(a) General rule
Whenever in the opinion of the Secretary the use of inventories is necessary in order clearly to determine the income of any taxpayer, inventories shall be taken by such taxpayer on such basis as the Secretary may prescribe as conforming as nearly as may be to the best accounting practice in the trade or business and as most clearly reflecting the income.
(b) Estimates of inventory shrinkage permitted
A method of determining inventories shall not be treated as failing to clearly reflect income solely because it utilizes estimates of inventory shrinkage that are confirmed by a physical count only after the last day of the taxable year if—
(1) the taxpayer normally does a physical count of inventories at each location on a regular and consistent basis, and
(2) the taxpayer makes proper adjustments to such inventories and to its estimating methods to the extent such estimates are greater than or less than the actual shrinkage.
(c) Exemption for certain small businesses (1) In general
In the case of any taxpayer (other than a tax shelter prohibited from using the cash receipts and disbursements method of accounting under section 448(a)(3)) which meets the gross receipts test of section 448(c) for any taxable year—
(A) subsection (a) shall not apply with respect to such taxpayer for such taxable year, and
(B) the taxpayer's method of accounting for inventory for such taxable year shall not be treated as failing to clearly reflect income if such method either—
(i) treats inventory as non-incidental materials and supplies, or
(ii) conforms to such taxpayer's method of accounting reflected in an applicable financial statement of the taxpayer with respect to such taxable year or, if the taxpayer does not have any applicable financial statement with respect to such taxable year, the books and records of the taxpayer prepared in accordance with the taxpayer's accounting procedures.
(2) Applicable financial statement
For purposes of this subsection, the term "applicable financial statement" has the meaning given the term in section 451(b)(3).
(3) Application of gross receipts test to individuals, etc.
In the case of any taxpayer which is not a corporation or a partnership, the gross receipts test of section 448(c) shall be applied in the same manner as if each trade or business of such taxpayer were a corporation or partnership.
(4) Coordination with section 481
Any change in method of accounting made pursuant to this subsection shall be treated for purposes of section 481 as initiated by the taxpayer and made with the consent of the Secretary.
(d) Cross reference
For rules relating to capitalization of direct and indirect costs of property, see section 263A.
AMENDMENTS 2017—Subsecs. (c), (d). Pub. L. 115–97 added subsec. (c) and redesignated former subsec. (c) as (d). 1997—Subsecs. (b), (c). Pub. L. 105–34 added subsec. (b) and redesignated former subsec. (b) as (c). 1986—Pub. L. 99–514 designated existing provisions as subsec. (a) and added subsec. (b). 1976—Pub. L. 94–455 struck out "or his delegate" after "Secretary" wherever appearing.EFFECTIVE DATE OF 2017 AMENDMENT Amendment by Pub. L. 115–97 applicable to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017, see section 13102(e) of Pub. L. 115–97, set out as a note under section 263A of this title. EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1997 AMENDMENT Pub. L. 105–34, title IX, §961(b)(1), Aug. 5, 1997, 111 Stat. 891, provided that: "The amendment made by this section [amending this section] shall apply to taxable years ending after the date of the enactment of this Act [Aug. 5, 1997]." EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1986 AMENDMENT If any interest costs incurred after Dec. 31, 1986, are attributable to costs incurred before Jan. 1, 1987, the amendment by Pub. L. 99–514 is applicable to such interest costs only to the extent such interest costs are attributable to costs which were required to be capitalized under section 263 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 and which would have been taken into account in applying section 189 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (as in effect before its repeal by section 803 of Pub. L. 99–514) or, if applicable, section 266 of such Code, see section 7831(d)(2) of Pub. L. 101–239, set out as an Effective Date note under section 263A of this title. Amendment by Pub. L. 99–514 applicable to costs incurred after Dec. 31, 1986, in taxable years ending after such date, except as otherwise provided, see section 803(d) of Pub. L. 99–514, set out as an Effective Date note under section 263A of this title.COORDINATION WITH SECTION 481 Pub. L. 105–34, title IX, §961(b)(2), Aug. 5, 1997, 111 Stat. 891, provided that: "In the case of any taxpayer permitted by this section [amending this section and enacting provisions set out as a note above] to change its method of accounting to a permissible method for any taxable year— "(A) such changes shall be treated as initiated by the taxpayer, "(B) such changes shall be treated as made with the consent of the Secretary of the Treasury, and "(C) the period for taking into account the adjustments under section 481 [26 U.S.C. 481] by reason of such change shall be 4 years." STUDY OF ACCOUNTING METHODS FOR INVENTORY; REPORT NOT LATER THAN DECEMBER 31, 1982 Pub. L. 97–34, title II, §238, Aug. 13, 1981, 95 Stat. 254, directed Secretary of the Treasury to conduct a study of methods of tax accounting for inventory with a view towards development of simplified methods and to report to Congress, not later than Dec. 31, 1982, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 100–647, title VI, §6252(a)(2), Nov. 10, 1988, 102 Stat. 3752.
Disclaimer: Lawrina maintains this website to enhance public access to information about its activities. We make an effort to keep the information about codes timely and accurate. Please note that we cannot guarantee that the U.S.C 2018, Title 26, Subtitle a, Chapter 1, Subchapter e, Part II, Subpart D, Section 471 — General rule for inventories — exactly reproduces the officially adopted text.