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The Tangled Web: Substance vs. Form, Webber, and the Revenge of the Investor Control Doctrine  

Author:  Steven A. Horowitz.; Matthew E. Rappaport.; Louis Zuckerbraun.; Edward W. Gordon.

Source: Volume 34, Number 02, Winter 2017 , pp.19-45(27)

Journal of Taxation of Investments

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In Webber v. Commissioner, the U.S. Tax Court examined a private placement life insurance arrangement through the lens of the investor control doctrine and concluded the arrangement was abusive. In the wake of the decision, many practitioners have focused on the taxpayer-unfavorable implications of the Tax Court’s opinion to the exclusion of the many constructive takeaways. One such positive takeaway is the introduction of helpful planning guidance for practitioners seeking to implement tax-compliant private placement life insurance structures.

Keywords: Webber v. Commissioner, private placement life insurance, investor control doctrine, income tax planning, estate tax planning

Affiliations:  1: Horowitz & Rubenstein, LLC; 2: Matthew E. Rappaport Law Firm; 3: Geneva Management Group; 4: Preservation Capital Partners LLC.

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