Abusive Insurance Plans Get Red Flag

Tax Briefs - The IRS in Notice 2007-83 identified as listed transactions certain trust arrangements involving cash value life insurance policies. Revenue Ruling 2007-65, issued simultaneously, addressed situations where the tax deduction has been disallowed, in part or in whole, for premiums paid on such cash-value life insurance policies.

Also simultaneously issued was Notice 2007-84, which disallows tax deductions and imposes severe penalties for welfare benefit plans that primarily and impermissibly benefit shareholders and highly compensated employees.

Taxpayers participating in these listed transactions must disclose such participation to the Service by January 15. Failure to disclose can result in severe penalties--- up to $100,000 for individuals and $200,000 for corporations.

Ruling 2007-65 aims at situations where cash-value life insurance is purchased on owner/employees and other key employees, while only term insurance is offered to the rank and file. These are sold as 419(e), 419(f) (6), and 419 plans. Other arrangements described by the ruling may also be listed transactions. A business in such an arrangement cannot deduct premiums paid for cash-value life insurance.

A CPA who is approached by a client about one of these arrangements must exercise the utmost degree of caution, and not only on behalf of the client. The severe penalties noted above can also be applied to the preparers of returns that fail to properly disclose listed transactions.

The information provided herein is not intended as legal, accounting, financial or any other type of advice for any specific individual or other entity. You should contact an appropriate professional for any such advice.

As an expert witness Lance Wallach's side has never lost a case. People need to be careful of 419 Welfare Benefit Plans, 412i plans, Section 79 plans and Captive Insurance Plans. Most of these plans are sold by insurance agents. If you are in an abusive, listed or similar transaction plan you need to file under IRS 6707a. The participant files form 8886, and the salesmen or accountant who signs the tax returns files form 8918 if they got paid over $10,000. They are called Material Advisors and face a minimum $100,000 fine. Some plans are offshore which could involve FBAR or OVDI filings. If you have money overseas you probably need to file for IRS tax amnesty. If you want to reduce the tax we suggest that you first file and then opt out. For more information Google Lance Wallach.

 Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

Help with IRS Issues | You have options

Help with IRS Issues | You have options

230 Hotspot Text: Section 79, The Catch

230 Hotspot Text: Section 79, The Catch

Life insurance & Annuities

Life insurance & Annuities

Understanding IRC Sections 419(e) and 419A(f)(6) Plans

IRC Sections 419(e) and 419A(f)(6) Plans
For years life insurance agents and others have been selling ways to deduct life insurance in welfare benefit plans.  For years the IRS has been disallowing most of these plans on audit.
In Notice 2007-83, the IRS identified certain trust arrange­ments involving cash value life insurance policies, and sub­stantially similar arrangements, as listed transactions.  The IRS also issued related Revenue Ruling 2007-65 to address situa­tions where an arrangement is considered a welfare benefit fund but the employer's deduction for its contributions to the fund is denied in whole or in part for premiums paid by the trust on cash value life insurance policies.

You get what you pay for, how much do people pay for business appraisals?

Would you go to a dentist for heart surgery? They are both doctors?
Like any other professional service, such as legal services, medical care, or accounting services, the price of appraisal services should always be one consideration in selecting the professional or professional firm. However, it's usually not appropriate to shop for the lowest priced vendor, or to use competitive bidding to obtain the lowest price. The heart patient, whose life may depend on the skill and judgment of his surgeon, wouldn't be smart to put his surgery out to bid. Similarly, the client whose financial fortunes may rely on the quality of work or the effectiveness of testimony by his valuation expert should probably not make a decision on hiring an appraiser based primarily on lowest fees.


Abusive Tax Shelters, Insurance and Annuity Product Fraud Lawsuit
Insurance and Annuity Product Fraud Lawsuit
Life Insurance Companies and their Agents have been selling abusive life insurance and annuity products.  Many pension plans have been promoted as legitimate retirement plans which contain various life insurance products and annuities.  Unfortunately the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) has now attacked many of these pension and retirement plans and is conducting audits to demand payment for taxes, penalties and interest and attempting to disqualify many plans.
If you are an accountant, business owner, corporate officer, dentist, doctor, professional athlete, professional or corporation of high net worth, you were unscrupulously targeted by life insurance companies and their agents to purchase a 412i defined benefit pension plan. You were chosen to purchase a 412i plan because you have the net worth to pay for it.
Our investigation has disclosed that many life insurance companies, promoters, attorneys,
and accountants promoted and sold these plans, including but not limited to the following:
•  American General Life Insurance Company
•  Guardian Life Insurance Company
•  Hartford Life and Annuity Insurance Company
•  Indianapolis Life Insurance Company
•  Pacific Life Insurance Company
•  Pension Services, LLC
•  Many Other Life Insurance Companies and Agents
The individuals and groups above devised a scheme to sell abusive tax shelters under the auspices of Section 412(i) of the tax code. A 412(i) is a defined benefit pension plan. It provides specific retirement benefits to participants once they reach retirement and must contain assets sufficient to pay those benefits. A 412(i) plan differs from other defined benefit pension plans in that it must be funded exclusively by the purchase of individual life insurance products. To create a 412(i) plan, there must
be a trust to hold the assets. The employer funds the plan by making cash contributions to the trust, and the Code allows the employer to take a tax deduction in the amount of the contributions, i.e. the entire amount.
The trust uses the contributed funds to purchase some combination of life insurance products (insurance or annuities) for the plan. As the plan participants retire, the trust will usually sell the policies for their present cash value and purchase annuities with the proceeds. The revenue stream from the annuities pays the specified retirement benefit to plan participants.
These defendants (with the aid and knowledge of the insurance companies) used the traditional structure and sold life insurance policies with excessively high premiums. The trust then uses the large cash contributions to pay high insurance premiums and the employer takes a deduction for the sum of those large contributions. As you might expect, these policies were designed with excessively high fees or “loads” which provided exorbitant commissions to the insurance companies and the agents who sold the products.
The policies that were sold were termed Springing Cash Value Policies. They had little or no cash value for the first 5-7 years, after which they had significant cash value. Under this scheme, after 5-7 years, and just before the cash value sprung, the participant typically purchases the policy from the trust for the policy’s surrender value. In theory, you have a tax free transaction.
The IRS does not recognize the tax benefit of such a plan and has repeatedly issued announcements indicating that such plans are contrary to federal tax laws and regulations.
Have you received a letter from the IRS either (1) informing you of an upcoming audit of your plan or (2) demanding payment for substantial tax “penalties and interest”? The “tax free” benefit pension plan you purchased might be a scam, a fraud.  Please allow us to speak with you and review your documentation to help you to determine your best course of action.  Your communications will be treated with the strictest attorney-client confidence.
If you were a victim of such a sale of a 412i or 419 plan, we encourage you to contact us immediately .  You may also receive a free initial consultation by telephone at 516 9357346  If you desire a free initial phone consultation please leave a specific time or time period within which to contact you.
Since you have already expanded a substantial amount of money in your pension plan and believed it was a legitimate retirement plan, you are obviously shocked to now learn that major life insurance companies and their agents may have sold you improper retirement plans simply to generate enormous commissions on life insurance and annuities. www.taxaudit419 and www.vebaplan.com have more information.
We also help with abusive tax shelters like 419 welfare benefit plans. In 2002 Lance Wallach wrote to Hartford and other insurance companies telling them that IRS will be increasing 419 audits and law firms would be suing them. What did Hartford do? They sent out some emails to others including their compliance department and continued to sell 419 plans. Give us a call if you want a copy of this.

Will Your Municipal Bond or Your Life Insurance Company Still Have Value Next Year?

Investor protection with municipal bonds is so spotty that there is potential for much mischief. 

Disclosure, that bedrock of fair securities markets, is the heart of the problem facing municipal investors. Municipal issuers often don't file the most basic reports outlining their operating results or material changes in their financial conditions. 

Even though hospitals, cities and states that borrow money are required by their bond covenants to make such filings, nondisclosure among the nearly 60,000 issuers is common. 

With the S.E.C. largely on the sidelines, disclosure enforcement in the municipal market is left to participants. Do you think they really want to police themselves very closely? That leaves individuals who trade the securities, the investors, and the dealers, to monitor the disclosure information. There is almost no penalty for not complying with those requirements. This is another disaster waiting to happen. If you own municipal bonds, you had better be careful. You may want to investigate www.financeexperts.org and select someone that knows what they are doing to assist you. 

To read the rest, click here

More Problems for 419 Plans

For years, life insurance companies and agents have tried to find ways of making life insurance premiums paid by business owners tax deductible. This would allow them to sell policies at a "discount."
The problem became acute a few years ago with outlandish claims about how §§419A(f)(5) and (6) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) exempted employers from any tax deduction limitations. Other inaccurate assertions were made as well, until the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) finally put a stop to such egregious misrepresentations in 2002 by issuing regulations and naming such plans as "potentially abusive tax shelters" (or "listed transactions") that needed to be registered and disclosed to the IRS.

This appeared to put an end to the scourge of scurrilous promoters, as many such plans disappeared from the landscape.

And what happened to the providers that were peddling §§419A(f)(5) and (6) life insurance plans a few years ago? We recently found the answer: Most of them found a new life as promoters of so-called "419(e)" welfare benefit plans.