Rick Beam has been an independent sales representative for various COMMUNICATIONS textile manufacturers for many years. His products consist of soft goods, such as tablecloths, curtains, and drapes. Rick’s customers are clothing store chains, department stores, and smaller specialty stores. The employees of these companies who are responsible for purchasing merchandise are known as buyers. These companies generally prohibit their buyers from accepting gifts from manufacturers’ sales representatives. Each year Rick gives cash gifts (never more than $25) to most of the buyers who are his customers. Generally, he cashes a large check in November and gives the money personally to the buyers around Christmas. Rick says, ‘‘This is one of the ways that I maintain my relationship with my buyers.’’ He maintains adequate substantiation of all the gifts. Rick’s deductions for these gifts have been disallowed by the IRS, based on § 162(c)(2). Rick is confused and comes to you, a CPA, for advice.
a. Write a letter to Rick concerning his tax position on this issue. Rick’s address is 948 Octavia Street, New Orleans, LA 70113.
b. Prepare a memo for your files supporting the advice you have given.
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