The Internal Revenue Service has finalized a regulation that would limit the use of life insurance and annuity contracts as a way to avoid current taxation of investment earnings. The regulation will prevent taxpayers from turning otherwise taxable investments in hedge funds and other entities into tax-deferred or tax-free investments by purchasing the investments through a life insurance or annuity contract. Life insurance and annuity contracts receive favorable tax treatment in recognition of the importance of protecting loved ones against the potentially devastating financial consequences of death or the risk of exhausting savings while in retirement. The new regulation will help taxpayers purchasing a life insurance or annuity contract to be secure in the knowledge that the contract complies with the tax laws, according to the IRS.This regulation is part of the effort to modernize the rules for these contracts, in recognition of the developments that have occurred in the financial markets in recent years.

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