Generally, the term officer means an administrative executive who is in regular and continued service. This excludes those employed for a special and single transaction.

Some of the factors in determining whether an individual is considered an officer include:

  • source of authority
  • term for which elected or appointed
  • nature and extent of duties

For the purposes of the key employee test, an employee who has the title of an officer but not the authority of an officer is not considered an officer. Similarly, an employee who does not have the title of an officer but has the authority of an officer is an officer for purposes of the key employee test.

Source: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/reg_416-1.pdf