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In their article entitled “Attorney Fees and Private Annuity Rules” TAX NOTES, January 22, 2007, http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=958185 Messrs. Raby and Raby embark on an intriguing discussion on this topic and argue that deferred attorney fees fit under the private annuity rules.

On page 311, item 4. they state that, “We believe that, looking at the economic reality of what has occurred, section 72 is broad enough to treat as annuity contracts obligations calling for payments in periodic installments at regular intervals, especially when the obligor has arranged for actual annuity contracts issued by insurance companies to be used to fund the payments. That is all that a private annuity is – an unsecured promise to make periodic payments over a period of time or for the lifetime of one or more annuitants. Since the attorney has traded his inchoate claim against the client for a third party obligation, with the trade being effective when the settlement takes place, the attorney has received an annuity contract.”

One should note that the proposed Treasury regulations

Former Executive Life Insurance Company policyholders who “opted in” will share $295 million in addtional distributions from an arbitration award. This resulted from a dispute being resolved between the National Organization of Life & Health Guarantee Associations and the California Department of Insurance.

See the full press release from the California Department of Insurance:

http://www.insurance.ca.gov/0400-news/0100-press-releases/0060-2007/release002-07.cfm

The Treasury Department has announced that the Society of Settlement Planner’s request to clarify section 468B’s tax treatment of a single-claimant qualified settlement fund is on their 2006 Priority Guidance Plan. In its August 15, 2006 joint statement it stated that the 264 projects should be completed between June 2006 and July 2007. This request has been with Treasury since June 19, 2003. http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-utl/2006-2007pgp.pdf.

Allstate Life Insurance Company announced today that John McCulloch, the manager of Structured Settlements at Allstate, has accepted the position of Vice President of Marketing for EPS Settlements.  This move is effective September 16, 2006.  Ron Johnson, Assistant Vice President of Allstate Life Insurance Company will take over managing the Structured Settlements department.  Mr. Johnson has over 20 years of experience as an officer of Allstate Life Insurance Company.

Here is a pdf of the Murphy v. IRS case Murphy v. IRS — F.3d — 2006 WL 24113372, D.C. Cir., Aug. 22, 2006 (Slip opinion No. 05-5139).

There has been an AP wire article on this that was carried in the New York TImes see New York Times . Tax Code on Emotional Damages Tossed. August 22, 2006.

Also there wasn at least one commentary in the financial wires on this topic on August 23, see financial blog reaction to Murphy.

Murphy v. I.R.S. — F.3d — 2006 WL 24113372, D.C.Cir., Aug 22, 2006 (Slip Opinion No. 05-5139).

Quick summary

What the Murphy court said is if you are emotionally harmed or if your reputation is injured, you get to keep all of the damages and not pay any taxes.