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Why You Should Stay Away from Section 79 Life Insurance Plans


     By Lance Wallach, CLU, CHFC Abusive Tax Shelter, Listed Transaction, Reportable Transaction Expert Witness

PhoneCall Lance Wallach at (516) 938-5007


Iíve had several calls lately from doctors who are being pitched Section 79 plans and are wondering if these plans are any good. The doctors are being told that Section 79 plans are the best wealth-building tool they can use to reduce their income taxes and create a tax-free retirement income.
Unfortunately for these unsuspecting doctors, what they donít know is that not only are Section 79 plans not the best wealth-building tool they can use, they are not even a good wealth-building tool.

I have problems with Section 79 plans for several reasons:

1. You have to lie to employees to implement them. Most try to exclude workers.

2. The life illustrations given by ignorant or crooked insurance agents are not realistic. Most use todayís historically low lending rates with 2 percent to 3 percent loan spreads on variable loans on EIUL policies (ones that do not have a fixed lending rate).

3. You have to be a C-corporation to use them. Many agents donít inform their clients of this.

4. The life policies sold in these plans are so bad that the companies donít want them sold unless they are in Section 79 plans. (The policies are designed to have poor performance so the deduction is increased.) This is similar to the springing cash value problems with the 412i and 419 plans that got people audited and sued.

5. Another very good reason not to use these plans is because there are better alternatives.

6. Another reason not to use a Section 79 plan is because when you run the real numbers, the client would be better off not funding the plan, taking his/her money home after taxes, and funding a good no load EIUL policy.

7. The IRS audits many of them and unless you properly file under IRS 6707A the fines are very large.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lance Wallach
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 more than 50 publications, is quoted regularly in the press and has been featured on television and radio financial talk shows including NBC, National Public Radioís ďAll Things ConsideredĒ and others.

Copyright Lance Wallach, CLU, CHFC

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While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

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