An employer using an accrual method of accounting may take a deduction in the current year for a fixed amount of bonuses, according to a new IRS ruling.

The deadline covers bonuses payable to a group of employees even though the employer does not know which of the employees will receive a bonus or the amount of any particular bonus until after the end of the taxable year.

The entire amount of the bonus pool will be paid to members of the group of employees in the following year, but at the end of the current year, the employer does not yet know which particular employees will receive any bonus or how much each will receive.

To secure the deduction in the year of accrual, the bonus must actually be paid within the first two and one-half months of the subsequent tax year.