Chinese + Investor Control + PPLI = Success

Part II: EWP Chinese Case Study

Expanded Worldwide Planning (EWP) with the right fact pattern can deliver a Private Placement Life Insurance Policy (PPLI) which gives clients the control they wish.  In the much discussed Webber v. Commissioner, U.S. Tax Court case, the policy issued by the offshore company had a 953(d) election, therefore, the issues of investor control and diversification were of paramount importance.  What if the PPLI policy had been a non-953(d) issued PPLI policy?

For international clients with no connection to the U.S., a non-953(d) policy suits their needs perfectly.  So where does that leave us on the investor control issue?  It eliminates it, along with the diversification requirement under the U.S. tax code.  Why?  Because, if the insurance company was domiciled in Barbados, we are using the Barbados tax and insurance code. For this jurisdiction there are no investor control and diversification requirements.

Let us use a Chinese family as a case study.  Mr. Lee’s wealth had been generated from steel manufacturing in China. Over the years he has used various offshore structures.  Mr. Lee is now concerned with CRS and the fact than these offshore structures will now be reported to Chinese tax authorities.  Using EWP and a properly structured PPLI policy, the insurance company will become the beneficial owner of the assets inside the PPLI policy.

If ties develop to the U.S. through Mr. Lee’s daughters, who are attending school in the U.S., we can also issue a 953(d) PPLI policy to benefit them and shield them from tax. By using an EWP structure, Mr. Lee and his family can keep their affairs private, tax efficient, and tax compliant.

Now back to the Webber case. The most comprehensive article on investor control, as it pertains to PPLI policies, that I have read is by Steven Horowitz. The article is impressive both in terms of the detailed analysis of investor control, and the conclusions that Mr. Horowitz reaches.  We quote one of his key points below, and invite you to read the full article,

“I truly believe that the Service should have lost the case on the issue of investor control, but not because of the fact that the investor/ Taxpayer did not exercise too much control. Rather, the case should have been decided based upon the one major point of law, namely: Jeffrey T. Webber did not own the policy. The body of case law and revenue rulings, right or wrong, provides that it is the “policyholder/ owner of the contract” (See, Rev. Rul. 82-54, 1982 C.B. 11), must be the one who has exercised the excessive control over the investments within the contract. The Code provisions and historical body of tax law which govern the tax treatment of life insurance policies and annuity contracts provides in pertinent part as follows in a very clear fashion, the relevant language is as follows: the Policy Holder and owner of the contract are the parties who may not exercise an overabundance of control over the investments within the contract. As Mr. Webber was not the owner of the policy or policyholder (without application of the grantor trust rules), then the Court could not reach the conclusion that it reached without first dealing with the issue of grantor trust status (which would have made Mr. Webber the “Owner” for all federal income tax purposes), (See Rev. Rul. 85-13, 1985-1 C.B. 184).”

Most wealth owners wish structures where they maintain control of their assets. They also wish to keep their affairs private, tax efficient, and tax compliant. Using EWP and a properly structured PPLI policy, it is possible to achieve all these aims.

Please let us know how we can assist you in using these structures.  Our experienced staff is here to serve you.

 

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

 

 

 

Tax Compliant and Tax-Free Distribution Channel

Are you working with PPLI?

If you work with Private Placement Life Insurance (PPLI), at some point in a transaction you must address the issues of diversification and investor control. In the US context, code section 817(h) pertains to diversification and these Revenue Rulings for 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).

What if you were able to structure a policy that managed your clients’ assets in multiple jurisdictions throughout the world without any concern for diversification of investments and investor control issues? What if you could even include US persons in the structure and be in compliance with US tax law, and not be concerned with diversification of investments and investor control issues?

The PPLI policy would then become in effect a tax-free distribution channel for the client with multiple asset classes inside the policy. The assets would grow tax-deferred, and pass as a tax-free death benefit when the insured passes. (A technical discussion of diversification and investor control issues, as it relates to variable insurance contracts and PPLI in particular, is not in the scope of this brief article.)

Life insurance law of Barbados

At the heart of this structure is the simple and straightforward variable life insurance law of Barbados. We have produced the code sections of the Barbados code that are most relevant for international client structuring at the end of this article. These sections are remarkable for the few points that must be complied with to achieve a compliant policy.

Can real estate and ongoing businesses be included in these structures? Again, with proper planning and careful attention to structuring, the answer is definitely, “Yes.”

We welcome your brief client fact pattern, so we can show you what is possible. Our structures achieve tax savings and keep full compliance with tax authorities. If you are looking for structures that offer your clients privacy and still include tax compliance, our PPLI structures can be your solution. We welcome your inquiries.

CHAPTER 310 INSURANCE
An Act to revise the law regulating the carrying on of insurance business in Barbados in order to strengthen the protection given to policyholders; to increase the capital and solvency requirements of insurance companies; to expand the existing regulatory framework to include the regulating of all insurance intermediaries; and to give effect to matters related thereto.

PROVISIONS RELATING TO VARIABLE INSURANCE BUSINESS
(5) The Supervisor may attach such further conditions to the issue of approval under subsection (1) as are relevant to the nature and class of the variable insurance business that the insurer intends to carry on including
(a) requiring the insurer to disclose to any applicant for a policy any one or more of the following:
(i) a statement of the investment policy of any separate account maintained in respect of such variable insurance policy including a description of the investment objectives intended for the separate account and the principal types of investments intended to be made, and any restrictions or limitations on the manner in which the operations of the separate account are intended to be conducted;
(ii) any restrictions or limitations on the manner in which the operations of such variable insurance policy are intended to be conducted;
(iii) a statement of the charges and expenses in respect of such variable insurance policy;
(iv) a summary of the method to be used in valuing assets in respect of which benefits under such variable insurance policy are to be determined; and
(v) illustrations of benefits payable under the variable insurance contract;
(b) requiring that any material contract between an insurer and suppliers of consulting, investment, administrative, sales, marketing, custodial or other services with respect to variable life insurance operations shall be in writing and provide that the supplier of such services shall furnish the Supervisor with any information or reports in connection with the services which the Supervisor may request in order to ascertain whether the variable life insurance operations of the insurer are being conducted in a manner consistent with this Act, and any other applicable law or regulation;
(c) requiring the insurer to furnish, in such manner and at such times or intervals as may be prescribed, such information relating to the value of benefits under the policies as may be prescribed, whether by sending notices to the policy-holders or depositing statements with the Supervisor;
(d) requiring that the variable insurance policy be in a specific form or contain such mandatory provisions as may be prescribed in any regulations;
(e) requiring that the insurer maintain reserves in addition to any reserves which the insurer is required to maintain under this Act;
(f) restricting the descriptions of property or indices of value of property by reference to which benefits under the policy will be determined in accordance with the regulations prescribed for such purpose; or
(g) regulating the manner in which and frequency with which property of any description is to be valued, for the purpose of determining the benefits, and the times at which reference is to be made for that purpose to any index of value of property in accordance with the regulations prescribed for such purpose.

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