The Kona Rural Electric Co-op (KREC) is an accrual basis public utility. All new customers are required to pay a deposit equal to 3 times the customer’s estimated monthly bill or $100, whichever is greater. The purpose of the deposit is to ensure that timely payment is made on accounts. The funds so received are not segregated from other KREC funds and are used in the ordinary course of business. Interest at the rate of 5% is paid annually on the deposits. Customers may elect to receive a check for the interest or may accept the payment as a credit on their monthly bill.
KREC’s policy is to refund the deposit when a customer discontinues service or has made timely monthly payments for 8 consecutive months or for 9 of 12 consecu- tive months. When deposits are refunded, interest is paid on the deposit through the date of the refund. KREC’s experience with the deposit requirement is that 80% of all deposits are returned within 1 year of receipt. Approximately 5% of all deposits are ultimately used to satisfy delinquent customer accounts.
KREC would like to know whether the deposits should be included in income when they are received or deferred until they are used to satisfy customer accounts.
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