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James Landis

James Landis

James P. Landis, JD, CPA, MBA is principal of UniCaptive Advisors, LLC, an independent consultant to the captive industry. He has been involved in the formation and management of captive insurance companies for more than 25 years, is the former managing partner of Intuitive Captive Solutions and is a member of the board of directors of the Delaware Captive Insurance Association.

He has formed captives in more than 10 different domestic and international jurisdictions, totaling more than 15% of all “small” captives in existence today. Landis has been called as an expert witness in major tax cases involving captive insurance companies and has worked with the staff of the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation with regard to the taxation of captive insurance companies.

He practiced law in California, has taught in the University of California system and taught international taxation at the graduate level at Golden Gate University in San Francisco, one of the country’s premier graduate tax programs.

Landis received his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, his MBA (finance) from the College of William and Mary and his B.S. (accounting) from Babson College.

Recent Articles by James Landis

Captives: Congress Shoots, Misses

In late December, Congress put together a last-minute “tax extender” package that, among many other things, made some changes to section 831(b) of the Internal Revenue Code. That section allows “small” captive insurance companies to elect to exempt from income tax all of their insurance income. These small captives have been widely used in recent years […]

How to Prevent IRS Issues for Captives

A regulator of captive insurance is responsible for many aspects of the business of captive insurance companies. He or she must coordinate the application process for obtaining a license, including the financial analysis and financial examination of each captive insurance company. The regulator is also a key marketing person in promoting the domicile as a […]

831(b) Captives and the IRS: Underwriting and Audit Roulette

Much has been written about the financial and tax power of forming and operating a captive insurance company that qualifies for the tax benefits of section 831(b) of the Internal Revenue Code. But all too often, promoters of this concept forget that each captive must be first and foremost a risk management tool with legitimate […]

Section 831(b) Captive Insurance Companies And The Tax Preparer Penalty

An Actual Scenario: A CPA was preparing the tax return of a longtime client who had purchased three captive insurance companies from a well-known provider of such entities, and had paid $3.3 million in insurance premiums to these companies. The client wished to show that payment as a tax deductible item. The client had $28 […]

Captive Insurance Reinsurance Pools – Where's My Money?

As smaller captive insurance companies proliferate, so do reinsurance pools or exchanges that attempt to deliver sufficient “risk distribution” to satisfy the requirements of the Internal Revenue Service. Without risk distribution, the captive would not be considered an insurance company for tax purposes and would then lose many of its potential tax benefits, including the […]

Risk Distribution – Where Is The Risk?

What if a captive insurance company has virtually no real practical risk except to its own related insured? Is risk distribution really present? Every captive insurance company must demonstrate, among other things, that it has sufficient “risk distribution” to qualify as an insurance company for tax purposes. This concept was first mentioned by the United […]

Section 831(b) Captives – Where is the Common Sense?

A captive insurance company that qualifies for the tax exemption found in section 831(b) of the Internal Revenue Code is a time-tested and useful risk management mechanism that offers the entrepreneur excellent tax and financial planning benefits. It looks simple — form a small insurance company and pay no more than $1,200,000 in annual premiums […]

Series LLCs And Section 831(b) Captives

Ever since the Department of Treasury issued Proposed Regulations in September 2010, there has been increased awareness and “hype” surrounding the use of Series LLCs and their accompanying Special Business Units (“SBUs”) for the formation of captive insurance companies. It seems that many captive providers think this new structure is “better than sliced bread.” In […]

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