Independent insurance agents and brokers can celebrate a tax win for a change. Thanks in part to strong advocacy by many trade groups, including the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA), proposed regulations issued Aug. 8 by the U.S. Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) specifically state that “insurance agents and brokers” are not excluded from taking the 20% pass-through tax deduction that was passed as part of the tax reform legislation signed into law late last year.
Many independent insurance agencies are organized as sole proprietorships, partnerships, or Subchapter S corporations and they don’t pay corporate income tax. Instead, their income “passes through” the firm and appears directly on their owners’ individual tax returns, where it is taxed as normal income. These individuals are likely to see lower tax bills with the 20% deduction, subject to other limitations imposed by law or regulation.
Treasury’s proposed regulations explicitly specify that insurance agents and brokers are not barred from taking the deduction, unlike others, like stockbrokers, for example.
“PIA has been aggressively advocating for this tax relief for pass-through entities since passage of the tax reform law (P.L. 115-141) last December, on behalf of PIA members,” said PIA National Executive Vice President & CEO Mike Becker. “We advocated for the language that was ultimately adopted by Treasury and the IRS in their proposal.”
“PIA was gratified to see the proposed Treasury regulation explicitly excludes insurance agents and brokers from the category of businesses that are not permitted to take the 20% pass-through deduction,” said Lauren G. Pachman, Esq., PIA counsel and director of regulatory affairs. “It’s a good day for small-business insurance agencies, whose businesses will be taxed the way pass-through entities were intended to be by Congress.”