Insurance Arrangement Found to be Split Dollar Insurance Arrangement

Split dollar life insurance arrangements can take on a number of forms, and the exact structure of the arrangement determines the tax consequences, which can become complicated quickly. In a recent case out of the District Court of Ohio, the court held that an insurance arrangement between a single member C corporation, Peter E. McGowan…
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ETA 2026 – Switching from Inclusion to Exclusion Planning for the Estate Tax

Currently (and since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017), we, like many other practitioners, have seen an incredible uptick in inclusion planning[1] instead of the traditional exclusion planning (getting assets out of one’s taxable estate). A primary driving force for this major shift was the essential doubling of the estate tax exemption (from…
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Intentionally Defective Grantor Trusts – Have your cake and eat it, too

Shortly before his passing, Benjamin Franklin uttered one of his more infamous quotes, “In this world, nothing is certain except death and taxes.” With the certainty of death implicitly comes another: everyone will transfer his or her wealth, whether in life or after death. How a person transfers wealth will affect how the other certainty,…
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IRS Reverses Position on Modifying Irrevocable Grantor Trusts

The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) issued Private Letter Ruling (“PLR”) 201647001 in November of 2016, in which it took the position that a modification to an irrevocable grantor trust to add a discretionary income tax reimbursement clause did not change the beneficial interests in the trust, and therefore did not result in a gift, because…
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Monetized Installment Sales – Proposed Regulations will Lead to Burdensome Reporting Requirements and Increased Scrutiny

Monetized Installment Sales, as previously written upon by Gray Edmondson,[1] have been subject to increased scrutiny by the IRS in recent years, making its “Dirty Dozen” list in each of the last three years.[2] The IRS remains on the offensive in scrutinizing such transactions, issuing proposed regulation under Internal Revenue Code Section 6011 in August…
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Life Settlements of Life Insurance Policies: What, When, and How

Many individuals take out life insurance policies for valid planning reasons which later are no longer needed or desirable. Alternatively, the policy owner may need current liquidity. While many policies can be surrendered for their cash value or the owner may take loans against the policy, there may be other options. One of those options…
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Threading the Needle – The Utility and Structural Requirements of ING Trusts

Estate planners and tax practitioners have been utilizing incomplete non-grantor trusts, or “ING” trusts, with increased frequency. ING trusts can be utilized for a number of reasons, including, but not limited to, federal income tax planning,[1] asset protection, planning for qualified small business stock benefits, income shifting through distributions to descendants, and others. While this…
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GSS Holdings – A Reminder on Economic Substance and Step Transaction

Most tax law is made up of very detailed statutes, regulations, case law, and other guidance. Layered on top of that body of law are a number of “judicial doctrines” that seek to serve as a backstop to formalistic analyses that could result in unintended tax results, allow taxpayers to place the form of transactions…
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