If you’ll recall, in the previous article we discussed taxation code 831(b) as one of the various IRS codes that can be formed under captive insurance. In this article, we’re going to talk about code 831(b) in the same manner.
Much of the implications of 831(b) are the same as 831(a) but with a few caveats. So, hang in there because most of the general information is the same, but it bears repeating — especially if you haven’t read the previous article.

What is a Captive Insurance Company?

To recap, a captive insurance company is either a direct C-corporation or a business entity that is taxed as a C-corporation. It’s purpose is to give business owners the opportunity to become an insurance company of their own with the capacity of writing property and casualty insurance to smaller groups of insureds — or actuarial partners.
A “C-corporation” will have one or more subsidiaries that set up the captive insurance company which in turn can group those subsidiaries together as one entity. Under this structure, the captive aka business owner, operates as a licensed insurer. As a licensed insurer they must identify and evaluate their own policies and underwrite their own premiums.
From there, the subsidiaries pay the deductible tax premium payments set by the captive insurance owner or actuarial partners. In turn, they invest those premium payouts into future claim pay-outs.
In summation, this gives the business owner more control in his or her taxation with a captive.

831(b) Aka: Micro Captives

As previously mentioned, there are various codes in which captive insurance companies can be formed. The one we’re discussing in this article is the 831(b) captive insurance, aka “micro” or “mini” captives.
Captives are defined by the size of their premium and the taxation of the actual insurance company. The 831(b) insurance captives work for businesses that take in less than $2.3 million of premium each year. Once classified as an 831(b) insurance captive, the business owner will only be taxed on their investment income and not their premium income.
Due to their C-corporation status, they are taxed at ordinary tax rates and not the standard rates for traditional tax gains.
Another caveat for micro captives is that they must designate and qualify for 831(b) status each year. To qualify, they must receive less than the $2.3 million in premiums each year, excluding the first $2.3 million or more in premiums that they receive. If the business owner (or, captive) does not meet the designated requirement, premiums may still be deducted by the parent company and paid to the captive.
This is enabled because you can have multiple single parent captives that qualify as 831(b) captives, and a parent company along with its subsidiaries with the capacity to create multiple captives under the 831(b) taxation code. This scenario would involve the captive exceeding their $2.3 million in total premiums.
When it comes down to the 831(a) vs 831(b) codes, It’s a means of risk management that works well for the captive who does not consistently exceed the $2.3 million mark. A captive who consistently exceeds this limitation — and by a lot — will not qualify for the 831(b) taxation code. Any attempt to do so would be breaking captive insurance law.

Financial Benefits Associated with 831(b) Micro Captives:

There are a number of benefits associated with being a micro captive and they’re all the same as the financial benefits of 831(a) regular captives:
Of course, under the 831(b) micro captive insurance, the capacity to create multiple captives to mitigate an exceeded premium limit adds an extra benefit as the captive will get to maintain their 832(b) status while also taking advantage of favorable tax rates and cash flow.
Captive Insurance
Financial Benefits Associated with 831(b) Micro Captives:
The ultimate goal of entering into a captive program or becoming a captive insurance business entity is to provide protection for your organization’s bottom line. It’s not to avoid paying taxes or claims.
Unfortunately, this taxation system has become used and abused resulting in heavy audits, tax evasion, and fraud. That’s why companies and business owners
alike that are thinking about becoming a captive entity should work with experienced professionals who understand captive insurance best practices as well as risk management concepts. It’s the only way to avoid scrutiny from the IRS and to protect yourself, your company, and your employees.
To learn more about captive insurance and how it’s structured, check back with us for the next article on captive insurance.
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