PPLI Combines Beauty and Utility

Let Us Learn from a Master Thinker

Part 4

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 Our next few articles will comprise an in-depth look at the five main components of our PPLI Concept Map: Professor PPLI meets Leonardo da Vinci.

Professor PPLI has landed, and repeats Leonardo da Vinci’s phrase, “Can’t beauty and utility be combined.” In a sense, Leonardo’s whole life was dedicated to these words. At Advanced Financial Solutions, Inc. we strive to follow in Leonardo’s footsteps in creating PPLI structures for wealthy families that give the best possible combination of privacy, tax savings, and compliance with tax authorities worldwide.

Let us first explore beauty. Beauty has many levels. At the highest level beauty embodies our finest aspirations. On a more mundane level, it comes closer to what makes us experience joy in our everyday lives.

Those of us who create Private Placement Life Insurance (PPLI) asset structures for wealthy clients can find beauty in a well-designed structure that is implemented successfully to achieve the aims of privacy, asset protection, and tax reduction. It is a type of architecture or engineering that uses laws, concepts, and ideas and blends them with the family dynamic and country specific challenges of each highly individual case.

George Santayana, the influential 20th century thinker, gives us his famous definition of beauty from The Sense of Beauty.

“We have now reached our definition of beauty, which, in the terms of our successive analysis and narrowing of the conception, is value positive, intrinsic, and objectified. Or, in less technical language, Beauty is pleasure regarded as the quality of a thing. … Beauty is a value, that is, it is not a perception of a matter of fact or of a relation: it is an emotion, an affection of our volitional and appreciative nature. An object cannot be beautiful if it can give pleasure to nobody: a beauty to which all men were forever indifferent is a contradiction in terms. … Beauty is therefore a positive value that is intrinsic; it is a pleasure.”

The PPLI Reality Check

We all know what one person or cultural might call lovely and beautiful does not always translate to another culture. We see this when we travel to countries that have cultures, traditions, and objects quite different than our own.

This idea mirrors the many different ways that PPLI is implemented throughout the world. What works in one country, or set of circumstances, does not work in another. Through research into the tax codes and insurance regulations of all the countries and entities involved must be commenced at the very beginning of each PPLI case that comes to us.

In Part 3 of our Concept Map we made no mention of the fairy who introduced the topic of beauty. Hans Christian Andersen, the great Danish writer of fairy tales tells us, “The most wonderful fairy tales grow out of that which is reality.”

This embodies the reverse of what happens at Advanced Financial Solutions, Inc. When you first come and tell us what you wish to gain by using our services, all the facts are somewhat a fairy tale, in that we don’t know if our type of structuring will work for you. Only after a detailed review of your situation, can we say with confidence, if it achieves the “reality” of a proper PPLI structure.

This detailed review, or reality check, is done at no cost to you. We wish to partner with you on a truly bespoke PPLI structure that achieves as many of the elements of Expanded Worldwide Planning, EWP as possible. These elements are privacy, asset protection, tax shield, succession planning, compliance simplifier, and trust substitute.

Details of the 953(d) Election

Now, as we promised you in Part 3, here is more detail on the 953(d) election. What is the difference between foreign and domestic insurance? In this context, we are speaking about U.S. based insurance companies as the domestic ones.

Domestic life insurance is state regulated in the U.S.. Policyholders and carriers can transact and negotiate only in the state where the carrier is licensed. The choice of investments is relatively limited, often in-house company funds only, with associated higher costs, sometimes much higher. Commissions can represent a fairly large proportion of the paid-in premium.

Foreign life insurance is regulated by the jurisdiction of the country of domicile. i.e., that countries’ financial regulator. Investment risk for variable policies is borne solely by the policyholder. The policyholder has much more flexible options, the cost of insurance is significantly much lower as the policyholder pays just the pure re-insurance cost, and brokers are paid a small percentage fee, similar to an asset management fee. In short, tax deferral remains assured, asset protection is tighter, privacy is greater, costs are lower, investment flexibility is greater and its fully compliant. At the private banking level, offshore insurance is a no-brainer.

The “953(d)” Insurance Company

The 953(d) refers to Section 953(d) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code (IRC). This is the section that allows a non-U.S. Insurance Company to make the election to be treated as a U.S. taxpayer. This election provides some very material benefits to both insurance company and policyholders.

As a U.S. taxpayer, the insurance company can invest in assets located anywhere in the world, including the U.S. and Europe. Through the policy structure, the policyholder and/or the beneficiaries can legally defer income tax and capital gains tax. Assets within the policy are paid to the beneficiaries as a tax free death benefit when the insured passes. Regardless of the location of those assets; U.S., Europe, Asia, the insurance company does not engage in trade and business in the U.S. and is not subject to state insurance laws.

Tax

The “953(d)” insurance company pays U.S. federal income tax on its worldwide income, it has therefore a US tax ID number, a “TIN”.  Moreover the policyholder is exempt from the 1% federal excise tax on premium payments as the company is treated as domestic, plus there is no state insurance premium tax.  There is no withholding tax on U.S. source dividend income. There is a U.S. DAC tax that must be paid, but it is lower than the 1% FET, currently it is 70 basis points.

For the policyholder and beneficiaries, the insurance structure itself can be used to optimize income, capital gains and estate tax planning. Additionally, there is no withholding tax on U.S. investments as the company is U.S. person with a completed W-9 form.

Legal & Compliance

The “953(d)” insurance company is treated as a domestic corporation by the U.S. government for tax purposes. The insurance company (not the policyholder) completes and submits the W-9 form to the bank facilitating compliance with U.S. domestic custodians and paying agents. This makes the 35% withholding tax under FATCA a non-issue. The company is not subject to state or federal insurance law being an offshore provider. Finally, there is no requirement to file and maintain form 720.

Combining Beauty and Utility

How did Leonardo combine beauty and utility? One need go no further than his notebooks. In her New Yorker review of Walter Isaacson’s biography of Leonardo da Vinci, “The Secret Lives of Leonardo da Vinci,” Claudia Roth Pierpont conveys beautifully the magic of Leonardo’s notebooks.

“These drawings are part of a vast treasury of texts and images, amounting to more than seven thousand surviving pages, now dispersed across several countries and known collectively as “Leonardo’s notebooks”—which is precisely what they were.

Private notebooks of all sizes, some carried about for quick sketches and on-the-spot observations, others used for long-term, exacting studies in geology, botany, and human anatomy, to specify just a few of the areas in which he posed fundamental questions, and reached answers that were often hundreds of years ahead of his time. Why is the sky blue? How does the heart function? What are the differences in air pressure above and beneath a bird’s wing, and how might this knowledge enable man to make a flying machine? Music, military engineering, astronomy. Fossils and the doubt they cast on the Biblical story of creation.

“Describe,” he instructs himself, “what sneezing is, what yawning is, the falling sickness, spasm, paralysis, shivering with cold, sweating, fatigue, hunger, sleep, thirst, lust.” He intended publication, but never got around to it; there was always something more to learn. In the following centuries, at least half the pages were lost. What survives is an unparalleled record of a human mind at work, as fearless and dogged as it was brilliant.”

We attempt to be fearless and dogged in pursuit of the perfect PPLI structure for you. Please let us know how we can serve you to this end. Thank you for your continued trust and support.

 

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

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#michaelmalloy #PPLI #privateplacement #lifeinsurance #advancedfinancialsolutions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elegant Simplicity Revealed

The PPLI Insurance Code

 Part 2

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Our next few articles will comprise an in-depth look at the five main components of our PPLI Concept Map: Professor PPLI meets Leonardo da Vinci.

Although the basic framework of Private Placement Life Insurance (PPLI) policies is similar, each client situation is unique, and, therefore, calls for a new area of study. We use our past experience to bring the best possible outcome to a new set of circumstances.

Our past cases serve as a guide for new cases, but not as a rigid set of rules to follow. Previous cases at Advanced Financial Solutions, Inc. become a broad outline that guides us in the “undiscovered country” of the brand new PPLI challenge that presents itself.

Discovery is an endless process. As the Hungarian biochemist Albert Szent-Gyorgyi puts it,

“A discovery is said to be an accident meeting a prepared mind.”

One of our goals in these articles is to prepare the mind to accept such a simple tool to solve complex client issues.

Advisors tend to use the tools that they are familiar with. PPLI is not taught in law schools, so attorneys and other tax advisors must find it in the midst of their law practice. PPLI is also not well known by most insurance agents and brokers throughout the world.

Where did PPLI come from?

Here is a very brief account of its beginnings by Monroe Diefendord, Jr., and Gerald Nowotny, Private Placement Life Insurance, A Sophisticated Investment Solution for High Net Worth Investors.

“The advent of PPLI began around 1992-1993 following the use of similar products (without hedge funds) by large corporations. Al Block, a substantial corporate owned life insurance (COLI) producer, placed the first high net worth policies with CIGNA. The offshore PPLI marketplace developed in 1995-1996 around two separate and distinct themes. Wealthy families emigrating to the U.S. used PPLI and private variable deferred annuity (PPVA) contracts as part of their “in bound” tax planning. Tremont developed a small Bermuda-based life insurance company around the same time.

PPLI policies were created with this issue in mind, namely; “How does the high net worth investor combine the strong tax advantages of life insurance with a life insurance product that offers customized investment options for the sophisticated investor in a product that is institutionally priced?” 

Tax Code vs. Insurance Code

 What is simpler?  “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,” said Leonardo da Vinci. What we are calling the Insurance Code are the sections of the tax code that pertain to PPLI. They are for the most part sections 7702, 101, 817(h), and the various revenue rulings that address investor control: Rev. Rul. 77-85, 1977-1 C.B. 12; Rev. Rul. 82-54, 1982-1 C.B. 11; Rev. Rul. 2003-91; Rev. Rul. 2003-2 C.B. 347 (Jul. 24, 2003).

When you compare these sections and revenue rulings to the rest of the entire tax code that address the multiplicity of issues that face wealthy families, the conclusion is clear: what we are calling the Insurance Code is a vastly simpler body of knowledge. But simple is not simplistic, as a PPLI structure solves many planning issues in an elegant, conservative, and straightforward manner.

Sometimes we understand something by comparing it to its opposite. If a PPLI structure is a tool that gives assets the six principles of Expanded Worldwide Planning EWP–privacy, asset protection, tax shield, succession planning, compliance simplifier, trust substitute–what is its opposite? Let us consider a black hole, as just recently, scientists have been able to photograph it.

We further the analogy by positing–PPLI brings light to what can frequently be the complexity, read darkness, of clients’ worldwide assets. Darkness because these assets are usually not structured into a complete easy to understand structure.

Hannah Devlin of the Guardian gives us, “Black hole picture captured for first time in space breakthrough, Network of eight radio telescopes around the world records revolutionary image.

“Astronomers have captured the first image of a black hole, heralding a revolution in our understanding of the universe’s most enigmatic objects.

The picture shows a halo of dust and gas, tracing the outline of a colossal black hole, at the heart of the Messier 87 galaxy, 55m light years from Earth.

The black hole itself – a cosmic trapdoor from which neither light nor matter can escape – is unseeable. But the latest observations take astronomers right to its threshold for the first time, illuminating the event horizon beyond which all known physical laws collapse.

The breakthrough image was captured by the Event Horizon telescope (EHT), a network of eight radio telescopes spanning locations from Antarctica to Spain and Chile, in an effort involving more than 200 scientists.

Sheperd Doeleman, EHT director and Harvard University senior research fellow said: “Black holes are the most mysterious objects in the universe. We have seen what we thought was unseeable. We have taken a picture of a black hole.”

However, the observations do not yet reveal anything about the black hole’s inscrutable interior.

“The black hole is not the event horizon, it’s something inside. It could be something just inside the event horizon, an exotic object hovering just beneath the surface, or it could be a singularity at the centre … or a ring,” said Ziri Younsi. “It doesn’t yet give us an explanation of what’s going on inside.” Ziri Younsi, a member of the EHT collaboration who is based at University College London.”

The last paragraph is of particular interest in that Mr. Younsi is attempting to describe something that in our everyday world on earth could not exist–a black hole. Luckily we do have the vocabulary to describe what we are calling its opposite: a properly structured PPLI policy which delivers the six principles of EWP to wealthy clients worldwide.

We return to the world of tax with an introduction to the draft of an article by Emily Cauble, Professor of Law at DePaul University, on the subject of simplifying the U.S. tax code, “ Superficial Proxies for  Simplicity in Tax Law,” 53 U. Rich. L. Rev. 329 (2019). To continue with our theme of simplicity, as you will read, this is not so simple!

“Simplification of tax law is complicated. Yet, political rhetoric surrounding tax simplification often focuses on simplistic, superficial indicators of complexity in tax law such as word counts, page counts, number of regulations, and similar quantitative metrics.

This preoccupation with the volume of enacted law often results in law that is more complex in a real sense. Achieving genuine simplification — a reduction in costs faced by taxpayers at various stages in the tax planning, tax compliance, and tax enforcement process — often requires enacting more law not less. In addition, conceptualizing simplicity in simplistic terms can leave the public vulnerable to policies advanced under the guise of simplification that have real aims that are less innocuous.

A perennial example involves lawmakers proposing a reduction in the number of tax brackets under the heading of simplifying tax law. In reality, this change does very little, if anything, to simplify law in a meaningful sense, and its truer aim is to reduce progressivity in the tax code.

Although the tax legislation ultimately enacted in December 2017 did not change the number of brackets applicable to individual taxpayers, political discourse preceding its enactment once again touted a reduction in the number of tax brackets as a simplifying measure.”

If you wish to keep things simple and at the same time achieve results not possible with other structuring methods, please contact us today for a free initial consultation.

 

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

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#michaelmalloy #PPLI #privateplacement #lifeinsurance #advancedfinancialsolutions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Rule of Law in Action

PPLI Brings Ultimate Sophistication

Private Placement Life Insurance (PPLI) brings the words of Leonardo da Vinci to life:

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

The transformation from simplicity to sophistication can be accomplished through the rule of law. In our PPLI work for wealthy international families, we must frequently turn complex and sometimes contradictory tax laws into a simple, understandable, and workable structure.

Detailed analysis of the laws that govern the nationalities and residences of the family members must be undertaken. We welcome this challenge and enjoy the process. This thorough and meticulous study is highly individual to each family, so our short article is not the appropriate place to give a detailed example. Further on, we will bring you some humorous and not-so-humorous news stories on the rule of law.

There are always three elements in a PPLI policy: the owner of the policy, usually a trust; the life or lives insured; and the beneficiary of the PPLI policy’s death benefit. The domicile of each of these three elements must be studied. The domicile of each of these elements of the PPLI policy might be different, and a misinterpretation of the laws that affect each could lead to a wrong result in structuring for the family.

We diligently pursue this study. We frequently adjust the PPLI structure to make the elements work for the family, ensuring compliance with all the tax authorities involved. The rule of law also has its light side too. As we read in this recent Wall Street Journal article, by Josh Jacobs and Matthew Dalton. What we find humorous is not the present-day rodent situation in Paris, but the legal argument put forward in the 16th century when France was faced with a similar problem.

In France, Even the Rats Have Rights

Rodents overrunning Paris have defenders who say the varmint has a right

 to inhabit the City of Lights too.

‘Rat-Prochement’

PARIS—Rats were popping up at supermarkets, parks and nurseries when a city official convened a crisis meeting last fall to discuss ways to cull the population.

That was the first time Geoffroy Boulard, mayor of the 17th arrondissement in northwestern Paris, realized the rodents are backed by a vocal lobby. Ten protesters stepped forward to denounce exterminators’ plans to poison the animals. They urged a more humane method: Deploy birth-control drugs.

In the Middle Ages, people were helpless to stop the creatures from invading pantries and destroying crops. Lacking effective poisons, authorities took to bringing legal charges against rats for their misdeeds, according to “The Criminal Prosecution and Capital Punishment of Animals,” a lengthy history by E.P. Evans.

The rats weren’t defenseless in such cases. When an ecclesiastical court in Autun, France, brought charges in the 16th century against a group of rats for destroying the local barley crop, a well-known lawyer named Bartholomew Chassenée was appointed by the court to represent them. Mr. Chassenée mounted a vigorous response.

“He urged, in the first place,” Mr. Evans wrote, “that inasmuch as the defendants were dispersed over a large tract of country and dwelt in numerous villages, a single summons was insufficient to notify them all.”

Now a more serious issue that relates to the families that we serve from the website of the international law firm, Mishcon de Reya.

Legal challenge to Common Reporting Standard

(CRS) and Beneficial Ownership (BO) registers

Mishcon de Reya has taken legal steps against the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) and the Beneficial Ownership registers to call into question the wider repercussions for fundamental rights and the relationship between individuals and the State.

Our contention is that the publication of sensitive data concerning the internal governance and ownership of private companies by the Beneficial Ownership Registers is not necessary to achieve the stated objectives.  Similarly, we believe that the exchange of information under the CRS is excessive, as information is exchanged indiscriminately and affects all account holders regardless of the size of the account.

Our firm is dedicated to putting the rule of law to the best use for our PPLI clients. We invite you to join our group of satisfied, wealthy, international families by contacting us today.

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

 

 

Michael Malloy, CLU, TEP

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A Great Dance Couple: EWP & Trust

“Dancing Cheek to Cheek”

The films of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in the 1930’s and 1940s had some sensational dance routines.  The dance couple of Expanded Worldwide Planning (EWP) and a Trust are poised for equally sensational steps in the realm of planning for wealthy international families.

Our firm specializes in just this brand of choreography: using a properly structured Private Placement Life Insurance (PPLI) in combination with an excellently drafted Trust.  We capitalize Trust(s), because there is a large variety to choose from in international tax planning, and the selection depends on the nationality of the family members, their jurisdictions of domicile, the passports they carry, the location of their assets, and all the various countries’ laws that impact these items.

At the heart of EWP is a properly structured Private Placement Life Insurance (PPLI) policy. The assets inside this policy can be anything that can held by a trust company. These assets can also be located anywhere in the world.  While these assets are inside this PPLI policy, all tax is deferred.  At the death of the insured life/lives under the policy, these assets pass tax-free to the beneficiaries of the PPLI policy.

A trust can be used in connection with other planning to lessen taxes, but by itself does not automatically confer tax advantages. For example, a trust cannot pass assets as a tax-free death benefit to future generations, as a PPLI policy can do.

For those jurisdictions in the world that recognize trust, there are innumerable techniques used by wealthy international families that favor the use of a trust.

Many advisors who draft trusts miss the opportunity of “dancing cheek to cheek” by not incorporating PPLI policies in conjunction with their trust planning.

Trust and Insurance Comparison

●    Contractually based and used by millions ●    Provides some asset protection
●    Tax deferral ●    Sometimes seen as tool for the rich
●    Insurance company is beneficial owner ●    Requires “trustee” with full control
●    Simplified or limited reporting ●    More stringent reporting requirements
●    Potentially tax free ●    Tax filings for trust and possibly beneficiaries required in some jurisdictions
●    No capital gains tax ●    Limited or not direct tax deferral on payouts
●    No trustee  
●    Asset protection  

In most civil law jurisdictions, trusts are poorly acknowledged and trust law is not well developed. This can create obstacles for those domiciled in these civil law jurisdictions that have created foreign trusts. However, in certain circumstances, a PPLI structure can circumvent these problems and achieve the planning aims one would more commonly be able to fulfill with a trust in a common law jurisdiction.

Our well-rehearsed team of advisors can truly teach you some new dance steps, that partner EWP with trusts, so “Let’s Dance.”

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Company Review – Advanced Financial Solutions Inc

“A Secure Island in a Tax-Hungry World”

About Us

The roots of Advanced Financial Solutions, Inc. reach back over 30 years, and its mission addresses the current, keen paradox of striving to achieve full compliance in tax transparency while also providing clients both privacy and tax savings.

How do we accomplish this?

By diligent, worldwide tax research, and scrupulous attention to clients’ individual needs.
We specialize in insurance solutions to achieve our results, because in most countries the use of insurance is well-established and straightforward to implement.  Within the insurance structures we create, we can usually accommodate most asset classes, and the assets can be located worldwide.

We are proud to be included in the Wikipedia article on Private Placement Life Insurance in the References and Additional Resources section with a link to our website in note number five.

We are referenced as an example of Expanded Worldwide Planning (EWP).  For a visual display of a typical structure, we have contributed a chart to Wikipedia Commons.

Private Placement Life Insurance (PPLI) is essentially an insurance transaction that occurs within a private placement offering. The private placement component adds extensive flexibility to pricing and asset management offerings. Because PPLI is sold through a private placement memorandum, every situation can be individually negotiated and custom designed for the client.

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.

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.
Our office locations are as diverse as our clients.

In California, clients are hosted in a rural setting in the oak, savannah region of the Sierra Nevada foothills.  This charming setting is about one hour’s drive from the Sacramento airport.  In New York City, 40 Wall Street is our home at the tip of Manhattan.  Our administrative office in the British Virgin Islands serves the needs of clients throughout the world.

We draw from some of the greatest expertise in the field. Our staff is composed of highly qualified financial professionals who can call upon many years’ experience in their respective fields. We believe wholeheartedly in teamwork in order to serve clients in the most beneficial and efficient way possible.

Typically, our clients are high net worth individuals and their families, who rely on us to manage their assets using a long-term yet flexible structure that suits their unique needs and wishes. We also act for banks, companies and international organizations who value our ability to provide innovative solutions quickly and reliably.

Crafting the best possible solution for a client involves bringing together knowledge from many fields, and keeping current by constant study.  Working with legal and financial experts in the fields of tax, estate planning, asset protection, investments, and insurance is what sets us apart.  We welcome the challenge of being:  A Secure Island in a Tax-Hungry World.

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Thank you.

~ Michael Malloy

Michael Malloy