Tax Secrets: You can defeat the double-tax trap

Irv Blackman

Have you accumulated a large amount of money in your IRA, profit-sharing plan, 401(k) plan or other qualified plan? Then read on, you will learn how to dramatically increase your after-tax wealth; tax-free.

Note: This article, in essence, is a repeat of an earlier article, which got the most reader response – phone calls, faxes and emails – than any other article in the 41 years of this column's history.

This is a bad-news, good-news tax story. First, the bad news. Someday the money in your Plan must be distributed: to you or your beneficiaries. Those beautiful dollars that took you decades to accumulate will be worth only in the 36 percent range to you and your family. Yep, typically you will lose about 64 cents out of every dollar because you must pay two taxes on your distributions: income tax and ultimately, estate tax.

Sorry, but the tax collector will take the lion’s share of your plan funds whether you get Plan distributions during your life, or the distributions go to your heirs after death.

Can anything be done to prevent this double-tax robbery? Yes! Here comes the good news. I am part of a national tax network (other professionals who work together and share tax knowledge). The network experts have devised two tax concepts to enrich your family instead of the IRS.

Suppose you have $1 million (fill in your own number) in all of your Plans combined. If you don't use at least one of these concepts, you will lose about $640,000 in taxes to the IRS. Just take 64 peercent of the amount in all your plans, and you will sadly see the full tax-disaster picture. Sorry, your local tax collectors (state/city) may grab additional tax.

Now, let’s look at each concept separately.

The first concept – called the “Single Premium Strategy (SPS)” – to overcome the tax robbers combines three strategies: (1) an immediate-pay annuity (typically, a joint-life annuity if you are married); (2) a life insurance policy (second-to-die if you are married) and (3) an irrevocable life insurance trust. In one real-life case, an unmarried reader of this column turned $325,000 into $2,878,385 (all taxes paid). Another reader, who is married, turned $270,000 into $3,496,063 (all taxes paid).

The second concept is named “Retirement Plan Rescue” (RPR). When using an RPR, your qualified Plan uses the funds in the plan to buy the insurance: either for a single life or second-to-die for a husband and wife. A married reader (Joe) used an RPR to buy $10 million of second-to-die insurance, which will go to his kids tax-free. Joe actually turned $567,900 into almost $10 million (all tax-free). Joe’s wife Mary called the entire transaction a “tax miracle.”

You’ll also be surprised at how easy the above strategies are to do. So, if you are lucky enough to be rich, but unlucky enough to have a substantial part of your wealth in a qualified plan (IRA, profit-sharing, 401(k) or similar plan), you owe it to your family to take a close look at the above two tax-miracle concepts.

Best of all, either an SRS or the RPR are easy to do.

I have arranged for readers of this column to get a free analysis of their plans for both of these concepts. If you have more than $300,000 in your plans (rollover IRA or your company's 401(k)/profit-sharing plan or any other qualified plan), you owe it to your family to check out how an SPS and/or a RPR will enrich your family, instead of losing about 64 percent of your plan funds to the IRS. Just email me... to (1) your name and birthday (also your spouse

if married); (2) total amount in all your plans combined; and (3) all phone numbers (business/home/cell) where you an be reached. Please mark “SPS/RPR" in the "subject" line. You are welcome to include other information, questions or problems concerning you, your business or your family.

Have a question? Call me (Irv) at 847-767-5296, or email me (