26 CFR § 1.264-1 - Premiums on life insurance taken out in a trade or business.
(a) When premiums are not deductible. Premiums paid by a taxpayer on a life insurance policy are not deductible from the taxpayer's gross income, even though they would otherwise be deductible as trade or business expenses, if they are paid on a life insurance policy covering the life of any officer or employee of the taxpayer, or any person (including the taxpayer) who is financially interested in any trade or business carried on by the taxpayer, when the taxpayer is directly or indirectly a beneficiary of the policy. For additional provisions relating to the nondeductibility of premiums paid on life insurance policies (whether under section 162 or any other section of the Code), see section 262, relating to personal, living, and family expenses, and section 265, relating to expenses allocable to tax-exempt income.
(b) When taxpayer is a beneficiary. If a taxpayer takes out a policy for the purpose of protecting himself from loss in the event of the death of the insured, the taxpayer is considered a beneficiary directly or indirectly under the policy. However, if the taxpayer is not a beneficiary under the policy, the premiums so paid will not be disallowed as deductions merely because the taxpayer may derive a benefit from the increased efficiency of the officer or employee insured. See section 162 and the regulations thereunder. A taxpayer is considered a beneficiary under a policy where, for example, he, as a principal member of a partnership, takes out an insurance policy on his own life irrevocably designating his partner as the sole beneficiary in order to induce his partner to retain his investment in the partnership. Whether or not the taxpayer is a beneficiary under a policy, the proceeds of the policy paid by reason of the death of the insured may be excluded from gross income whether the beneficiary is an individual or a corporation, except in the case of (1) certain transferees, as provided in section 101(a)(2); (2) portions of amounts of life insurance proceeds received at a date later than death under the provisions of section 101(d); and (3) life insurance policy proceeds which are includible in the gross income of a husband or wife under section 71 (relating to alimony) or section 682 (relating to income of an estate or trust in case of divorce, etc.). (See section 101(e).) For further reference, see, generally, section 101 and the regulations thereunder.