About This Course
A recent Tax Court case gave a resounding victory to the taxpayer who had pursued what some might view as an aggressive split-dollar life insurance plan to minimize estate taxes. Estate of Marion Levine v. Commr. 158 T.C. No. 2,
This CLE will set the stage with a review of split-dollar planning then analyze the case. This follows prior cases that held against other taxpayers using similar techniques. Understanding what the taxpayer did right in the Levine case, and how that contrasts to what taxpayers did wrong in a prior case, Estate of Cahill, can be used to guide taxpayers contemplating such planning.
But even better guidance is possible. A careful reading of the Levine case to identify steps the Levine Court found favorable, might be used to craft a roadmap of how to implement a similar plan. Importantly, the lessons in the roadmap that will be discussed should be considered by taxpayers undertaking almost any type of estate planning.
While aspects of the Levine opinion are pretty narrowly limited to the split dollar insurance technique used in the case, many have broad applicability. The IRS arguments and Tax Court’s response regarding code sections 2036, 2038 and 2703 will be reviewed.