From the July 2009 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

The IRS Weighs In

More On Tax Planning

from The Advisor's Professional Library
  • Annuities: Variable Annuities Annuities are hot. The tax rules vary with the circumstances. Advisors must be aware of these intricacies when discussing annuities with clients.
  • Health Insurance: Health and Medical Savings Accounts A Health Savings Account is a trust created exclusively for the purpose of paying qualified medical expenses of an account beneficiary. Although they are popular, they are not without their pitfalls and the regulations can be complicated. Learn more about how to avoid federal taxation on the accumulation and distributions of HSA.

If past participants of stranger-owned life insurance were promised easy money at no cost, the rules of the game have changed. In May 2009, the IRS issued Revenue Ruling 2009-13, clarifying the taxation of life settlements. If the policyowner sells the policy to an unrelated third party, the policyowner's basis is reduced by the value of the insurance protection. The difference between basis and the cash surrender value is taxed as ordinary income. The excess over the cash surrender value is a capital gain. This means that a policyowner has no basis in a term policy and thus the entire settlement price can be taxed as a capital gain.

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