Q & A – The True Value of Zero = Privacy

Questions and Answers from the book “The Wit and Wisdom of Professor PPLI: How to Achieve Exceptional Asset Structuring with Private Placement Life Insurance”

~ by Michael Malloy, CLU, TEP

 

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Professor PPLI Explains Zero

 Section 3, Part 1

 

Professor PPLI, in this Part we define the concept of zero in a mathematical sense, then, compare this concept to a PPLI asset structure. How are these two related in a practical way?

 We quote from Brian Resnick’s article,

“The mind-bendy weirdness of the number zero explained,” on Vox: “Imagine a box with nothing in it. Mathematicians call this empty box: the empty set.” It is a physical representation of zero. What’s inside the empty box? Nothing.

Now take another empty box, and place it in the first one.

How many things are in the first box now?

There’s one object in it. Then, put another empty box inside the first two. How many objects does it contain now? Two. And that’s how ‘we derive all the counting numbers from zero…from nothing,” Kaplan [Robert Kaplan, a Harvard math professor] says. This is the basis of our number system. Zero is an abstraction and a reality at the same time. “It’s the nothing that is,” as Kaplan said.”

Consider the first box described above as the PPLI policy that is owned by a trust. When a family’s assets are transferred into the policy, like the numbers described by Kaplan, they still remain as assets of the family, but now the beneficial owner of the assets has changed. The beneficial owner of the assets is now the insurance company. The assets do not change, but how they are structured changes.

The taxation of the wealthy and income equality are now hot topics in the popular press and academic circles. Professor PPLI, how do PPLI asset structures fit into this discussion?

Wealthy families are an easy target for some political parties seeking votes by promising new social programs funded by taxes on the rich. The entire discussion is so politicized that it is difficult even in academic circles to obtain objective information.

At Advanced Financial Solutions, Inc. our job is to provide families with the six elements of Expanded Worldwide Planning (EWP): privacy, asset protection, tax shield, compliance simplifier, succession planning, and trust substitute. Our attention is on these six elements, and this is where we focus our energy.

We accomplish bringing the six elements of EWP to our clients through the medium of a conservative and fully compliant PPLI asset structure. We can deliver because the insurance laws worldwide are much simpler than the ever changing tax laws. Tax laws are also more subject to being politicized. This makes planning for wealthy families even more difficult, which is why we mention the political debate in the paragraph above.

In contrast, insurance laws in most jurisdictions throughout the world have, in part, the aim of relieving governments from the burden of collecting even more taxes to provide social programs for their citizens. Life insurance provides death benefits to protect the economic well being of families, and with policies that include a cash value, provide funds for retirement through the accumulate of the cash value of the policies. This makes their citizens less reliant on government programs to provide these important benefits.

Professor PPLI, privacy rights and the concept of zero are discussed in this Part. Please explain how these two things can be linked.

 We use an example from Caroline Garnham of Garnham Family Office services in London, where she discusses how the debate about the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) is playing out in Great Britain in relation to the privacy of beneficial owners of trusts.

In this Part, Doctor Ian at the Math Forum demonstrates how multiplying any number by zero equals zero. “When you multiply one number by another, you can think of starting at some point (‘the spot marked X,’ or wherever) and moving some distance away from it. To move, you need to know two things:

  • How many steps you’re going to take
  • How big each step will be

Now, if each step is of zero size, then you can keep  taking them, and you’ll never move anywhere. (Move a step of length zero. You’re where you started. Do it again. Still there. Keep doing it…how many of those steps will you have to take to actually move somewhere?) So any number times zero is still zero.

Also, if you’re not going to take any steps, it doesn’t matter how large a step you would take, since you’re not going to take it. So zero times any number is still zero.”

Zero in this context is defined as something powerful, but in a sense fundamental, since multiplying it by any number gives the same result, zero. Privacy also has an element of the fundamental, as privacy is enshrined in the constitutional documents of many countries worldwide.

At Advanced Financial Solutions, Inc. we strive to provide clients the maximum privacy that the laws of the various jurisdictions supported by our policies allow. The majority of our policies are issued by companies domiciled in Barbados and Bermuda. These countries have crafted their laws to give wealthy families great benefits in terms of privacy and asset protection. Please let us know how we can assist you in creating an asset structure that does the same for you.

 

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

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Q & A – PPLI Combines Beauty and Utility

Questions and Answers from the book “The Wit and Wisdom of Professor PPLI: How to Achieve Exceptional Asset Structuring with Private Placement Life Insurance”

~ by Michael Malloy, CLU, TEP

 

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PPLI Combines Beauty and Utility

 Let Us Learn from a Master Thinker

 Section 2, Part 4

 

Professor PPLI, in this Part the influential 20th century thinker, George Santayana, gives us his famous definition of beauty, and concludes:  “Beauty is therefore a positive value that is intrinsic; it is a pleasure.” How is this related to a PPLI asset structure?

His use of “intrinsic” reminds me of the nature of life insurance in a PPLI asset structure. Life insurance is the intrinsic element that makes this possible. Life insurance is a basic financial planning tool that is used in almost all countries throughout the world. PPLI is one variety of this well- recognized and accepted financial instrument. PPLI can become the intrinsic instrument to organize a families worldwide assets into a conservative and easy to understand structure.

At Advanced Financial Solutions, Inc. we are proud to be mentioned in the Wikipedia page for “Private Placement Life Insurance.” This is in the section entitled “Expanded Worldwide Planning.”

“There exist a number of structures that provide clients’ security from data breaches, erroneous government reporting, and the “blanket and indiscriminate nature of automatic exchange under CRS”. Among these structures, Expanded Worldwide Planning (EWP) is a concept that has emerged. It offers international families a framework that enhances privacy and asset protection within a flexible, open architecture platform.

For example, Advanced Financial Solutions, Inc. is one proponent of EWP. It is an element of international taxation created to implement directives from several tax authorities following the 2008 worldwide recession.

EWP gives privacy and compliance with tax laws. It also enhances protection from data breaches and strengthens family security. It allows for a tax compliant system that still respects basic rights of privacy. EWP addresses the concerns of law firms and international planners about some aspects of CRS related to their clients’ privacy. EWP assists with the privacy and welfare of families by protecting their financial records and keeping them in compliance with tax regulations.”

Advanced Financial Solutions Inc-Wikipedia

The 953(d) election is a major topic in this Part of the book. What are the essentials of this section of the U.S. tax code, and why is it significant for wealthy international families today?

The 953(d) election 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 the insurance company and policyholders.

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.

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.

Professor PPLI, we begin this Part with a famous line from Leonardo da Vinci, “Can’t beauty and utility be combined?” How does this relate to PPLI? 

Probably at least a few of you have taken the back off your laptop computer. At first sight, it is a confusing array of wires and computer chips that confounds the mind of one who knows nothing about computer hardware. This inside look into the device is in sharp contrast to the outside which is a sleek looking case of plastic with a keyboard.

To the uneducated advisor a PPLI asset structure might look like the inside of the laptop in our analogy. To the experienced advisor the finished asset structure is every bit as clean and well-order as the outside of the laptop, because all the various components in the structure function like a computer that is operating at peak performance.

For advisors to take a trust and marry it with many asset classes and beneficiaries, both of which may be spread out over many tax jurisdictions throughout the world, is a daunting task. Much like the inside of our laptop to the untrained eye. For those willing to learn, the benefits to wealthy international families are outstanding in comparison to the learning curve of international PPLI asset structuring.

Returning to Leonardo da Vinci, Yes, beauty and utility can be combined with PPLI into a single well-working structure that is compliant with all the tax jurisdictions that the policy supports. At Advanced Financial Solutions, Inc. this is our specialty.

 

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

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Q & A – PPLI for Wealthy International Families

Questions and Answers from the book “The Wit and Wisdom of Professor PPLI: How to Achieve Exceptional Asset Structuring with Private Placement Life Insurance”

~ by Michael Malloy, CLU, TEP

 

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PPLI for Wealthy International Families

– Including Wealthy U.S. Families

PPLI’s Beautiful Architecture

 Part 3

Professor PPLI, in this Part we have a discussion of light and dark from different perspectives. How can this be relevant to PPLI asset structuring?

Imagine a typical flowchart that is used to depict a PPLI asset structure. On most flowcharts of this type, the PPLI policy box is located in the middle.  Usually the owner, most often a trust, is above the PPLI policy box, and below are the various assets and holding companies necessary to complete the structure.

Let us now hear from physicist, Julian Scudder

“Stars form light as a byproduct of the incredible pressures at their centers…. New stars only unveil themselves to our eyes by using the light they give off to burn away the dust and gas that hid them in darkness.”

Now back to our flowchart. Think of the PPLI policy box as a star at the center of the asset structure. The pressure in our analogy is the well-established insurance laws and regulations throughout the world which make these structures possible.

 This PPLI policy box, now a newly formed star, gives off light to the other elements of the structure like the trust, assets, and beneficiaries so they can shine forth. All the elements then have the light they need to make the entire structure successful. This brings to mind the subtitle of our Part, PPLI’s Beautiful Architecture.

Professor PPLI, why did you include U.S. families in the title along with international families? Aren’t there domestic U.S. policies that can serve their needs?

If all a family’s assets are located in the U.S., they might consider using a U.S. product, but most often this would not work if they had unusual asset classes. Domestic U.S. PPLI companies structure their products as extensions of the standard retail Variable Universal Life products.

In most cases, a family is much better off using an offshore insurance company with a 953(d) election. Not only are fees lower, but the entire structure will put most families closer to their ultimate goal–to achieve the six elements of Expanded Worldwide Planning (EWP): privacy, asset protection, tax shield, succession planning, compliance simplifier, and trust substitute.

In our first answer we made an analogy between PPLI and the physical aspects of a star as it relates to light. Many advisors would find this analogy far fetch as most international tax advisors have little or no knowledge of the asset structuring possibilities of PPLI. Professor PPLI, please expand on this fact for us.

Quite true indeed. Attorneys, trust officers, and accountants are not offered any courses in PPLI asset structuring in their formal education, so they must encounter this outstanding tool later in their practices. Even when they do, they frequently reject it, because they are unaware of this variety of life insurance and equate PPLI with retail products.

This is not helped in the U.S. where a few major insurance companies do offer PPLI, but it is more of an extension of their retail products, as we mentioned in the second answer.

It takes a creative partnership between the various disciplines involved in a PPLI structure to accomplish the magic. When attorneys, asset managers, trust officers, accountants, and insurance advisors truly understand the dynamic asset structuring elements of PPLI, they can ride the exciting wave of what we call in the book the Unifying Factor.

Currently, when the very concept of wealth seems under attack from political parties, governments hungry for tax dollars, and worldwide governing bodies like the OECD, why not embrace the Unifying Factor. Families then can avail themselves of the six principles of Expanded Worldwide Planning (EWP) that we mentioned earlier. At Advanced Financial Solutions Inc., we endeavor to secure the Unifying Factor for each of our clients.

 

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

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Q & A – The Rainmaker Cometh

Questions and Answers  from the book “The Wit and Wisdom of Professor PPLI: How to Achieve Exceptional Asset Structuring with Private Placement Life Insurance”

~ by Michael Malloy, CLU, TEP

 

The Rainmaker Cometh

Professor PPLI’s Tanned Face

 Part 3

 

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Professor PPLI, there is the phrase to ‘hide something in plain site.’ Isn’t this similar to PPLI asset structures?

 Yes, you hit upon a key point, both geopolitically and in reference to PPLI. Seeking to hide assets from tax authorities is a thing of the past. The desire to seek legitimate privacy, tax efficiency, and asset protection is accomplished through the medium of life insurance with PPLI. ‘In plain site’ because life insurance is such a conservative and widely accepted financial instrument.

With the correct structuring it can achieve the six principles of Expanded Worldwide Planning (EWP):  privacy, asset protection, tax shield, succession planning, trust substitute, and compliance simplifier.

In this part we quote an extended passage by Charles Dickens on the effects of the wind through an English village. Professor PPLI, how is this analogous to PPLI?

 In nature the wind can be a disruptive force, especially when it blows very hard. Indeed, in the Dickens’ passage that we quote, the wind is a very disruptive force, much like a violent winter storm. To quote a more modern depiction of an emotional storm, here are the opening lines of  a song by Bob Dylan, Shelter from the storm:

‘Twas in another lifetime, one of toil and blood

When blackness was a virtue and the road was full of mud

I came in from the wilderness, a creature void of form

“Come in,” she said, “I’ll give you shelter from the storm”

PPLI is just such “shelter from the storm.” In this section of the book, we also present an article by Simon Gorbutt from the STEP Journal. The article describes in detail how PPLI can assist wealthy international families in cross-border situations.

We quote from the Conclusion of the article: “As families and their wealth gradually disperse, and business and personal relationships evolve, even established planning tools can be rendered inefficient or, worse, obsolete. While no structure will weather all eventualities, the flexibility inherent in life insurance and the breadth of its recognition make it an attractive candidate for completing a modern wealth and succession plan.”

Professor PPLI, one can travel almost anywhere in the world in 24 hours. I think you can say our world is the most widely traveled in history. How does PPLI make successful asset structuring more possible in this environment?

PPLI is a true cross-border structuring tool. Many wealthy families are spread out over the globe. At Advanced Financial Solutions we carefully research all aspects of each country where a family member may reside. We also must look into the laws and regulations surrounding each asset in the PPLI structure to ensure that all reporting requirements are being met. In many cases PPLI greatly simplifies the reporting requirements, because the insurance company becomes the beneficial owner of the assets inside the policy.

 

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

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Q & A – PPLI and Understanding

Questions and Answers  from the book “The Wit and Wisdom of Professor PPLI”

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How do we achieve understanding?

 Section One, Part 1

Professor PPLI, please tell us more about how understanding Private Placement Life Insurance (PPLI) leads to a successful outcome for wealthy families?

 When most people think of life insurance, they think of a product. This understanding is much too restrictive for PPLI. Wealthy families are looking for new methods to structure their assets. FATCA and CRS have eliminated many structuring tools that gave these families legitimate privacy.

PPLI is a long-established, conservative tool that uses the six elements of Expanded Worldwide Planning (EWP) to not only produce a structure that gives legitimate privacy, but tax efficiency and asset protection as well. This is the correct understanding of PPLI.

Professor PPLI, why isn’t the understanding that you just explained more widely circulated among those who advise wealthy families?

 We live in an era of specialization, and this is true among those who advise wealthy families:  attorneys, asset managers, accountants, financial planners, and trust officers.  All these disciplines have their own unique focus. Proper PPLI asset structuring incorporates all these disciplines, and blends them into a conservative and tax compliant structure that produces a multi-generational asset structure.

The broad vision of PPLI is sometimes difficult for those who practice these disciplines. One must leave the narrow and safe confines of a certain way of thinking to embrace the broader and more expansive vision of PPLI.

Professor PPLI, please tells us about the history of PPLI. Is it true that it dates back to the 1980s in the United States?

 Yes, this is true. PPLI began in the United States in the 1980s. It was principally used to structure benefits for senior executives at major corporations. It allowed these executives to customize their investments and provide greater benefits than with the standard plans available.

In the early 1990s, it  was adopted by wealth individuals. Attorneys and other advisors saw that PPLI could be a valuable tool in planning for wealthy clients given all the advantages of life insurance, as well as the special properties that we mentioned before. PPLI allows planners to incorporate all of the key elements of EWP into one coherent structure.

In the mid-1990s, major companies entered the market. Insurance companies saw the marketing opportunities inherent in PPLI, and we see companies being formed in tax friendly jurisdictions like Bermuda and Barbados.

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

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Let PPLI Lead the Charge

The Highest Form of Zero

 Part 5

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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 Defines Nothing. We also offer you the fifth part of, “She Was Good For Nothing,” by Hans Christian Andersen. This charming fairy tale supports our theme of nothing.

 The potential of Private Placement Life Insurance (PPLI) as an asset structuring tool for wealthy families has barely been explored. Particularly in a U.S. context, one sees PPLI’s unique traits expressed in numbers, mainly through the compounding of the tax-free growth of its cash value over time. Yes, this is most true and correct, but this is only the beginning of the story.

Just as “the cloud” has taken our data storage to a new level, this article will endeavor to raise your awareness of the myriad possibilities of PPLI for structuring the worldwide assets of wealthy families. This is expressed excellently in the Senior Consultant, The Voice of the Investment Management Consultant.

“Private Placement Life Insurance (PPLI) is much more than an insurance policy. PPLI represents one of the most powerful vehicles available to the high net worth investor in the marketplace today.

PPLI enhances both wealth creation and wealth preservation. Wealth creation is the result of the tax-free growth of the assets in the insurance contract. Wealth preservation is a result of the death benefit paid from the insurance contract.”

Here are a few examples where Advanced Financial Solutions was able to assist wealthy international families.

PPLI Solution A, by Advanced Financial Solutions Inc.

A Chinese client, who is a U.S. green card holder residing in Hong Kong, had pre-IPO stock valued at $10M. Upon going public, it was estimated that the stock will be worth many times this valuation. Through the use of careful planning, we were able to place the stock into a properly structured PPLI policy before the stock went public, thus saving the client $45M in U.S. capital gains tax. He was able to diversify his holdings inside the policy tax-free, and pass his estate tax-free to his heirs. The client accessed the funds inside the policy through low-cost policy loans.

PPLI Solution B

A Chinese family came to us for succession planning for offshore companies owned by the family. They wished to pass these offshore companies located in various parts of the world to their son, who is a green card holder residing in the U.S. Besides transferring the companies at the death of the wealth owner via a properly structured PPLI policy, the son wished to take the profits from the companies and invest them in real estate projects outside the U.S. We created a PPLI structure for the family that accomplished all of these aims. The PPLI structure also gave them tax-deferral on all the future revenue from the companies.

PPLI Solution C

An Israeli client who resides in Italy has a company where all the revenue is generated in Italy. He is also a U.S. green card holder, but spends very little time in the U.S. He had a Nevada company that did the processing of his customers’ orders which came from customers worldwide. The client wished to restructure to lessen his U.S. tax burden which we accomplished for him using a 953(d) offshore PPLI policy.

PPLI Solution D

A young entrepreneur with worldwide holdings in sports, natural resources, gaming, and content management wishes us to check his compliance with FATCA and CRS. He is a U.S. green card holder as well as a UK resident, and citizen of an African country. He had created a dozen companies with excellent potential. We brought him into compliance with tax authorities worldwide with a PPLI structure. We gave his revenues a boost, because in the PPLI structure all the profits become tax-deferred. We protected his family with the low-cost death benefit of the PPLI policy.

We conclude our theme of Nothing by defining it with a Dutch concept, niksen from Olga Mecking in the New York Times article, “The Case for Doing Nothing, Stop being so busy, and just do nothing. Trust us.”

“Running from place to place and laboring over long to-do lists have increasingly become ways to communicate status: I’m so busy because I’m just so important, the thinking goes.

Perhaps it’s time to stop all this busyness. Being busy — if we even are busy — is rarely the status indicator we’ve come to believe it is. Nonetheless, the impact is real, and instances of burnout, anxiety disorders and stress-related diseases are on the rise, not to mention millennial burnout.

There’s a way out of that madness, and it’s not more mindfulness, exercise or a healthy diet (though these things are all still important). What we’re talking about is … doing nothing. Or, as the Dutch call it, niksen.

What is niksen?

 It’s difficult to define what doing nothing is, because we are always doing something, even when we’re asleep.

Doreen Dodgen-Magee, a psychologist who studies boredom and wrote the book “Deviced! Balancing Life and Technology in a Digital World,” likens niksen to a car whose engine is running but isn’t going anywhere.

“The way I think about boredom is coming to a moment with no plan other than just to be,” she said.

Sandi Mann, a psychologist at the University of Central Lancashire in Britain, added that niksen can be “when we’re not doing the things we should be doing. Because perhaps we don’t want to, we’re not motivated. Instead, we’re not doing very much.”

More practically, the idea of niksen is to take conscious, considered time and energy to do activities like gazing out of a window or sitting motionless. The less-enlightened might call such activities “lazy” or “wasteful.” Again: nonsense.”

Part 5 of “She Was Good For Nothing” by Hans Christian Andersen:

“It was just then that my darling boy, who lies sleeping there, was born. Then his father had a long and severe illness, and for nine months I even had to dress and undress him every day. We kept on going backward. We had to borrow more and more; one by one all our possessions were sold; and at last Erik died. Since then I have worked and slaved for the boy’s sake, have gone out scrubbing floors and washing linen, done coarse work or fine, whatever I could get. But I was not to be better off; it is the Lord’s will! He will take me away and find better provisions for my child.” Then she fell asleep.

In the morning she seemed better and decided she was strong enough to return to her work. But the moment she felt the cold water a shivering seized her; she grasped about convulsively with her hands, took one step forward, and fell. Her head lay on the dry bank, but her feet were in the water of the river; her wooden shoes, in each of which there was a handful of straw, were carried away by the current.

And here she was found by Maren, when she came to bring her some coffee.

A message had come to her lodging that the Mayor wanted to see her, for he had something to say to her. It was too late. A doctor was summoned; the poor washerwoman was dead.

“She has drunk herself to death,” said the Mayor.

The letter that had brought the Mayor the news of his brother’s death also gave a summary of his will, and among other bequests he had left six hundred dollars to the glovemaker’s widow, who had formerly served his parents! The money was to be paid at discretion in large or small sums to her and her child.

“There was some nonsense about love between my brother and her,” said the Mayor. “It’s just as well she’s out of the way. Now it will all come to the boy, and I’ll place him with some honest people who will make him a good workman.” And on these words our Lord laid his blessings.

And the Mayor sent for the boy, promised to take care of him, and told him it was a lucky thing his mother was dead; she was good for nothing.

They carried her to the churchyard, to a pauper’s grave. Maren planted a little rose tree on her grave, while the boy stood beside her.

“My darling mother,” he said as the tears started from his eyes. “Is it true that she was good for nothing?”

“No, it is not true!” said the old woman, looking up to heaven. “I have known it for many years and especially since the night before she died. I tell you she was a good and fine woman, and our Lord in heaven will say so, too, so let the world say: ‘She was good for nothing!’ “

 

We wish to take you to the highest level of Expanded Worldwide Planning through careful research of your unique family situation. Please let us begin the process by contacting our office today for a gratis initial consultation to find out if our advanced PPLI structuring methods align with your financial goals.

 

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

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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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Transformation Abounds

Professor PPLI and the Caterpillar

Part 5

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Our next series of articles will comprise an in-depth look at the five main components of our PPLI Concept Map: Professor PPLI to the Rescue.  

In our earlier articles we entertained several views on the word rain, and explored various ways that the English language used the word rain in colorful ways to describe its effect on a client’s assets. Professor PPLI has a rye sense of humor! You will receive more in this vein further in our article from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Professor PPLI meets his match in the person of the Caterpillar.

We also cast life insurance, in particular Private Placement Life Insurance (PPLI), in the role of a protective outer garment that can protect client’s assets against the assault of the rain.

Now I ask you to exchange this protective outer garment for one of nature’s most magical acts: the Resolving the Contradiction of Changeless Changetransformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly. The cocoon, like PPLI, does indeed provide protection, and the amazing transformation that occurs inside the cocoon is analogous to the transformation of client’s assets once they enter the PPLI policy.

From the Scientific American, Ferris Jabr brings us

“How Does a Caterpillar Turn into a Butterfly? To become a butterfly, a caterpillar first digests itself. But certain groups of cells survive, turning the soup into eyes, wings, antennae and other adult structures”

“As children, many of us learn about the wondrous process by which a caterpillar morphs into a butterfly. The story usually begins with a very hungry caterpillar hatching from an egg. The caterpillar, or what is more scientifically termed a larva, stuffs itself with leaves, growing plumper and longer through a series of molts in which it sheds its skin. One day, the caterpillar stops eating, hangs upside down from a twig or leaf and spins itself a silky cocoon or molts into a shiny chrysalis. Within its protective casing, the caterpillar radically transforms its body, eventually emerging as a butterfly or moth.

But what does that radical transformation entail? How does a caterpillar rearrange itself into a butterfly? What happens inside a chrysalis or cocoon?

First, the caterpillar digests itself, releasing enzymes to dissolve all of its tissues. If you were to cut open a cocoon or chrysalis at just the right time, caterpillar soup would ooze out.”

Like the transformation of the caterpillar into a butterfly, the of re-characterizing of assets inside a PPLI becomes an equally magical experience. Once assets are placed inside the PPLI policy, these assets take on the six principles of Expanded Worldwide Planning (EWP): privacy, asset protection, succession planning, tax shield, compliance simplifier, and trust substitute.

We are not finished with the Caterpillar, and now reveal him in a new guise. Because Professor PPLI has such a rye sense of humor, we now switch to a master of quizzical, British humor, Lewis Carroll, in Alice in Wonderland.  The very idea of raining inside an insurance policy is puzzling, and brings to mind an equally puzzling exchange between Alice and the Caterpillar.

“’Who are you?‘ said the Caterpillar.

This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, ‘I — I hardly know, sir, just at present — at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.’

‘What do you mean by that?’ said the Caterpillar sternly. ‘Explain yourself!’

‘I can’t explain myself, I’m afraid, sir’ said Alice, ‘because I’m not myself, you see.’

‘I don’t see,’ said the Caterpillar.

‘I’m afraid I can’t put it more clearly,’ Alice replied very politely, ‘for I can’t understand it myself to begin with; and being so many different sizes in a day is very confusing.’

‘It isn’t,’ said the Caterpillar.

‘Well, perhaps you haven’t found it so yet,’ said Alice; ‘but when you have to turn into a chrysalis — you will some day, you know — and then after that into a butterfly, I should think you’ll feel it a little queer, won’t you?’

‘Not a bit,’ said the Caterpillar.

‘Well, perhaps your feelings may be different,’ said Alice; ‘all I know is, it would feel very queer to me.’

‘You!’ said the Caterpillar contemptuously. ‘Who are you?’

Which brought them back again to the beginning of the conversation. Alice felt a little irritated at the Caterpillar’s making such very short remarks, and she drew herself up and said, very gravely, ‘I think, you out to tell me who you are, first.’

‘Why?’ said the Caterpillar.

Here was another puzzling question; and as Alice could not think of any good reason, and as the Caterpillar seemed to be in a very unpleasant state of mind, she turned away.

‘Come back!’ the Caterpillar called after her. ‘I’ve something important to say!’

This sounded promising, certainly: Alice turned and came back again.

‘Keep your temper,’ said the Caterpillar.

‘Is that all?’ said Alice, swallowing down her anger as well as she could.

‘No,’ said the Caterpillar.

Alice thought she might as well wait, as she had nothing else to do, and perhaps after all it might tell her something worth hearing. For some minutes it puffed away without speaking, but at last it unfolded its arms, took the hookah out of its mouth again, and said,

‘So you think you’re changed, do you?’

‘I’m afraid I am, sir,’ said Alice; ‘I can’t remember things as I used — and I don’t keep the same size for ten minutes together!’

‘Can’t remember what things?’ said the Caterpillar.

‘Well, I’ve tried to say “How doth the little busy bee,” but it all came different!’ Alice replied in a very melancholy voice.”

Alice’s state of mind reminds me of tax advisor who doesn’t understand PPLI. These advisors can’t conceive of an insurance policy accomplishing more than a trust. But in a sense, this can be seen with a little reflection–these advisors are mostly in the business of creating trust, or giving tax advice, and think that insurance is beneath their dignity. Much like Alice regards the Caterpillar.

Ironically, most PPLI policies are owned by trusts. PPLI greatly expands the trust’s possibilities by coupling amicably with a properly structured PPLI policy.

Tax in the Real World 

I think most people would agree that in an ideal society, taxation would promote the common good. But putting this into practice is extremely difficult. Who to tax and how much to tax is much debated throughout the world, and countries approach this dilemma in many different ways, depending on the type of government and their societal goals.

Strong central governments are able to implement their programs with greater ease than in societies that are more pluralistic and democratic, but this is still no guarantee that the programs implemented will be successful, and promote the common good.

Promoting the common good reminds me of the quest to rid the world of the One Ring in J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Written during the time of World War II, Tolkien’s epic novel offers us an example of a quest to rid the world of a device, the One Ring, that had the ability to unleash destruction and enslave the peoples of Middle Earth. In the end, service and steadfast devotion won out over greed and power.

At Advanced Financial Solutions, Inc. our quest is to give you maximum tax efficiency and privacy while maintaining your compliance with the world’s tax authorities. Our PPLI structuring uses a simple, straightforward, and traditional tool–life insurance. Our service and steadfast devotion to your needs produces exceptional results. Please let us know your situation so we can create a plan that works for your own unique set of circumstances.

 

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

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The PPLI Papers

Secure Wealth and Tax Compliance Through Private Placement Life Insurance

The PPLI Papers available on Amazon

During this past week Amazon selected The PPLI Papers as the No. 1 book in their Insurance Law section. Amazon is also running a special on my book from Saturday, February 9th, to Wednesday, February 13th. The PPLI Papers will be available for a free download during this period. The print version of the book is in process, and will be available in a few weeks.
 
Here is the Amazon link to the book: https://amzn.to/2SyMKpu
 
  • We hope you take advantage of this offer!
  • Your comments and suggestions are most appreciated.
  • Let us know how you like the book, (bottom of the page).
Thank you.
~Michael
Introduction

Were you concerned about the revelations of the Panama Papers and the  Paradise Papers? If you are concerned about lack of privacy and want to structure your assets to enhance privacy, tax efficiency, and asset protection, look no further.  Here you will find an approach that gives you all the privacy you seek to retain while remaining in full compliance with tax authorities worldwide.

We are talking about the use of a specialized life insurance policy–Private Placement Life Insurance (PPLI). Much more than just an insurance policy, it is a conservative approach that offers a trustworthy and reliable method of achieving these aims.

PPLI is unlike any other life insurance policy you may have encountered. To quote from Senior Consultant, The Voice of the Investment Management Consultant:

“Private Placement Life Insurance (PPLI) is much more than an insurance policy. PPLI represents one of the most powerful vehicles available to the high net worth investor in the marketplace today.”

The Wikipedia article, International tax planning, discusses the concept of Expanded Worldwide Planning (EWP), the overarching planning tool that emerged from the regulatory framework introduced by FATCA and CRS. This article tells us:

“At the heart of EWP is a properly constructed Private placement life insurance (PPLI) policy that allows taxpayers to use the regulatory framework of life insurance to structure assets along the client’s planning needs.”

The aim of this book is to give you a general knowledge of Private Placement Life Insurance and introduce wealthy international clients to the possibilities of structuring their assets to their greatest benefit in the wake of the Panama Papers and Paradise Papers. We will offer news stories, discussions by various authors on PPLI, and related topics such as tax planning. The book consists of my articles over the last several years, and will give you access to videos on PPLI.  The diversity of the articles mirrors the diversity of PPLI structuring possibilities that are available throughout the world.

My sincere hope is that you come away with a structure that achieves your aims. For maintaining full privacy while maximizing tax savings, and asset protection, PPLI is one of the world’s best kept secrets.

 

~ by Michael Malloy, CLU, TEP

 

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PPLI AND JURISDICTIONAL ISSUES

Whose Jurisdiction Is This? Private Placement Life Insurance Defines and Simplifies

A proper understanding of jurisdictional issues is key to a successful Private Placement Life Insurance (PPLI) structure. One cannot simply take the assets of wealthy international families and move them offshore and expect a good result. The tax residence of the family is paramount, as well as the tax residence of the beneficiaries. A PPLI structure that is successful in one country, might not work in another. These factors must be thoroughly researched for the wealthy international family to have a successful PPLI structure. Since these PPLI structures tend to be long-term the necessity for this thorough research is even more compelling.

What are the areas that must be looked at to produce a successful outcome? The jurisdictional issues involved in all these areas must be addressed: tax treaties; tax laws; insurance laws; forced heirship issues, trust domicile; location of the assets; and tax reporting issues.

For our examples which illustrate jurisdictional issues, we give you one news story and excerpts from an excellent scholarly article: “GILTI: “Made in America” for European Tax Unilateral Measures, Excess Profits & the International Tax Competition Game” by  G. Charles Beller, UVA Law School, Class of 2018, Virginia Tax Review (forthcoming 2019).

As you will read our news story demonstrates how an unwanted intrusion by one jurisdiction into another can produce a very bad result. In the area of international taxation, individual countries are now competing with each other for international tax dollars. Governments are looking for a system that avoids unwanted intrusions at any level and respects the sovereignty rights of each country.

A key question posited by this article is: “How does Global Intangible Low-tax Income (GILTI), the U.S. global minimum tax on excess profits introduced with the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s” (TCJA) fit into the larger debate about international tax avoidance, “harmful tax competition,” and taxation in the “digital economy”? As you will read, the article reaches a compelling new paradigm, partial developed from game theory, that could be a model for future international tax transactions.

Here are some key points from the article:

“Rather than perpetuate trans-Atlantic hostilities as Europe and the OECD consider the “digital economy,” the U.S. tax and business communities should explain how GILTI promotes beneficial competition on productive factors, discourages base erosion and profit shifting by U.S. multinationals (MNEs), and provides cover for European and other developed countries to modernize international tax rules consistent with longstanding principles of tax territoriality.

Political developments in the European Union and OECD suggest that EU member states need not feel guilty about leveraging a GILTI-esque minimum tax tool to combat the challenging issues facing international taxation in the digital age. Indeed, Germany has suggested a GILTI like minimum tax tool as part of a multilateral OECD proposal to confront challenges in taxing the “digital economy” – “a kind of BEPS 2.0” that utilizes U.S. unilateral action to facilitate multilateral cooperation.

At the heart of the controversy over GILTI, “Digital Taxation,” and the larger BEPS project is a debate about the propriety and benefits of tax competition. While tax competition is a controversial concept among economists and tax lawyers, recent scholarship provides a typology to talk productively about tax competition.

This paper draws on the theory of tax competition and language of international tax neutrality to argue that international tax policy must be viewed through the lens of “national welfare” when considering strategic incentives and thus positive predictions about nation state behavior in the international tax competition game.

Viewing tax competition and GILTI’s global minimum tax through the prism of game theory yields important insights into the potential for unilateral U.S. action to alleviate global collective action problems. An important question in evaluating GILTI is whether it enables potential cooperative behavior among developed economies through signaling and minimum standards by a sovereign with “pricing” power to set global rate and base terms for MNEs.

In short, is GILTI a harmful unilateral measures that undermines cooperative efforts in the OECD and EU? Or is GILTI like FACTA — a veiled if unsolicited gift for developed EU economies? This paper answers these questions and highlights the potential of a global minimum tax on excess profits to further debate about international taxation in a digitized economy while retaining foundational principles of tax territoriality.

Sovereignty and multilateralism have become buzzwords defining battle lines in a global debate about political ideology and international relations. International tax policy is a technical field that must skirt ideological battles and avoid aligning with “pure” multilateralism or “radical” unilateralism. While BEPS took an ideological position in arguing that cooperation stands in conflict with unilateralism, this paper shows how unilateral measures can foster beneficial cooperation in certain areas of the international tax policy.

As the FACTA/BEPS histories and GILTI parallels suggest, cooperative action is facilitated under certain scenarios through unilateral action with cooperative potential. Global minimum tax rates can operate as a sovereign cartel tool without clear efficiencies for productive factor competition or tax diversity. GILTI takes a different approach. It does not attempt to impose a global minimum tax rate by way of multilateral horse-trading. Instead, GILTI implements a resident based global minimum tax on excess profits that enables productive factor competition. Moreover, GILTI respects traditional principles of tax sovereignty and territoriality. GILTI’s resident based global minimum tax allows competing sovereigns to set their own rate and base terms. GILTI merely limits the benefit that foreign source rates confer on resident foreign profits.

As a result, GILTI’s resident global minimum tax tool shifts international tax competition away from a cat and mouse game of tracking down and labelling “tax havens” or “harmful” tax competition. Instead, the hunt for “harmful” tax competition is replaced with a productive experiment among competing sovereigns for a diverse array of resident benefits that allow domestic firms to exploit excess profits at home and abroad. Under GILTI (and similar tax tools), resident MNEs share the surplus of excess foreign profits with the resident sovereigns that make those profits possible. By enabling resident sovereigns to share in excess profits while at the same time limiting the tax benefit of foreign low tax rates, GILTI furthers productive factor competition.

As EU member states seeks to develop international tax policy for the “digital age,” productive factor competition should be a primary goal. Moreover, Europe must avoid a “two-hemisphere” mindset that targets digital tax revenues earned in the EU while dismissing identical proposals from developing countries targeting European revenues around the globe. GILTI bolsters productive factor competition while retaining the foundational principles of tax territoriality and sovereignty that protect resident firms when operating in foreign markets. That’s why GILTI is a tax tool “Made in America” for European tax.”

Our news story demonstrates a more confrontational jurisdictional dispute with a sad ending:  “American Missionary Killed by Isolated Tribe Wrote of Confrontation With the Group,” by Corinne Abrams and Rajesh Roy of the Wall Street Journal.

“As American missionary John Allen Chau sat aboard a boat near a remote Indian Ocean island known for its violent and isolated inhabitants, he wrote a message to his mother and father he made clear might be his last.

“You guys might think I’m crazy in all this but I think it’s worth it to declare Jesus to these people,” he wrote Friday. “Please do not be angry at them or at God if I get killed—rather please live your lives in obedience to whatever He has called you to and I’ll see you again.”

Within a day, Mr. Chau was missing. Five fishermen who took him to North Sentinel Island said they saw the body of someone resembling him being buried under the sand by members of the tribe that allegedly killed him.

Mr. Chau, 26, was visiting the island in India’s Andaman and Nicobar archipelago to try to spread the word of God, according to diary entries released by police.

The tribe has a long history of violent resistance to outsiders and is protected by laws that bar visitors from docking boats within 5 nautical miles (5.75 miles) of the shore.

Mr. Chau’s Instagram page shows a young man passionate about travel and new experiences. In July, he posted photos taken from a canoe and from a diving expedition with the hashtag #Andamans. Many of his posts are hashtagged #Solideogloria, the Latin phrase for Glory to God Alone.

In the journal, Mr. Chau wrote that he was on a mission to establish a kingdom of Jesus, Dependra Pathak, director general of police in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands said. Instead, he died during a “misplaced adventure in the highly restricted area,” Mr. Pathak wrote in a statement.

The islanders, part of the Sentinelese tribe whose origins date back tens of thousands of years, have a long history of hostile reactions to outsiders.

“They are very aggressive and violent. Anyone trying to access the area gets showered with arrows,” Mr. Pathak said.”

Luckily, at Advanced Financial Solutions, Inc. our job is not to decide what is right and proper for one jurisdiction in its relationships with other jurisdictions. Our job is to arrange the jurisdictional elements of PPLI structuring to achieve the best possible result for our clients. From our years of experience, this best possible result is a combination of outstanding tax savings, privacy enhancements, and asset protection benefits. We would like to help you achieve these benefits too. Please contact us with your worldwide asset structuring needs.

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

 

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