I have been posting my articles on JD Supra since August 2012. I am grateful to JD Supra for helping me to spread the tax gospel of Nowotny to readers. My articles are always a little quirky but usually offer something new to say. Prior to JD Supra I could only count on my mother and father (both of blessed memory) to read my articles. Prior to the Pandemic, my marketing was limited to articles. I’ve spent more on marketing this year than all of the prior years combined. My self-justification was that the investment was necessary to become a "contender."
My professional background is not as straight-forward as the traditional attorney. After graduating from West Point and serving in the Army, I went to law school and completed the JD and LL.M programs at the University of Miami while working in the life insurance industry full time. After completing law school and admission to the Bar, I stayed in the financial services industry for better or worse. In 1999 I began my journey in private placement life insurance (PPLI) where I worked for two life insurance companies and a large insurance broker (Marsh) before going out on my own implementing high net worth and institutional solutions using private placement insurance products. In 2012, I began the path towards practicing law on a full-time basis. Due to my experience in the financial services sector, I understand life insurance products in a way that other attorneys do not. My practice is largely built around a portfolio of niche tax strategies - (1) Private Placement Life Insurance and Annuities (from A to Z); (2) Malta Pension Plans; (3) Customized Pooled Income Funds; (4) Puerto Rican Tax Incentives (without having to move to Puerto Rico); (5) Advanced tax deferral implementing multiple strategies together into a single integrated tax plan.
High net worth taxpayers expected the worst in regard to tax increases with the tax administration and so far, the Biden administration has expressed its intent to meet taxpayer expectations. The Administration has taken direct aim at all of the traditional advanced planning techniques such as sales to intentionally defective trusts and grantor retained annuity trusts et al. State governments on both coasts are fulfilling their promises to raise taxes. Frankly, the picture is ugly! My view is that all of the planning strategies that I promote appear to survive the proposed tax law changes unscathed.
Like many people, I have held onto the music of my youth. One of the great memories from the decade of the 1970's is the music of ABBA. The Broadway musical Mamma Mia has helped to deliver the music of ABBA to a new generation. Arguably, the story plot is incredibly weak, but the music carries the day. Their hit song Take A Chance On Me is the takeaway message from this blog. The choice to pay high taxes is optional. Various niche strategies alone or in combination can provide tax deferral and convert income and capital gains into tax-free income outside of the taxpayer's taxable estate and beyond the reach of creditors. Importantly, nobody goes to jail. Take a chance on Me!