PPLI and Cryptocurrency–Together A Winner

Expanded Worldwide Planning (EWP) Embraces Change

Properly structured Private Placement Life Insurance (PPLI) gives the assets inside the policy tax deferred growth for the life of the policy.  When the insured life/lives under the policy pass on, the assets pass as a tax-free death benefit to the beneficiaries under the policy.  If some of the assets inside the policy are cryptocurrencies, they also receive this tax-advantaged treatment. Essentially PPLI is more of an income tax and estate tax planning tool than it is a product.  Many asset classes are supported in an open architecture EWP structure.

We will discuss some more basics on structuring with PPLI in the context of EWP, then, something more on how cryptocurrencies and PPLI both occupy a similar space on the international scene for wealthy clients.

Any asset that can be custodied by a reputable trust company can go into the PPLI structure. Many policies are owned by trusts which can be domiciled in jurisdictions in keeping with the client’s planning needs. In terms of asset management, it is an open architecture model where the assets can be located in multiple jurisdictions with multiple asset managers. PPLI insurance costs generally average about 1 percent of the cash value of the policy, over the life of the policy.

The cost of the death benefit varies with the health and age of the insured person, and generally policies are designed with the lowest death benefit possible. Tax and enhanced privacy benefits outweigh the costs of using a PPLI structure. Asset management fees will depend on the asset manager(s) selected to manage the assets inside the policy. The policy is fully transparent to the client, as all fees and costs are disclosed.

How are cryptocurrency, EWP, and PPLI similar? All three have qualities that a wealthy homeowner would be looking for in an ideal home: architectural elements that truly “speak” to the owner; privacy; a climate that suits the owner; and a sense of security, both emotional and physical. These may seem like strange bedfellows, but what we all seek in the world, whether it is a home or a structure for our financial affairs, can be quite similar in nature.

We will illustrate this point by a few recent news items about cryptocurrencies:

Courtesy of Anne Kadet in The Wall Street Journal.

“NewYorkCoin, created in 2014 by an unknown developer, has enjoyed a surge of support in recent months. More businesses are accepting the currency and there’s a growing interest among cryptocurrency developers. There’s even a new Meetup group where enthusiasts who frequent online forums can gather in person to discuss their altcoin adventures.”

We all enjoy having a local identify and simultaneously having the sense of belonging to something larger than ourselves.  The NewYorkCoin, EWP, and PPLI have these characteristics.  The open architectural elements of EWP and PPLI can incorporate both the local and international in a structure that speaks to the client’s individual planning needs.

Courtesy of Mateo Jarrin Cuvi of Taxlinked.net.

“Israel’s tax authorities have decided to classify Bitcoin & other cryptocurrencies as property instead of currencies. How will this affect their taxation?”

We are not qualified to comment on the taxation issue, but wish to use this invitation post comments to raise a salient point: the use of blockchain technology as the basis for a currency throws into question the very nature of what constitutes a currency.  Or put another way, in the future will currency continued to be issued by governments or by individuals?  The answer to this question is being played out currently on the world stage.  In the meantime, if you are concerned about the tax on cryptocurrencies, you can use a properly structured PPLI policy to shield the tax.

For some readers we may have stretched some analogies, but hopefully we have equally stretched your minds on our topics.  We appreciate your comments and are thankful for your continued trust and support.

 

 by Michael Malloy CLU TEP RFC, @ Advanced Financial Solutions, Inc

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