The Internal Revenue Service has given official permission for taxpayers to use the 2001 Commissioners’ Standard Ordinary mortality and morbidity tables.[@@]

Taxpayers can use the new tables to determine whether a contract qualifies as a life insurance contract under the terms of the Internal Revenue Code.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Kansas City, Mo., approved use of the new tables in place of the old, 1980 tables. Enough states now have adopted the 2001 tables to make the 2001 tables the “prevailing commissioners’ standard tables,” Ann Logan, an IRS official, writes in a discussion of the guidance, Notice 2004-61.

Taxpayers in states that have adopted the 2001 tables can choose between using the 2001 tables and the 1980 tables until the end of 2008, but taxpayers in other states still must use the 1980 tables, Logan writes.

Starting in 2009, taxpayers in states that have adopted the 2001 tables must use the 2001 tables.

The IRS has posted the guidance, which has the weight of a revenue ruling, on the Web at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-04-61.pdf