A buy/sell agreement is a legally binding agreement between co-owners of a business that governs the situation if a co-owner dies or is otherwise forced to leave the business, or chooses to leave the business. It may be thought of as a sort of premarital agreement between business partners/shareholders or is sometimes called a “business will”. An insured buy/sell agreement (triggered buyout is funded with life insurance on the participating owners’ lives) is often recommended by business-succession specialists and financial planners to ensure that the buy/sell arrangement is well-funded and to guarantee that there will be money when the buy/sell event is triggered.
Premium financing involves the lending of funds to a person or company to cover the cost of an insurance premium. Premium finance loans are often provided either by banks or by third party finance entities known as a premium financing company. Typically, clients that engage in this transaction range in age from 29 to 75; with a net worth of $3,000,000 or greater. Younger clients benefit in the current environment due to the advent of premium financed indexed universal life (IUL) policies. The growth inside IUL policies often exceed the interest rates charged on the loan resulting in a positive arbitrage. Premium financed policies can be used in a number of ways, including:
- As part of a Gifting Strategy (Leveraged Gifting)
- Inside an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (Leveraged ESOP)
The IDEAL Plan™ is a broad based yet selective benefit program that creates personal income tax deductions, eliminates virtually all income tax and capital gains tax on investment earnings received from — and realized upon the sale of — appreciated assets, and removes those assets from the taxable estate– without gift or GST tax. It is a proprietary plan. More information is available upon request.
Captive Insurance Company
A Captive Insurance Company is an insurance company established with the specific objective of insuring risks emanating from their parent group. This is an alternative form of risk management that is becoming a more practical and popular means through which companies can protect themselves financially while having more control over how they are insured. In essence, a business can choose to pay tax deductible premiums to its own Captive, instead of a 3rd party, saving itself the profit margin that would otherwise have to be paid to that 3rd party. Benefits include savings to the bottom line as well as a reduction in risk exposure resulting from more targeted coverage. In addition, many Captives have developed into profit centers with reserves that accumulate tax free when premiums are in excess of claims, and when excess reserves are pulled out of the Captive they are taxed at Capital gains rates rather than ordinary income rates.
Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP)
An ESOP is a type of qualified, defined contribution plan designed to invest primarily in the stock of the sponsoring employer. ESOPs are “qualified” in the sense that the ESOP’s sponsoring company, the selling shareholder and participants receive various tax benefits. ESOPs are often used as a corporate finance strategy to create a liquid marketplace for closely held stock which provides a viable tax advantaged exit strategy for shareholders under Section 1042. A common misconception is that by installing an ESOP an owner has to give up control of their company to their employees, which isn’t the case. A properly structured ESOP allows an owner to sell some or all of their privately held stock, creating liquidity, while still maintaining 100% control of the company.
An ESOP Review (or an “operational audit”) is provided to ensure that a company with an ESOP is operating their ESOP in the most effective way. Where companies have ongoing relationships with the right ESOP advisors, they generally won’t have this need. However, it is common that companies who aren’t regularly working with good ESOP advisors find themselves with problems such as an unfunded repurchase obligation.
Estate planning is the process of anticipating and arranging, during a person’s life, for the disposal of their estate. Estate planning can be used to eliminate uncertainties over the administration of a probate and to maximize the value of the estate by reducing taxes and other expenses. The ultimate goal of estate planning can be determined by the specific goals of the client, and may be as simple or complex as the client’s needs dictate. Guardians are often designated for minor children and beneficiaries in incapacity.
A cost segregation study identifies and reclassifies personal property assets to shorten the depreciation time for taxation purposes, which reduces current income tax obligations and results in increased cash flow. The primary goal of a cost segregation study is to identify all construction-related costs that can be depreciated over a shorter tax life (typically 5, 7 and 15 years) than the building (39 years for non-residential real property). Personal property assets found in a cost segregation study generally include items that are affixed to the building but do not relate to the overall operation and maintenance of the building.
Cost Remediation/Cost Procurement
Using cost remediation or cost procurement strategies, companies can maintain their competitive edge by reducing operational cost and corporate risk to improve profit performance. During cost remediation/cost procurement studies, specialists will consider a number of items to lower operating costs such as manufacturing incentives, vendor screening, energy deregulation, equipment lease audits, deregulation, equipment lease audits, freight and parcel audits, hiring incentives, tax credits, cell phone audits, energy comprehensive studies, workers compensation audits, property lease audits,etc.
Finding the right financing source can often be a business’s biggest challenge. Business financing specialists work with hundreds of lenders across the country in order to find the best loan for a client’s business. They use their expertise and network of lenders to help the client close the right loan, and unlike a bank or lender, they don’t try to push a client into buying a financial product.
Asset valuation is commonly performed prior to the sale of an asset or prior to purchasing insurance for an asset. It is simply a method of assessing the worth of a company, real estate, security, antique or other item of worth, and may consist of both subjective and objective measurements. For example, in valuing a company, there is no number on the company’s financial statements that tells how much its brand name is worth. On the other hand, net profit is an objective measurement based on the company’s income and expense figures. The value, complexity, and future plans of an asset should be taken into account when considering whether to hire a general valuator who will give you a rough estimate, or a specialist whose results will be well researched and verifiable.
Business Exit/Succession Planning
Business exit/succession planning helps business owners develop an exit strategy to maximize their after-tax cash proceeds while meeting non-financial objectives. Succession and exit planning strategies will vary based on the particulars of the business (size, industry, management structure, and cash flow), the state of the economy, the M&A market, and personal objectives of the business owner. Our specialists will work with businesses of all sizes – ranging from those with less than $1,000,000 in revenue to those with sales in excess of $100,000,000.
Alternative Qualified Solutions (AQS)
Alternative Qualified Solutions (AQS) is a strategy designed for individuals that have built up funds in excess of $500,000 in an IRA, Defined Benefit Plan, or other qualified plan (it can also be done with a Roth IRA, but with different tax results). AQS can be used to increase the amount left to family, or to eliminate the need for RMDs. There are a number of ways to structure an AQS to pay any due taxes with the funds that are transferred out of the qualified environment. Tax liability reduction can be as high as 75% when compared to staying in the tax-deferred, qualified environment.
Qualified Plans (Defined Benefit, Defined Contribution Cash Balance)
In their simplest form, Qualified Plans are plans that meet specific requirements of the Internal Revenue Code, and as a result, are eligible to receive certain tax benefits. There are two types of qualified plans – defined-benefit plans and defined-contribution plans (such as 401ks and profit sharing plans). A defined benefit plan is “defined” in the sense that the benefit formula is specified and known in advance. Conversely, for a “defined contribution pension plan”, the formula for computing the employer’s and employee’s contributions is defined and known in advance, but the benefit to be paid out is not known in advance.
Cash Balance Plan
Although a cash balance pension plan is a defined-benefit plan, unlike the regular defined-benefit plan, the cash balance plan is maintained on an individual account basis, much like a defined-contribution plan. The cash balance plan acts similar to a defined-contribution plan because changes in the value of the participant’s portfolio does not affect the yearly contribution. One benefit of a cash balance plan is that it can be funded with life insurance. A Cash Balance Plan permits deferring larger amounts of money, and reduce current income taxes, for a retirement plan, than traditional 401k, SEP or SIMPLE plans.
Multiple Entity Planning
Multiple Entity Planning is a strategy that identifies and separates different revenue streams and business activities within one company with the goal of creating separate viable companies. By doing so, the business owner is able to reduce risk and tax liability. Cost savings derived from reduced tax costs and liability insurance fees can have significant impact on the organization’s bottom line profits. The IRS is very strict on Multiple Entity Planning, so it is critical to make sure all rules pertaining to controlled groups and/or affiliated service groups are followed carefully.
Social Security Planning
Social Security Planning refers to the process of working directly with retirees and near-retirees to develop and implement retirement distribution and wealth transfer strategies as it relates to Social Security. With a little proactive planning, a client can make a more informed decision resulting in tens of thousands of dollars of additional benefit for them and their family.
With average student loan debt at an all-time high and families stretching their means farther than ever before to afford college bills, financial advisors are playing a bigger role in helping families make decisions about paying for college. The choice of what college to attend, what major to pursue and how much to borrow, should not be made in a vacuum since it can have ripple effects on retirement planning, savings, taxes, gift planning and debt management.
Employee Benefits Review
Employee benefits (also called fringe benefits or perks) include various types of non-wage compensation provided to employees in addition to their normal wages or salaries. Most kinds of employee benefits are taxable to at least some degree. Examples of these benefits include: housing (employer-provided or employer-paid), group insurance (health, dental, life etc.), disability income protection, retirement benefits, daycare, tuition reimbursement, sick leave, vacation (paid and non-paid), social security, profit sharing, funding of education, and other specialized benefits. The purpose of employee benefits is to increase the economic security of staff members, and in doing so, improve worker retention across the organization.
Captive Insurance Company Review
Captive Insurance Company Reviews are performed by independent, licensed insurance actuaries. The review will consider items such as annual loss reserves, changes in insured’s operations, regulatory changes, adequacy of legal capitalization, actual risk transfer to pools, compliance with investment policies, and original business plan to ensure Captive remains in compliance. The IRS are very strict on Captives so annual reviews are extremely important.
Tax Return Review
Did the client take advantage of all dedications available to them last year? What about the last three years? Depending on their circumstances, they may not have claimed all the credits or deductions they deserve. With the Tax Return Review service, a trained CPA will check returns for FREE that others prepared, and look for additional deductions.
Long Term Care (LTC)
Long Term Care is usually very expensive, which is why most people need insurance. For example, on average, nursing facilities providing skilled care charge $150 to $300 per day, which is more than $80,000 a year. If an individual has the assets to protect, a well-balanced retirement plan could include a LTC policy to protect the retirement savings from being depleted unnecessarily. In addition to Traditional LTC, there are also Non-Traditional policies that allow a client to access their premiums if LTC is never needed. In addition there are also Life Insurance contacts that have LTC riders which provide LTC benefits if needed.
Life Insurance Review
Our Life Insurance Reviews are a valuable way to ensure that the client is adequately insured, and their current insurance policies are the best options available to them. A policy review can often lead to tens of thousands of dollars in savings by identifying better options for the client. If the TBMC is unsure how to perform a policy review.
Property and Casualty Plan Review
Property and casualty insurance can be very important and expensive for business owners. A property and casualty plan review can assess the businesses needs to ensure that the business is getting the appropriate coverage at the most competitive cost. Reviewed items include property and casualty policies, (property, liability, auto), professional liability, workers compensation, and employee benefits. If the insurance costs are high enough, a Captive is often considered as a way to self-insure some of the businesses risks and reduce the third party expenses.