By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use.

The Duration of Qualified Settlement Funds Under §1.468B-1

A shiny, metal dollar symbol figure standing in front of an imposted illustration of a stock graph

A Qualified Settlement Fund (QSF) provides an empowering and secure way for parties in a litigation settlement (or nonlitigation dispute settlement) to manage the settlement funds. A significant aspect of QSFs, established under §1.468B-1, involves their duration, which allows for an efficient and effective settlement process.

A QSF is typically established under state law and approved by a “Governmental Authority” as defined in §1.468B-1(c). These regulations cover transfers to the fund, income earned by the fund, and distributions made by the fund [2]. While not required, a court may also order that settlement proceeds be paid into a QSF [3]. The defendant or insurer pays the agreed settlement amount into the QSF in these cases. Once the fund is set up, the trustee who becomes the administrator has the option to apply §1.468B-1 through 1.468B-4 to the fund.

The timeline of a QSF under these regulations is linked to the taxable years and has no stipulated maximum time frame. The provisions of §1.468B-1 through 1.468B-4 apply to the fund’s activity in associated taxable years [2]. This ensures that the fund aligns with the tax year, simplifying tax reporting and compliance.

However, as noted, the QSF does not have a set expiration date defined in the regulations. Instead, its duration is tied to the completion of its purpose: distributing the settlement funds to the rightful recipients once resolving all outstanding secondary issues. As such, a QSF can have durations of multiple years or even decades. A QSF is only dissolved after the final disbursement of the funds and the filing of a “final” IRS Form 1120-SF.

It’s also important to note that the QSF is treated as the owner of the settlement assets for federal income tax purposes when held in the QSF [1]. This approach offers added protection to the funds while they are held in the QSF and ensures the QSF is appropriately administered and in line with federal tax regulations.

Noted tax commentators have suggested that funds held in a QSF should be disbursed within twelve (12) calendar months of resolving all associated secondary matters to avoid the potential abuse of a QSF as a mere tax deferral scheme. Platforms like QSF 360 provide integrated management of the associated QSF duration.

In conclusion, a QSF’s duration under §1.468B-1 is defined by the time to fulfill its intended purpose and resolve all related secondary matters such as liens, secondary litigation, appeals, and other conditional matters. This flexible duration, combined with the safeguards of a QSF, offers a comprehensive solution for managing settlement funds. Its lifespan adheres to the taxable years for clarity in tax compliance, and the QSF enjoys the status and protection of a trust.

[1] “However, this section (except for paragraph (b) of this section) and §1.468B-4 apply to the qualified settlement fund; (ii) The qualified settlement fund is treated, for Federal income tax purposes, as a trust all of which is treated as owned by the transferor under section 671 and the regulations thereunder;”

[2] “The person that will be the administrator of a qualified settlement fund may elect to apply §§1.468B-1 through 1.468B-4 to transfers to, income earned by, and distributions made by, the fund in taxable years ending after August 16, 1986.”

[3] “Mar 19, 2023 · A Qualified Settlement Fund, or QSF, is a fund, account, or trust established under applicable state law. A court can order that the defendant (or insurer) pay the agreed settlement amount into a Qualified Settlement Fund “within the meaning of 468B-1 of the Treasury Regulations”.”

Disclosure: This content is an overview. It is not a detailed analysis and offers no legal or tax opinion on which you should solely rely. Always seek the advice of competent legal and tax advisors to review your specific facts and circumstances before making any decisions or relying on the content herein.
Any opinions, views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the content contained herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Eastern Point Trust Company, its Affiliates, or their clients. The mere appearance of content does not constitute an endorsement by Eastern Point Trust Company (“EPTC”) or its Affiliates. The author’s opinions are based upon information they consider reliable, but neither EPTC nor its Affiliates, nor the company with which such author(s) are affiliated, warrant completeness, accuracy or disclosure of opposing interpretations.

EPTC and its Affiliates disclaim all liability to any party for any direct, indirect, implied, special, incidental, or other consequential damages arising directly or indirectly from any use of the content herein, which is expressly provided as is, without warranties.
Article Archive

Get More Information

Your submission has been received.
A member of our team will be in touch with you soon.
Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Please see our Contact Us page for more options to connect with us.