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Captive Tax Advantages Recently Take Huge Hit In US Tax Court


Captive Tax Advantages – Tax Court Ruling –  One To Read NOW

Some Captive tax advantages may have been eroded with a recent US Tax Court decision.  The case is   Reserve Mech. Corp. v. Commissioner, 2018 Tax Ct. Memo LEXIS 87.

picture of Anguilla Captive Tax Advantages Island
Wikimedia Public Use Roy Googin

The three articles that started quite a buzz in the captive world are from: (LexisNexis full article behind paywall)

Captive Insurance Times



If you are interested in Captives, and you should be if you are involved with any facet of Workers Compensation, the articles are very much worth a read.    If you perform a Google search on

Reserve Mech. Corp. v. Commissioner

one will find volumes of information.

Many companies, captive administrators, attorneys, and other people involved with captives have issued statements and opinions on the Reserve Mechanical case.

Captive Tax Advantage Case Document

The PDF of the entire 66 page US Tax Court decision is here.  You will need a PDF reader to read it.  This decision may be one to download and read for yourself.   The decision is a complicated one.   The bottom line is the owners of the captive could not avoid a 30% tax on the captive insurance agreement.  The captive tax advantages were not allowed.

Many of the legal, captive, and insurance pundits pointed to the Conclusion Section III (page 62).   The first part of that section is below.


III. Taxability of Reserve’s Revenue

We concluded that Reserve did not issue insurance or reinsurance contracts during the tax years in issue and therefore it did not receive more than 50% of its gross receipts from insurance premiums. See secs. 501(c)(15), 816(a).


One has to draw their own conclusions.  The 14 articles on Captives that I wrote can be found here.   The article on rent-a-captive turned out to be one of the most popular ones on this website.

We shall see what the future holds for onshore and especially offshore captive tax advantages.


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James J Moore - Workers Comp Expert

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Management Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

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