Corporate Alternative Minimum Tax: Implications For Corporate-owned Life Insurance

Definition of "Corporate alternative minimum tax: implications for corporate-owned life insurance"

INSURANCE tax that exhibits direct impact on the book income preference. Beginning with the year 1990, the book income preference became equal to 75% of the excess of current adjusted earnings of the alternative minimum taxable income (AMTI). Book income preferences are affected by corporate-owned life insurance in the following situations:

  1. If the insured dies, the excess of the life insurance policy's DEATH BENEFIT over the CASH SURRENDER VALUE becomes book income to the corporation.
  2. If the insurance policy's annual premium exceeds the increase in the cash surrender value for a particular year, the result is a decline in the book income and thus a decline in the corporation's exposure to the alternative minimum tax (AMT).
  3. Conversely, if the insurance policy's cash surrender value exceeds the increase in the annual premium for a particular year, the result is an increase in the book income and thus an increase in the corporation's exposure to the alternative minimum tax.

Generally, if the corporation in any given year has taxable income, corporate-owned life insurance results in an alternative minimum tax liability if a significant death benefit is paid to the corporation upon the death of the insured. The result is that the alternative minimum tax will cause a reduction in the net death benefit from the life insurance policy paid to the corporation.

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