Election to Currently Deduct Future Landfill Cleanup Costs Under §468 Not Limited to Accrual Basis Taxpayers

IRC §468 allows electing taxpayers who, among other things, operate landfills to claim a current deduction for costs that will be incurred once the landfill is closed to clean up the site.  But the IRS argued in the case of Gregory v. Commissioner, 149 TC No. 2 that this election was restricted to taxpayers who used the overall accrual method of accounting for tax purposes.

IRC §448’s language allows a deduction to a taxpayer who elects the application of the provision. The taxpayers argued that nowhere in the statute did Congress restrict the taxpayers who could make this election to those using the overall accrual basis of accounting and that, based on the plain language of the statute, they should be allowed to take a deduction for such future clean-up costs regardless of the fact they reported their income and deductions generally on the cash basis of accounting.

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