Is Life Insurance Tax Deductible?

 

*Article prepared by Northwestern Mutual with the cooperation of Chris Welton, Wealth Management Advisor for Rob McCarthy, 101 Loan LLC.*

By Carl Engelking, October 06, 2021

Life insurance can be an important part of your financial planning. With permanent life insurance, in addition to a guaranteed death benefit that is typically tax-free, your policy will build cash value that can accumulate over time in a tax-advantaged way.

Are life insurance premiums tax-deductible?

If you hopped on the internet for a quick answer to this question, we’ll save you some time: for the most part, no, they aren’t, but there is one exception (more on that in a moment).

Life insurance premiums are considered a personal expense, and therefore not tax deductible. From the perspective of the IRS, paying your life insurance premiums is like buying a car, a cell phone or any other product or service. There’s also no state or federal mandate that you purchase life insurance, unlike health insurance, so the government isn’t offering you a tax break in this case.

Although premiums aren’t tax deductible, there are several tax benefits of a life insurance policy.

Business-paid premiums may be tax-deductible

If you’re a business owner, you can deduct business-paid premiums for life insurance policies that are owned by company executives and employees, and the executive or employee reports the premium as income.

OK, so your premiums aren’t tax deductible, but Uncle Sam still offers several tax breaks for life insurance policies.

Permanent life insurance cash value may be tax-deferred

Permanent life insurance policies, for example, feature a cash accumulation component in addition to coverage for your entire life. Cash value in a life insurance policy grows over time, and taxes are deferred on the growth. Once your cash value has grown it can be used as collateral on a loan, to pay for college, a house or even your premium payments1. If you surrender your policy, your cash value will typically be tax free up to your “basis”, or the amount of money that reflects your total premium payments. Any amount above the basis is considered a gain and would be taxed as ordinary income. Whole life, variable life and universal life are some of the most common types of cash value life insurance.

Permanent life insurance dividends are typically tax-free

Generally, cash dividends2 received from a life insurance policy are also tax free and don’t need to be reported as income, so long as the amount doesn’t exceed the net premiums you’ve paid on the policy. That’s because dividends are considered a return of policy premiums – you paid too much, so you get your money back.

Another huge tax advantage: Proceeds from a life insurance death benefit are generally tax free. Your family will be protected from financial hardship, and that payout won’t be considered income. However, if it is paid over time and the insurance company adds interest, those interest payments will be taxable. A financial professional can discuss how life insurance, and the accompanying tax benefits, can fit into a long-term plan.

1Each method of utilizing your policy’s cash value has advantages and disadvantages and is subject to different tax consequences. Surrenders of, withdrawals from and loans against a policy will reduce the policy’s cash surrender value and death benefit and may also affect any dividends paid on the policy. As a general rule, surrenders and withdrawals are taxable to the extent they exceed the cost basis of the policy, while loans are not taxable when taken. Loans taken against a life insurance policy can have adverse effects if not managed properly. Policy loans and automatic premium loans, including any accrued interest, must be repaid in cash or from policy values upon policy termination or the death of the insured. Repayment of loans from policy values (other than death proceeds) can potentially trigger a significant tax liability, and there may be little or no cash value remaining in the policy to pay the tax. If loans equal or exceed the cash value, the policy will terminate if additional cash payments are not made. Policyowners should consult with their tax advisors about the potential impact of any surrenders, withdrawals or loans.

2The dividend scale and the underlying interest rates are reviewed annually and are subject to change. Future dividends are not guaranteed, although Northwestern Mutual has paid a dividend every year since 1872.

This publication is not intended as legal or tax advice. Financial Representatives do not give legal or tax advice. Taxpayers should seek advice based on their particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor.

Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company (NM) and its subsidiaries in Milwaukee, WI. Christopher Edward Welton is an Insurance Agent of NM.

 

Rob’s Market Report…The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Hope the week is treating you well! 

For us in lending, it’s a world wind!  Never in 30 years have I worked so many hours per week with such concentration for so long since going Shelter In Place on March 17.  We had a short stay on SIP but that didn’t last long with SIP Chapter 2 commencing, where COVID numbers rapidly increased as the state of California and other states throughout the US lifted social distancing rules.

While COVID has impacted un-employment its done little to nothing in the near term to the Dow Jones which closed at 26,828 today and interest rates have gone lower.  Definitely the lowest I have ever seen them in 30+ years of doing lending.

If you, your friends or family haven’t refinanced and have loans below $765k, have them contact us and we will happily quote them.  Most retail banks are taking 90+ days to close a refi while were still at 45 to 50 days from start to finish.  In addition, if your clients just want an idea of what’s available we can usually respond with a rate update within 24 hours whereas retail banks based on what my clients are saying, can sometimes take, weeks for a response.

Its as simple as completing the following questionnaire and forwarding back to me to run a rate search…See below:

Please complete the following refinance questionnaire or go here to complete online https://101loan.com/refinancing-start/.  Once completed, I will research loan options out of 50 lenders and provide a rate comparison for your review based on the best available rates and loan options.  Any questions at all, please contact me.  Thanks.

1)  Provide your property/mailing address, day and evening numbers.

2)  What is the estimated value of your property and is your dwelling permitted with the city?  In addition, is this property your owner occupied or investment property?   Lastly, is the property a house, townhouse or condo?

3)  What are the balance of your 1st Mortgage-      2nd Mortgage-       3rd Mortgage-

4)  What are the rates on your 1st Mortgage-      2nd Mortgage-       3rd Mortgage-

5)  What are the payments on your 1st Mortgage-      2nd Mortgage-       3rd Mortgage-

6)  Do you want cash out?  If so how much?

7)  How long do you plan on owning the property?

8)  Does your loan have a prepayment penalty?  If so, when does it expire?

9)  When did you purchase your home and for how much?

10) What is your annual, verifiable income and what is your estimated FICO score?

11) Which loan programs are you considering?  Fixed and/or Hybrid?

In closing, if you need help with any type of financing, please contact me.  See current market report at http://www.mmgweekly.com/w/index.html?SID=86df7dcfd896fcaf2674f757a2463eba.

BTW…if you missed my last video on Home Insurance, make sure you watch this.  A client of ours out of the area was just quoted over $10,000 on a 3000 sq ft house as they let their home insurance lapse and unfortunately for them, they are in a risky area “burn wise”.  https://101loan.com/market-update-and-insurance-update-fire-season-is-upon-us/

Best Regards,

Rob McCarthy

Senior Mortgage Advisor

www.101Loan.com

408-377-4123 o  650-465-8957 c   408-608-1921 f

101 Loan – 6020 Hellyer Ave #150, San Jose, CA 95138

CA DRE #01165697  NMLS #121019

Products/Services/Accolades:

  1. Residential Financing for Purchases and Refinances on 1 to 4 unit properties.
  2. Reverse Mortgage Financing to include Conforming, Jumbo, HELOC Jumbo’s.
  3. Commercial & SBA Financing to include Multifamily, Office, Retail and Light Industrial.
  4. Access to over 50 banks with over 200 “Five Star” Reviews on Yelp, Google, Facebook and Linkedin.

Note: Interest rates and loan programs quoted are subject to change without notice or until locked and approved by lender.

Market Report and What the Unemployment Numbers are Saying…

Please See this Weeks Market Update that will Discuss the following:

  1. Last Weeks Market Review
  2. A Look Ahead – What to Expect
  3. How Zoom has changed the way we do business!

(http://www.mmgweekly.com/w/index.html?SID=86df7dcfd896fcaf2674f757a2463eba)

Next and Most Important…please see April’s unemployment numbers that were just released at 10am this morning.  California’s unemployment rose from 2.9 in February to 5.3 in March to 15.5 in April (https://www.bls.gov/lau/).

Locally though, unemployment (still waiting for the numbers in the bay area), should be lower since we are a tech based economy with large cap companies with lots of  cash in reserves (Example: Apple has 116 Billion in Cash).  Once the bay area updates, I will send another report.

In Closing, the Basic Consensus is as follows:

If our (bay area) unemployment numbers are lower than the average of the state, coupled with low housing inventory and low rates, demand for housing should stay strong.  If unemployment numbers are high, then we could be going into a recession as predicted by analysts throughout the country.  Based on history though, we (bay area real estate) tends to outpace and outperform the rest of the country.   As mentioned, I will update you once I have more info.

BTW…for more news in the future, always go here: https://101loan.com/blog/

All the Best,

Rob McCarthy

Senior Mortgage Advisor

www.101Loan.com

408-377-4123 o  650-465-8957 c   408-608-1921 f

101 Loan – 6020 Hellyer Ave #150, San Jose, CA 95138

CA DRE #01165697  NMLS #121019

Products/Services/Accolades:

  1. Residential Financing for Purchases and Refinances on 1 to 4 unit properties.
  2. Reverse Mortgage Financing to include Conforming, Jumbo, HELOC Jumbo’s.
  3. Commercial & SBA Financing to include Multifamily, Office, Retail and Light Industrial.
  4. Access to over 50 banks with over 200 “Five Star” Reviews on Yelp, Google, Facebook and Linkedin.

Cash Out Refi’s Might Go Away?

 First and Foremost…
I just read an interesting report on how lenders may eliminate cash out refinances on conforming and jumbo loans. We have seen the “add” for cash-out refinances get super expensive lately.  It appears the Federal Reserve doesn’t want borrowers pulling equity out of their homes.  They feel home values may go down due to the negative impact of Shelter in Place and Covid-19.
For more info, see quote and link below:
 
“Many lenders have eliminated or restricted cash-out refinances, financing for investment properties and some for second homes as well,” Cohn says. “Jumbo lenders have also tightened their guidelines.”
 
https://www.cnet.com/personal-finance/6-things-to-know-about-refinancing-right-now/ 
 
Next…
A listing agent in the east bay recently posted a great Yelp review on the service we provided her. I just love when we can help Realtors and their clients successfully & smoothly close on purchases. 
To view the review, click here: https://www.yelp.com/biz/101-loan-mortgage-san-jose-2  (See Testimonial from Bette dtd. 4/28/2020)
If you’d like the same care, please contact me.
 
Best Regards,
Rob McCarthy
Senior Mortgage Advisor
www.101Loan.com
408-377-4123 o 650-465-8957 c 408-608-1921 f
101 Loan – 6020 Hellyer Ave #150, San Jose, CA 95138
CA DRE #01165697 NMLS #121019
Products/Services/Accolades:
1. Residential Financing for Purchases and Refinances on 1 to 4 unit properties.
2. Reverse Mortgage Financing to include Conforming, Jumbo, HELOC Jumbo’s.
3. Commercial & SBA Financing to include Multifamily, Office, Retail and Light Industrial.
4. Access to over 50 banks with over 200 “Five Star” Reviews on Yelp, Google, Facebook and Linkedin.