Breaking News: Don't Become a Material Advisor

Breaking News: Don't Become a Material Advisor

Accountants, insurance professionals and others need to be careful that they don’t become what the IRS calls material advisors.  If they sell or give advice, or sign tax returns for abusive, listed or similar plans; they risk a minimum $100,000 fine. Their client will then probably sue them after having dealt with the IRS.    

​In 2010, the IRS raided the offices of Benistar in Simsbury, Conn., and seized the retirement benefit plan administration firm’s files and records. In 

​McGehee Family Clinic, the Tax Court ruled that a clinic and shareholder’s investment in an employee benefit plan marketed under the name “Benistar” was a listed transaction because it was substantially similar to the transaction described in Notice 95-34 (1995-1 C.B. 309). This is at least the second case in which the court has ruled against the Benistar welfare benefit plan, by denominating it a listed transaction.   

​The McGehee Family Clinic enrolled in the Benistar Plan in May 2001 and claimed deductions for contributions to it in 2002 and 2005. The returns did not include a Form 8886, Reportable Transaction Disclosure Statement, or similar disclosure. The IRS disallowed the latter deduction and adjusted the 2004 return of shareholder Robert Prosser and his wife to include the $50,000 payment to the plan.  Click here to read more.

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  1. The Truth About Section 79 Permanent Insurance Plans

    Section 79 plans are a part of the employee benefit section of the Internal Revenue Service code (IRC). This code (IRC code Section 1.79) has been a part of the IRC since it was initially adopted in 1953. The President of the United States at that time was Dwight D. Eisenhower.

    Section 79 permanent insurance plans are sold within the United States by large national life insurance companies, all of whom have internal legal and compliance departments whose role is to ensure that the products sold by those companies are legal and comply with the rules and spirit of the law. Section 79 permanent insurance plans are sold legally in all 50 states of these United States of America. For the protection of consumers, each state has an insurance department that reviews and approves all company and agent licensing and products sold within that state. (see National Association of Insurance Commissioners at this link).

    So, here’s the truth about Section 79 Permanent Insurance Plans:
    • This is a legal insurance product, covered in the IRS Code number 1.79.
    • All group life insurance is covered under this IRS Code. Most governmental agencies, non-profit organizations and large Fortune 1,000 companies have section 79 as an employee benefit.
    • This is not a new code. The IRC 1.79 has been in the code since 1953.
    • All Section 79 products are fully vetted by major national insurance companies, their lawyers and compliance staffs, for sale in all 50 states. These are companies with long and successful histories of selling insurance products in the United States since the mid-1800’s.
    • Every state insurance department has fully vetted these Section 79 products and approved them for sales in their states. These products are legal for sale in all 50 states.
    • Section 79 plans are not “listed transactions.” Here is a list of all listed transactions according to the IRS –

    For REAL information on Section 79 please contact Business Planning Group at or call us directly at: (888) 545-2205 .