Niche,Bisys,Veba,Doug Williams,arch
bonnema,steve toth,captive insurance,
michael sonnenberg,ron snyder,brian
cave,benistar,norm bevan,doug williams,
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trust,beta plan,millennium plan,grist
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Services Group,Sterling Benefit Plan,
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National Benefit Plan and Trust, ABT,
Professional Benefits Trust
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Plan,Bisys 419,Creative Services
Group 419 Plan,Sterling Benefit 419
Plan,CRESP 419,Sea Nine Veba 419,
National Benefit Plan and Trust 419,
American Benefits Trust 419,ABT 419,
Hartford 419, Pacific Life 419, PAC
Life 419, AVIVA, 419, Indianpolis
Life, Penn Mutual419,Bankers Life
419, John Hancock 419, Security
Mutual 419, Transamerica 419,
Prudential 419, Kansas City Life 419,
Mass Mutual419, Guardian 419,
Amerus 419, Wells Fargo 419, Fifth
Third Bank 419, Arrow Head Trust
419,
Hartford 412, Pacific Life 412, PAC
Life 412, AVIVA, 412, Indianpolis
Life, Penn Mutual412,Bankers Life
412, John Hancock 412, Security
Mutual 412, Transamerica 412,
Prudential 412, Kansas City Life 412,
Mass Mutual412, Guardian 412,
Amerus 412,"lance wallach" “6707A”
“captive insurance” “tax shelter fraud”
“section 79”"tax letter" "irs letter" "irs
letters" "irs determination letter" “419
plan help” 412i 6707a "form 8886"
"listed transactions" "abusive tax
shelter assistance" “insurance scam”
“retirement plan fraud” “life insurance
fraud” “life insurance scam” “health
insurance scam” health insurance fraud”
“tax shelter fraud” “tax shelter scam”
"expert witness irs" veba "expert
witness services" "Grist Mill Trust"
Benistar "SADI Trust" "Beta 419"
"Millennium Plan" Bisys "Creative
Services Group" "Sterling Benefit Plan"
"Compass 419" “Niche 419” CRESP
"Sea Nine Veba" “419 plan” 412i 419e
"expert witness insurance fraud"
"welfare benefit plans" "419 plan help"
"expert witness irs" “Lance Wallach”
“419 plan help” “412i plan help” “tax
resolution services” “irs problem
solvers” “form 8886” 6707a “irs letter”
“abusive tax shelters” “abusive tax
shelter” “listed transactions” “listed
transaction” “8886 help” “expert
witness” “life insurance expert” “tax
expert” “irs audit defense” “abusive tax
shelter help” "tax letter" "irs letter" "irs
letters" "irs determination letter" 419e
412i 6707A "form 8886" "listed
transactions" veba "expert witness
services" “abusive tax shelter help”
“Lance Wallach” “419 plan help” “412i plan help” “tax resolution
services” “irs problem solvers” “form 8886” 6707a “irs letter” “abusive
tax shelters” “abusive tax shelter” “listed transactions” “listed transaction”
“8886 help” “expert witness” “insurance expert” “tax expert” “irs audit
defense”
Attorneys-USA.org      
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Professionals to help your business & family."
IRS Notice 2007-83
Abusive Trust Arrangements Utilizing Cash Value Life Insurance Policies Purportedly to Provide Welfare Benefits

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DRAFTING INFORMATION
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Treasury Department are aware of certain trust arrangements claiming to be welfare benefit funds and involving cash
value life insurance policies that are being promoted to and used by taxpayers to improperly claim federal income and employment tax benefits. This notice
informs taxpayers and their representatives that the tax benefits claimed for these arrangements are not allowable for federal tax purposes. This notice also
alerts taxpayers and their representatives that these transactions are tax avoidance transactions and identifies certain transactions using trust arrangements
involving cash value life insurance policies, and substantially similar transactions, as listed transactions for purposes of § 1.6011-4(b)(2) of the Income Tax
Regulations and §§ 6111 and 6112 of the Internal Revenue Code. This notice further alerts persons involved with these transactions of certain responsibilities
that may arise from their involvement with these transactions.

Concurrently with this notice, the IRS is publishing Rev. Rul. 2007-65 (concluding that for purposes of deductions allowable to an employer under § 419, a
welfare benefit fund’s qualified direct cost does not include premium amounts for cash value life insurance policies paid by the fund, whenever the fund is
directly or indirectly a beneficiary under the policy within the meaning of § 264(a)), and Notice 2007-84 (describing trust arrangements involving purported
welfare benefit funds that, in form, provide post-retirement medical and life insurance benefits to employees on a nondiscriminatory basis but, in operation,
result in the owner or owners receiving all or a substantial portion of the post-retirement and other benefits, and all or a substantial portion of any assets
distributed from the trust).

BACKGROUND

1. Promoted Arrangements
Trust arrangements utilizing cash value life insurance policies and purporting to provide welfare benefits to active employees are being promoted to small
businesses and other closely held businesses as a way to provide cash and other property to the owners of the business on a tax-favored basis. The arrangements
are sometimes referred to by persons advocating their use as “single employer plans” and sometimes as “419(e) plans.” Those advocates claim that the
employers’ contributions to the trust are deductible under §§ 419 and 419A as qualified cost, but that there is not a corresponding inclusion in the owner’s
income.

A promoted trust arrangement may be structured either as a taxable trust or a tax-exempt trust, i.e., a voluntary employees’ beneficiary association (VEBA) that
has received a determination letter from the IRS that it is described in § 501(c)(9). The plan and the trust documents indicate that the plan provides benefits
such as current death benefit protection, self-insured disability benefits, and/or self-insured severance benefits to covered employees (including those
employees who are also owners of the business), and that the benefits are payable while the employee is actively employed by the employer. The employer’s
contributions are often based on premiums charged for cash value life insurance policies. For example, contributions may be based on premiums that would be
charged for whole life policies. As a result, the arrangements often require large employer contributions relative to the actual cost of the benefits currently
provided under the plan.

Under these arrangements, the trustee uses the employer’s contributions to the trust to purchase life insurance policies. The trustee typically purchases cash
value life insurance policies on the lives of the employees who are owners of the business (and sometimes other key employees), while purchasing term life
insurance policies on the lives of the other employees covered under the plan.

It is anticipated that after a number of years the plan will be terminated and the cash value life insurance policies, cash, or other property held by the trust will
be distributed to the employees who are plan participants at the time of the termination. While a small amount may be distributed to employees who are not
owners of the business, the timing of the plan termination and the methods used to allocate the remaining assets are structured so that the business owners and
other key employees will receive, directly or indirectly, all or a substantial portion of the assets held by the trust.

Those advocating the use of these plans often claim that the employer is allowed a deduction under § 419(c)(3) for its contributions when the trustee uses those
contributions to pay premiums on the cash value life insurance policies, while at the same time claiming that nothing is includible in the owner’s gross income
as a result of the contributions (or, if amounts are includible, they are significantly less than the premiums paid on the cash value life insurance policies). They
may also claim that nothing is includible in the income of the business owner or other key employee as a result of the transfer of a cash value life insurance
policy from the trust to the employee, asserting that the employee has purchased the policy when, in fact, any amounts the owner or other key employee paid
for the policy may be significantly less than the fair market value of the policy. Some of the plans are structured so that the owner or other key employee is the
named owner of the life insurance policy from the plan’s inception, with the employee assigning all or a portion of the death proceeds to the trust. Advocates of
these arrangements may claim that no income inclusion is required because there is no transfer of the policy itself from the trust to the employees.

2. Intent to Challenge Transactions
The IRS intends to challenge the claimed tax benefits for the above-described transactions for various reasons. Depending on the facts and circumstances of a
particular arrangement, contributions to a purported welfare benefit fund on behalf of an employee who is a shareholder may properly be characterized as
dividend income to the owner, the value of which is includible in the owner’s gross income, and for which amounts are not deductible by the corporation. See
Neonatology Associates v. Commissioner, 299 F.3d 221 (3d Cir. 2002). Depending on the facts and circumstances of a particular arrangement, the arrangement
may properly be characterized as a plan deferring the receipt of compensation for purposes of § 404(a)(5), resulting in the application of the rules under § 404(a)
(5) governing the timing of any otherwise available deductions. See Wellons v. Commissioner, 31 F.3d 569 (7th Cir. 1994). In addition, an arrangement may
properly be characterized as a nonqualified deferred compensation plan for purposes of § 409A. Application of § 409A may result in immediate inclusion of
income and additional taxes to the employee, as well as income tax withholding liabilities to the employer. The facts and circumstances of a particular
arrangement may result in it coming within the definition of a split-dollar life insurance arrangement, so that the tax consequences to the employer and the
employees are subject to the rules governing those types of arrangements, including potentially § 409A. Under the economic benefit regime of the split-dollar
life insurance arrangement rules set forth in § 1.61-22, the employee must include in income the full value of the economic benefits provided to the employee
under the arrangement for the taxable year without a corresponding employer deduction.

If, based on the facts and circumstances, an arrangement described above is properly characterized as a welfare benefit fund for purposes of §§ 419 and 419A
(rather than a dividend arrangement, a plan deferring the receipt of compensation, or a split-dollar life insurance arrangement), an employer is allowed a
deduction for contributions to the trust or other welfare benefit fund only to the extent allowed under §§ 419 and 419A. Under §§ 419 and 419A, no deduction is
allowed with respect to premiums paid for life insurance coverage provided to current employees if the welfare benefit fund or the employer is directly or
indirectly a beneficiary under the life insurance policy within the meaning of § 264(a). In the promoted arrangements discussed above, the trust typically
retains rights in the life insurance policies and is directly or indirectly a beneficiary under the policies, so that no deduction is allowed with respect to the life
insurance premiums. See Situation 1 in Rev. Rul. 2007-65. Further, any deduction with respect to uninsured benefits (for example, uninsured medical,
disability, or severance benefits) is not based on the premiums paid on the life insurance policies, but is generally limited to claims incurred and paid during
the year.[1] See Situation 2 in Rev. Rul. 2007-65. Thus, contrary to the claims made by persons advocating the use of the arrangements discussed above,
premiums on cash value life insurance policies paid through the trust are not a justification for claiming a deduction under §§ 419 and 419A.

Moreover, in appropriate cases, the IRS intends to challenge the value claimed by the taxpayer for property distributed from the trust, including cash value life
insurance policies.

The above conclusions apply whether the trust used to provide the plan benefits is a taxable trust or a VEBA. While the trust may have received a determination
letter stating the trust is exempt under § 501(c)(9), a letter of this type does not address the tax deductibility of contributions to the trust with respect to the
employer nor the income inclusion with respect to the employees.

The IRS has previously identified certain other transactions that claim to be welfare benefit funds as listed transactions, concluding that the tax benefits
claimed to be generated by these transactions are not allowable for federal income tax purposes. Notice 2003-24, 2003-1 C.B. 853, describes certain transactions
purporting to meet the exception under § 419A(f)(5) for collectively bargained plans and identifies those and substantially similar transactions as listed
transactions, and Notice 95-34, 1995-1 C.B. 309, describes transactions that purport to meet the 10-or-more employer plan exception under § 419A(f)(6). The
transactions described in Notice 95-34 and substantially similar transactions have also been identified as listed transactions. See Notice 2004-67, 2004-2 C.B.
600.

LISTED TRANSACTIONS

1. Transactions Identified As Listed Transactions
Any transaction that has all of the following elements, and any transaction that is substantially similar to such a transaction, are identified as “listed
transactions” for purposes of § 1.6011-4(b)(2) and §§ 6111 and 6112, effective October 17, 2007, the date this notice is released to the public.

(1) The transaction involves a trust or other fund described in § 419(e)(3) that is purportedly a welfare benefit fund.

(2) For determining the portion of its contributions to the trust or other fund that are currently deductible the employer does not rely on the exception in § 419A
(f)(5)(A) (regarding collectively bargained plans).

(3) The trust or other fund pays premiums (or amounts that are purported to be premiums) on one or more life insurance policies and, with respect to at least
one of the policies, value is accumulated either:

(a) within the policy (for example, a cash value life insurance policy); or

(b) outside the policy (for example, in a side fund or through an agreement outside the policy allowing the policy to be converted to or exchanged for a policy
which will, at some point in time, have accumulated value based on the purported premiums paid on the original policy).

(4) The employer has taken a deduction for any taxable year for its contributions to the fund with respect to benefits provided under the plan (other than post-
retirement medical benefits, post-retirement life insurance benefits, and child care facilities) that is greater than the sum of the following amounts:

(a) With respect to any uninsured benefits provided under the plan,

(i) an amount equal to claims that were both incurred and paid during the taxable year; plus

(ii) the limited reserves allowable under § 419A(c)(1) or (c)(3), as applicable; plus

(iii) amounts paid during the taxable year to satisfy claims incurred in a prior taxable year (but only to the extent that no deduction was taken for such amounts
in a prior year); plus

(iv) amounts paid during the taxable year or a prior taxable year for administrative expenses with respect to uninsured benefits and that are properly allocable
to the taxable year (but only to the extent that no deduction was taken for such amounts in a prior year).

(b) With respect to any insured benefits provided under the plan,

(i) insurance premiums paid during the taxable year that are properly allocable to the taxable year (other than premiums paid with respect to a policy described
in (3)(a) or (b) above); plus

(ii) insurance premiums paid in prior taxable years that are properly allocable to the taxable year (other than premiums paid with respect to a policy described
in (3)(a) or (b) above); plus

(iii) amounts paid during the taxable year or a prior taxable year for administrative expenses with respect to insured benefits and that are properly allocable to
the taxable year (but only to the extent that no deduction was taken for such amounts in a prior year).

(c) For taxable years ending prior to November 5, 2007, with respect to life insurance benefits provided through policies described in (3)(a) and (b) above, the
greater of the following amounts:[2]

(i) in the case of an employer with a taxable year that is the calendar year, the aggregate amounts reported by the employer as the cost of insurance with respect
to such policies on the employees’ Forms W-2 (or Forms 1099) for that year, plus an amount equal to the amounts that would have been reportable on the
employees’ Forms W-2 for that year, but for the exclusion under section 79 (relating to the cost of up to $50,000 of coverage); or, in the case of an employer with
a taxable year other than the calendar year, the portions of the aggregate amounts reported by the employer on the Forms W-2 (or Forms 1099) as described in
(i), above, (or that would have been reported absent the exclusion under § 79) that are properly allocable to the employer’s taxable year; and

(ii) with respect to each employee insured under a cash value life insurance policy, the aggregate cost of insurance charged under the policy or policies with
respect to the amount of current life insurance coverage provided to the employee under the plan (but limited to the product of the current life insurance
coverage under the plan multiplied by the current year’s mortality rate provided in the higher of the 1980 or 2001 CSO Table).

(d) The additional reserve, if any, under § 419A(c)(6) (relating to medical benefits provided through a plan maintained by a bona fide association), but only to
the extent amounts are not already included above in this paragraph (4), and only to the extent that no deduction was taken for such amounts in a prior taxable
year.

2. Participation in the Listed Transactions
Whether a taxpayer has participated in the listed transaction described in this notice will be determined under § 1.6011-4(c)(3)(i)(A). However, an individual
who is not the employer will be treated as a participant for a taxable year if, and only if the individual owns, directly or indirectly, 20 percent or more of an
entity, other than a C corporation, that is a participant in the listed transaction for the taxable year. For this purpose, indirect ownership is determined under
rules similar to the rules of § 318 but without regard to the family attribution rules of § 318(a)(1).

3. Disclosure, List Maintenance, and Registration Requirements; Penalties; Other Considerations
In general, if a taxpayer has participated in a listed transaction, the rules of §  1.6011-4(e) determine when a disclosure statement must be filed by the taxpayer.
However, if, under § 1.6011-4(e), a taxpayer is required to file a disclosure statement with respect to the listed transaction described in this notice after October
17, 2007, and prior to January 15, 2008, that disclosure statement will be considered to be timely filed if the taxpayer alternatively files the disclosure statement
with the Office of Tax Shelter Analysis (OTSA) by January 15, 2008.

Some transactions described in Notice 95-34 and substantially similar transactions may be identified as a listed transaction in this notice also. It should be
noted that, independent of their classification as “listed transactions” for purposes of § 1.6011-4(b)(2) and §§ 6111 and 6112, transactions that are the same as, or
substantially similar to, the transaction identified in this notice may already be subject to the requirements of §§ 6011, 6111, 6112, or the regulations
thereunder. Persons required to disclose these transactions under § 1.6011-4 and who fail to do so may be subject to the penalty under § 6707A.[3] Persons
required to disclose or register these transactions under § 6111 who have failed to do so may be subject to the penalty under § 6707(a). Persons required to
maintain lists of investors under § 6112 who fail to do so (or who fail to provide such lists when requested by the IRS) may be subject to the penalty under § 6708
(a).

In addition, the IRS may impose other penalties on persons involved in this transaction or substantially similar transactions (including the accuracy-related
penalty under § 6662 or 6662A) and, as applicable, on persons who participate in the promotion or reporting of this transaction or substantially similar
transactions (including the return preparer penalty under § 6694, the promoter penalty under § 6700, and the aiding and abetting penalty under § 6701).

Further, under § 6501(c)(10), the period of limitations on assessment may be extended beyond the general three-year period of limitations for persons required
to disclose transactions under § 1.6011-4 who fail to do so. See Rev. Proc. 2005-26, 2005-1 C.B. 965.

The IRS and the Treasury Department recognize that some taxpayers may have filed tax returns taking the position that they were entitled to the purported tax
benefits of the types of transactions described in this notice. These taxpayers should consult with a tax advisor to ensure that their transactions are disclosed
properly and to take appropriate corrective action.

DRAFTING INFORMATION
The principal authors of this notice are Larry Isaacs of the Employee Plans, Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division and Betty Clary of the Office of
Division Counsel/Associate Chief Counsel (Tax Exempt and Government Entities). For further information regarding this notice, contact Mr. Isaacs at
RetirementPlanQuestions@irs.gov or Ms. Clary at (202) 622-6080 (not a toll-free call).



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[1] Limited deductions are allowable under §§ 419 and 419A for additions to certain reserves, including a reserve for claims incurred but unpaid as of the close
of a taxable year.

[2] For taxable years ending on or after November 5, 2007, the amount under this (4)(c) is zero.

[3] Section 6707A applies to returns and statements due after October 22, 2004. See Notice 2005-11, 2005-1 C.B. 493. The amount of the penalty under § 6707A
with respect to a listed transaction is $100,000 in the case of a natural person and $200,000 in any other case.



Here's Why:

If your business had a plan to provide benefits to the owners & employees known as a welfare benefit plan or a
defined benefit plan (a/k/a 419e & 412i plans), it's most likely that the IRS considers these plans "abusive" and are
therefore deemed "Listed transactions" and consequently your business is subject to
IRS fines as high as
$200,000 per year!!

Our legal experts have helped many businesses escape these devastating fines by carrying out protective filing
procedures with the IRS, but as we have seen in many cases, those accountants and even lawyers who tried to do
this by themselves have produced errors that invalidated their filings and thus their clients were still slammed by the
full IRS penalties!

Our experts have over 30 years experience with the IRS, so don't try this at home folks!!

Contact the director of Attorneys-USA.org today so he can put you in contact with our listed transactions expert.

Tel:
516-935-7346
Email:
LAWallach@aol.com

The full text of the IRS notice concerning these plans is reprinted below.
Contact the director of
Attorneys-USA.org today
so he can put you in
contact with our plans
expert.

Tel:
516-935-7346
Email:
LAWallach@aol.com
516-935-7346
Get Help Here:

Call
516-935-7346
Email
LAWallach@aol.com
More Services of
attorneys-usa.org
articles on this subject

Here
Retirement today                                                                Sept 2011


Participate in a 419 or 412i Plan or Other Abusive Tax Shelter You could be fined a large amount of Money

Lance Wallach

that you have more time to straighten this situation out. Do not wait for this letter to come from the IRS before you call an expert to help you. Even if you have
been audited already, you could still get the letter and/or fine. One has nothing to do with the other, and once the fine has been imposed, it is not able to be
appealed.
Many businesses that participated in a 412i retirement plan or the IRS is auditing a 419-welfare benefit plan. Many of these plans were not in compliance with the
law and are considered abusive
tax shelters. Many business owners are not even aware that the welfare benefit plan or retirement plan that they are participating in
may be an abusive tax shelter and that they are in serious jeopardy of huge IRS penalties for each year that they have been in this type of plan.
Insurance companies,
CPAs, sellers of these 419 welfare benefit plans or 412i retirement plans, as well as anyone that gave tax advice or recommended
participation in one or more of these plans, also known as a material advisor, is in danger of being sued, fined by the IRS, or both.
There is help available if you think you may be involved with one of these 419 welfare benefit plans, 412i retirement plans, or any abusive tax shelter. IRS penalty
abatement is an option if you act now. Feel free to contact me for more information.
www.lancewallach.com

Lance Wallach, National Society of Accountants Speaker of the Year and member of the AICPA faculty of teaching professionals, is a frequent speaker on
retirement plans,
abusive tax shelters, financial, international tax, and estate planning.  He writes about 412(i), 419, Section79, FBAR, and captive insurance plans.
He speaks at more than ten conventions annually, writes for over fifty publications, is quoted regularly in the press and has been featured on television and radio
financial talk shows including NBC, National Pubic Radio’s All Things Considered, and others. Lance has written numerous books including Protecting Clients
from Fraud, Incompetence and Scams published by John Wiley and Sons, Bisk Education’s CPA’s Guide to Life Insurance and Federal Estate and Gift Taxation, as
well as the AICPA best-selling books, including Avoiding Circular 230 Malpractice Traps and Common Abusive Small Business Hot Spots. He does expert
witness testimony and has never lost a case. Contact him at 516.938.5007, wallachinc@gmail.com or visit
www.taxadvisorexpert.com.
The information provided herein is not intended as legal, accounting, financial or any type of advice for any specific individual or other entity. You should contact
an appropriate professional for any such advice.

The information provided herein is not intended as legal, accounting, financial or any type of advice for any specific individual or other entity. You should contact
an appropriate professional for any such advice.
         Abusive Insurance, Welfare Benefit, and Retirement Plans


The A2Z Directory                                                                                          March 2011                   
Lance Wallach                                





The IRS has various task forces auditing all section 419, section 412(i), and other plans that tend to be abusive.  Most insurance agents sell these plans.  The IRS is
looking to raise money and is not looking to correct plans or help taxpayers. The IRS calls accountants, attorneys, and insurance agents “
material advisors” and
also fines them the same amount, again unless the client’s participation in the transaction is reported.  An accountant is a material advisor if he signs the return or
gives advice and gets paid.  More details can be found on www.irs.gov and vebaplan.org.

Bruce Hink, who has given me written permission to use his name and circumstances, is a perfect example of what the IRS is doing to unsuspecting business
owners.  What follows is a story about how the IRS fines him each year for being in what they called a listed transaction.  
Listed transactions can be found at www.
irs.gov.  Also involved are what the IRS calls abusive plans or what it refers to as substantially similar.  Substantially similar to is very difficult to understand, but
the IRS seems to be saying, “If it looks like some other listed transaction, the fines apply.”  Also, I believe that the accountant who signed the tax return and the
insurance agent who sold the retirement plan will each be fined as material advisors.  We have received many calls for help from accountants,
attorneys, business
owners, and insurance agents in similar situations.  Don’t think this will happen to you?  It is happening to a lot of accountants and business owners, because most
of theses so-called listed, abusive, or insurance agents are selling substantially similar plans. Recently I came across the case of Hink, a small business owner who is
facing thousands in IRS penalties for 2004 and 2005 because of his participation in a section 412(i) plan.  (The penalties were assessed under section 6707A.)

In 2002 an insurance agent representing a 100-year-old, well-established insurance company suggested the owner start a pension plan.  The owner was given a
portfolio of information from the insurance company, which was given to the company’s outside CPA to review and give an opinion on.  The CPA gave the plan
the green light and the plan was started. Contributions were made in 2003.  The plan administrator came out with amendments to the plan, based on new IRS
guidelines, in October 2004. The business owner’s insurance agent disappeared in May 2005, before implementing the new guidelines from the administrator with
the insurance company.  The business owner was left with a refund check from the insurance company, a deduction claim on his 2004 tax return that had not been
applied, and no agent.



It took six months of making calls to the insurance company to get a new insurance agent assigned.  By then, the IRS had started an examination of the pension
plan.  Asking advice from the
CPA and a local attorney (who had no previous experience in these cases) made matters worse, with a “big name” law firm being
recommended and  additional legal fees being billed in three months. To make a long story short, the audit stretched on for over 2 ½ years to examine a 2-year-old
pension with four participants and the 8,000 in contributions. During the audit, no funds went to the insurance company, which was awaiting formal IRS approval
on restructuring the plan as a traditional defined benefit plan, which the administrator had suggested and the IRS had indicated would be acceptable.In March 2008
the business owner received a private e-mail apology from the IRS agent who headed the examination, saying that her hands were tied and that she used to believe
she was correcting problems and helping taxpayers and not hurting people.

Could you or one of your clients be next?



To this point, I have focused, generally, on the horrors of running afoul of the IRS by participating in a listed transaction, which includes various types of
transactions and the various fines that can be imposed on business owners and their advisors who participate in, sell, or advice on these transactions.  I happened
to use, as an example, someone in a section 412(i) plan, which was deemed to be a listed transaction, pointing out the truly doleful consequences the person has
suffered.  Others who fall into this trap, even unwittingly, can suffer the same fate.

Now let’s go into more detail about section 412(i) plans.  This is important because these defined benefit plans are popular and because few people think of
retirement plans as tax shelters or listed transactions.  People therefore may get into serious trouble in this area unwittingly, out of ignorance of the law, and, for
the same reason, many fail to take necessary and appropriate precautions. The IRS has warned against the section 412(i) defined benefit pension plans, named for
the former code section governing them.  It warned against trust arrangements it deems abusive, some of which may be regarded as listed transactions.  Falling into
that category can result in taxpayers having to disclose the participation under pain of penalties. Targets also include some retirement plans.

One reason for the harsh treatment of some 412(i) plans is their discrimination in favor of owners and key, highly compensated employees.  Also, the IRS does not
consider the promised tax relief proportionate to the economic realities of the transactions.  In general, IRS auditors divide audited plan into those they consider
noncompliant and other they consider abusive.  While the alternatives available to the sponsor of noncompliant plan are problematic, it is frequently an option to
keep the plan alive in some form while simultaneously hoping to minimize the financial fallout from penalties.



The sponsor of an abusive plan can expect to be treated more harshly than participants.  Although in some situation something can be salvaged, the possibility is
definitely on the table of having to treat the plan as if it never existed, which of course triggers the full extent of back taxes, penalties, and interest on all
contributions that were made – not to mention leaving behind no retirement plan whatsoever. Another plan the IRS is auditing is the section 419 plan.  A few listed
transactions concern relatively common employee benefit plans the IRS has deemed tax avoidance schemes or otherwise abusive.  Perhaps some of the most likely
to crop up, especially in small-business returns, are the arrangements purporting to allow the deductibility of premiums paid for life insurance under a welfare
benefit plan or section 419 plan.  These plans have been sold by most insurance agents and insurance companies.

Lance Wallach, National Society of Accountants Speaker of the Year and member of the AICPA faculty of teaching professionals, is a frequent speaker on
retirement plans, abusive tax shelters, financial, international tax, and estate planning.  He writes about 412(i), 419, Section79, FBAR, and captive insurance plans.
He speaks at more than ten conventions annually, writes for over fifty publications, is quoted regularly in the press and has been featured on television and radio
financial talk shows including NBC, National Pubic Radio’s All Things Considered, and others. Lance has written numerous books including Protecting Clients
from Fraud, Incompetence and Scams published by John Wiley and Sons, Bisk Education’s CPA’s Guide to Life Insurance and Federal Estate and Gift Taxation,
as well as the AICPA best-selling books, including Avoiding Circular 230 Malpractice Traps and Common Abusive Small Business Hot Spots. He does expert
witness testimony and has never lost a case. Contact him at 516.938.5007, wallachinc@gmail.com or visit www.taxadvisorexperts.com



The information provided herein is not intended as legal, accounting, financial or any type of advice for any specific individual or other entity. You should contact
an appropriate professional for any such advice.


Small Business Retirement Plans Fuel Litigation


Maryland Trial Lawyer
Dolan Media Newswires                                                                                 January


Small businesses facing audits and potentially huge tax penalties over certain types of retirement plans are filing lawsuits against those who marketed, designed and
sold the plans. The 412(i) and
419(e) plans were marketed in the past several years as a way for small business owners to set up retirement or welfare benefits
plans while leveraging huge tax savings, but the IRS put them on a list of
abusive tax shelters and has more recently focused audits on them.
The penalties for such transactions are extremely high and can pile up quickly.
There are business owners who owe taxes but have been assessed 2 million in penalties. The existing cases involve many types of businesses, including doctors’
offices, dental practices, grocery store owners, mortgage companies and restaurant owners. Some are trying to negotiate with the
IRS. Others are not waiting. A
class action has been filed and cases in several states are ongoing. The business owners claim that they were targeted by insurance companies; and their agents to
purchase the plans without any disclosure that the IRS viewed the plans as abusive tax shelters. Other defendants include financial advisors who recommended the
plans, accountants who failed to fill out required tax forms and law firms that drafted opinion letters legitimizing the plans, which were used as marketing tools.
A 412(i) plan is a form of defined benefit pension plan. A 419(e) plan is a similar type of health and benefits plan. Typically, these were sold to small, privately
held businesses with fewer than 20 employees and several million dollars in gross revenues. What distinguished a legitimate plan from the plans at issue were the
life insurance policies used to fund them. The employer would make large cash contributions in the form of insurance premiums, deducting the entire amounts. The
insurance policy was designed to have a “springing cash value,” meaning that for the first 5-7 years it would have a near-zero cash value, and then spring up in
value.
Just before it sprung, the owner would purchase the policy from the trust at the low cash value, thus making a tax-free transaction. After the cash value shot up,
the owner could take tax-free loans against it. Meanwhile, the insurance agents collected exorbitant commissions on the premiums – 80 to 110 percent of the first
year’s premium, which could exceed million.
Technically, the IRS’s problems with the plans were that the “springing cash” structure disqualified them from being 412(i) plans and that the premiums, which
dwarfed any payout to a beneficiary, violated incidental death benefit rules.
Under
§6707A of the Internal Revenue Code, once the IRS flags something as an abusive tax shelter, or “listed transaction,” penalties are imposed per year for each
failure to disclose it. Another allegation is that businesses weren’t told that they had to file Form 8886, which discloses a listed transaction.
According to Lance Wallach of Plainview, N.Y. (516-938-5007), who testifies as an expert in cases involving the plans, the vast majority of accountants either did
not file the forms for their clients or did not fill them out correctly.
Because the IRS did not begin to focus audits on these types of plans until some years after they became listed transactions, the penalties have already stacked up
by the time of the audits.
Another reason plaintiffs are going to court is that there are few alternatives – the penalties are not appeasable and must be paid before filing an administrative
claim for a refund.
The suits allege misrepresentation, fraud and other consumer claims. “In street language, they lied,” said Peter Losavio, a plaintiffs’ attorney in Baton Rouge, La.,
who is investigating several cases. So far they have had mixed results. Losavio said that the strength of an individual case would depend on the disclosures made and
what the sellers knew or should have known about the risks.
In 2004, the IRS issued notices and revenue rulings indicating that the plans were listed transactions. But plaintiffs’ lawyers allege that there were earlier signs that
the plans ran afoul of the tax laws, evidenced by the fact that the IRS is auditing plans that existed before 2004.
“Insurance companies were aware this was dancing a tightrope,” said William Noll, a tax attorney in Malvern, Pa. “These plans were being scrutinized by the IRS
at the same time they were being promoted, but there wasn’t any disclosure of the scrutiny to unwitting customers.”
A defense attorney, who represents benefits professionals in pending lawsuits, said the main defense is that the plans complied with the regulations at the time and
that “nobody can predict the future.”
An employee benefits attorney who has settled several cases against insurance companies, said that although the lost tax benefit is not recoverable, other damages
include the hefty commissions – which in one of his cases amounted to 400,000 the first year – as well as the costs of handling the audit and filing amended tax
returns.
Defying the individualized approach an attorney filed a class action in federal court against four insurance companies claiming that they were aware that since the
1980s the IRS had been calling the policies potentially abusive and that in 2002 the IRS gave lectures calling the plans not just abusive but “criminal.” A judge
dismissed the case against one of the insurers that sold 412(i) plans.
The court said that the plaintiffs failed to show the statements made by the insurance companies were fraudulent at the time they were made, because IRS
statements prior to the revenue rulings indicated that the agency may or may not take the position that the plans were abusive. The attorney, whose suit also
names law firm for its opinion letters approving the plans, will appeal the dismissal to the 5th Circuit.
In a case that survived a similar motion to dismiss, a small business owner is suing Hartford Insurance to recover a “seven-figure” sum in penalties and fees paid to
the IRS. A trial is expected in August.
But tax experts say the audits and penalties continue. “There’s a bit of a disconnect between what members of Congress thought they meant by suspending
collection and what is happening in practice. Clients are still getting bills and threats of liens,” Wallach said. “Thousands of business owners are being hit with
million-dollar-plus fines. … The audits are continuing and escalating. I just got four calls today,” he said. A bill has been introduced in Congress to make the
penalties less draconian, but nobody is expecting a magic bullet.
“From what we know, Congress is looking to make the penalties more proportionate to the tax benefit received instead of a fixed amount.”
Lance Wallach can be reached at: WallachInc@gmail.com
For more information, please visit www.taxadvisorexperts.org Lance Wallach, National Society of Accountants Speaker of the Year and member of the AICPA
faculty of teaching professionals, is a frequent speaker on retirement plans, abusive tax shelters, financial, international tax, and estate planning.  He writes about
412(i), 419, Section79, FBAR, and captive insurance plans. He speaks at more than ten conventions annually, writes for over fifty publications, is quoted regularly
in the press and has been featured on television and radio financial talk shows including NBC, National Pubic Radio’s All Things Considered, and others. Lance has
written numerous books including Protecting Clients from Fraud, Incompetence and Scams published by John Wiley and Sons, Bisk Education’s CPA’s Guide to
Life Insurance and Federal Estate and Gift Taxation, as well as the AICPA best-selling books, including Avoiding Circular 230 Malpractice Traps and Common
Abusive Small Business Hot Spots. He does expert witness testimony and has never lost a case. Contact him at 516.938.5007, wallachinc@gmail.com or visit
www.taxadvisorexperts.com.




The information provided herein is not intended as legal, accounting, financial or any type of advice for any specific individual or other entity. You should contact
an appropriate professional for any such advice.
Lance Wallach Expert Witness