Is Life Insurance A Tax-Deductible Business Expense?

Life Insurance

Life insurance is a type of protection that most people purchase for themselves, their loved ones, and even their businesses. However, there are significant distinctions between business life insurance and personal life insurance and their relation to taxes.

It’s also noteworthy that almost invariably, interest income is subject to taxation at some time. The same is true of life insurance. This implies that the beneficiary has to pay taxes on the interest rather than the total benefit in some cases when receiving life insurance funds during a period of interest accumulation as opposed to instantly following the policyholder’s demise.

But first, let’s look into

What Exactly Is Life insurance?

A life insurance policy pays out a death benefit when an insured person dies, essentially a lump sum. The death benefit is paid to the beneficiary indicated in the papers. To keep this life insurance policy active, you must pay insurance company premiums, which can be paid monthly, quarterly, or annually. 

While you might think such insurances are solely available to families, even businesses, including self-employed individuals, can benefit. These insurances enable a smooth ownership changeover.

Only in specific circumstances must life insurance premiums be taxed. Most significantly, you can be subject to the estate tax or the generation-skipping tax if the cash value of the policy exceeds a specific level. If you reside in one of the states where the inheritance tax is in effect, it may apply to you. Regulations governing taxes on life insurance policies vary from state to state.

The policy owner, the beneficiary, and the covered person play a key role in determining whether the life insurance premium is taxed. In most cases, the insured party and the policy owner are the same. In this situation, the insurance coverage is not taxable.

Is Life Insurance Taxable?

When purchased for family protection, life insurance premiums are not tax-deductible. Those payments are like many other family expenses paid using after-tax funds. Beneficiaries often get a tax-free death benefit. 

But now the question is: is life insurance a tax-deductible business expense?  

Let’s find out  

The simple answer is no. There is a major rationale behind it, and it is because life insurance already has a tax-favored status; hence you cannot deduct the cost of the premium.  

However, there are instances where it is possible to deduct the premiums. For example, if you provide your employees with a life insurance benefits package, you can deduct the cost- however, you should not be benefiting from their policy.

Any ‘C’ corporation inherently prohibits any form of a deduction for life insurance premiums. Some conditions allow for a tax write-off for ‘S’ corporations and LLCs. If the coverage exceeds $50,000, the sum must be included as wages on the employee’s W-2.

There are a few more important restrictions to mention. For example, if you are the beneficiary of an employee’s life insurance policy, you cannot deduct it as a company expenditure. For instance, if a husband and wife are running a firm together, they can’t deduct their insurance premiums if they name one another as policy beneficiaries. Getting full details about it from a professional Maryland insurance agency is essential.

Why isn’t Life Insurance Tax-Deductible?

Because life insurance is seen as a personal expense, similar to buying clothing or other goods, it is not tax deductible. Your purchase of life insurance is not mandated by the federal government or any individual state.

A benefit of receiving a death benefit is that it is tax-free for your beneficiaries to receive money after your passing. When received in a lump sum, benefits are not counted as income on the recipient’s income tax return.

However, insurance purchased before to 2019 as part of child or spousal support arrangements is tax deductible. Additionally, all future premium payments are tax deductible if your coverage is donated to a charity.

Is It True That Life Insurance Benefits Are Always Tax-Free?

While we now know that we cannot deduct insurance premiums as a business expense, there is an extraordinary circumstance where there is a significant tax advantage for the beneficiary when a policy pays out upon the insured person’s demise. 

The profits are not included in the individual’s gross income; thus, they are not subject to income tax. This is distinct from an inheritance, which, depending on the amount, may be liable to estate taxes. 

Although life insurance may not be part of your brief tax strategy for deducting business expenses, it can be an appealing long-term financial solution for passing wealth on to heirs without diluting the profits with high taxes.

Bottom Line

While paying your life insurance, Frederick’s premium will not minimize your tax burden; it will provide financial stability. This is especially crucial for sole proprietors because risks are involved at every step of the route, especially if the company is in debt. A life insurance policy ensures that your family can meet such unexpected expenses with policy returns and yet feel financially secure if you pass.

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