and (vi) of this section apply to taxable years beginning on or after 
[INSERT DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE FINAL RULE IN THE Federal Register]. 
Notwithstanding the first sentence of this paragraph (e)(6), any 
taxpayer may choose to apply paragraph (e)(5)(vi) of this section 
beginning on or after January 1, 2018.
* * * * *

Kirsten Wielobob,
Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement.
[FR Doc. 2019-18044 Filed 8-22-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4830-01-P