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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

Who's the Employer?

Answers are provided by S. Derrin Watson, JD, APM

Are Brothers and Sisters Related Parties?

(Posted April 16, 2001)

Question 94: Nursing Home Management Company manages 3 nursing homes as its sole business. Aaron owns one of the homes, Betty owns the second, and Charlie owns the third. Aaron is Betty's brother and Charlie is her half-brother. Are these businesses an affiliated service group under 414(m)(5)? All four businesses are incorporated.

Answer: Yes. A management function type of affiliated service group consists of a business that has the principal business purpose of managing 1 other business (or entities related to that business).

The question then is whether the three nursing homes are related. The definition of related parties for purposes of IRC 414(m)(5) is in IRC 267, which has its own set of attribution rules. Unlike the attribution rules under IRC 318 (which determine HCEs) and IRC 1563 (which determine controlled groups), under IRC 267 for related parties there is attribution between siblings and half siblings.

Accordingly, Betty is deemed to own, for purposes of IRC 267, all stock held by her brother and half-brother. So Betty is deemed to own all three nursing homes 100%. Not surprisingly, those three corporations all would be related parties.

Now Nursing Home Management has, as its sole business, the management of Betty's corporation and two other corporations that are each related to Betty's corporation. These four entities thus make a single management function group under IRC 414(m)(5). All employees of any of the four corporations are deemed to be employed by a single employer for a host of Internal Revenue Code purposes.

The related party rules are discussed in more detail in Chapter 17 of my book, Who's the Employer?. There also is a new appendix D in the second edition of my book, which compares the three sets of attribution rules and makes it much simpler to understand the differences between these systems.


Important notice:

Answers are provided as general guidance on the subjects covered in the question and are not provided as legal advice to the questioner or to readers. Any legal issues should be reviewed by your legal counsel to apply the law to the particular facts of this and similar situations.

The law in this area changes frequently. Answers are believed to be correct as of the posting dates shown. The completeness or accuracy of a particular answer may be affected by changes in the law (statutes, regulations, rulings, court decisions, etc.) that occur after the date on which a particular Q&A is posted.


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