Tax Equity And Financial Responsibility Acts Of 1982 And 1983 (TEFRA)

Definition of "Tax equity and financial responsibility acts of 1982 and 1983 (TEFRA)"

James Hoot real estate agent

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The RE/MAX Collection

Legislation that redefined life insurance and raised taxes on life insurance companies. Among the provisions were new rules for some life insurance products, including a definition of flexible premium life insurance, and an increase in life insurance company taxes. Congress was concerned that a policyholder could take a substantial amount, say $1 million, and, after putting a few dollars toward a life insurance premium, put the remainder into a tax-free investment vehicle. One of two tests had to be satisfied for a policy to qualify as life insurance: the cash surrender value policy could not exceed a net single premium, and the death benefit had to represent a certain percentage of the cash value, which declined as the policy-holder got older. For example, at age 40, the death benefit must be 140% of cash value. The second rule closed a loophole on tax-free withdrawals from annuities. Prior to 1982 annuity holders could withdraw their initial premium tax free at any time. The 1982 code decreed that any money withdrawn from an annuity would be considered income first and would therefore be taxable. The older 1959 tax code devised a shorthand formula for determining taxes paid by insurers. The formula worked when interest rates were low, but as they soared, insurers found ways to reduce the increased tax bite. The 1982 code introduced a stopgap measure designed to raise taxes on life insurers by $3 billion.

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