A–1: Section 404(k) allows a corporation a deduction for dividends actually paid in accordance with section 404(k)(2) with respect to stock of such corporation held by an employee stock ownership plan
(as defined in section 4975(e)(7)) maintained by the corporation (or by any other corporation that is a member of a
“controlled group of corporations” within the meaning of section 409(l)(4) that includes the corporation), but only if such dividends may be immediately distributed
under the terms of the plan and all of the applicable qualification and distribution
rules. The deduction is allowed under section 404(k) for the taxable year of the corporation during which the dividends are received by
Q–2: Is the deductibility of dividends paid to plan participants under section 404(k) affected by a plan provision which permits participants to elect to receive or not
receive payment of dividends?
A–2: No. Dividends actually paid in cash to plan participants in accordance with
section 404(k) are deductible under section 404(k) despite such an election provision.
Q–3: Are dividends paid in cash directly to plan participants by the corporation
and dividends paid to the plan and then distributed in cash to plan participants under
section 404(k) treated as distributions under the plan holding stock to which the dividends relate
for purposes of sections 72, 401 and 402?
A–3: Generally, yes. However, a deductible dividend under section 404(k) is treated for purposes of section 72 as paid under a contract separate from any other contract that is part of the plan. Thus, a deductible dividend is treated as a plan distribution and as paid under
a separate contract providing only for payment of deductible dividends. Therefore, a deductible dividend under section 404(k) is a taxable plan distribution even though an employee has unrecovered employee contributions
or basis in the plan.
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