Beckett G. Cantley, The Forgotten Taxation Landmine: Application of the Accumulated Earnings Tax to IRC § 831(b) Captive Insurance Companies, 11 Rich. J. Global L. & Bus. 159 (2012.
Summary. This article discusses: (1) the requirements, benefits, and tax attributes of an IRC § 831(b) captive insurance company (“CIC”); (2) an overview of the Accumulated Earnings Tax (“AET”) and the reasonable needs test which must be met to avoid the AET; and (3) the potential future application of the AET to an IRC § 831(b) CIC and the negative results that could arise if the IRS chooses to do so. Given that the IRS has yet to announce any policy about applying the AET to combat the growth of this popular tax arrangement, this article seeks to analyze how the IRS may prospectively make use of this tool and how CIC owners and managers should conduct themselves to not run afoul of the IRS.