Recovery Group, Inc. v. Comm'r of Internal Revenue Ser., No. 10-1886 (1st Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
In 2002 one of the company's founders informed the company that he wanted the company to buy out his 23 percent stock ownership interest. The company agreed to pay $255,908 plus $400,000, the equivalent of one year's salary, for a one-year covenant not to compete. The company amortized the covenant payments over the 12-month duration, which straddled tax years 2002 and 2003. The IRS determined that the covenant was an amortizable section 197 intangible, amortizable over 15 years and not over the duration of the covenant. The tax court upheld the decision. The First Circuit affirmed. A "section 197 intangible" includes any covenant not to compete entered into in connection with the acquisition of any shares, substantial or not, of stock in a corporation that is engaged in a trade or business.