As life settlements have become an increasingly popular alternative asset class, Ireland has emerged as a leading jurisdiction for the establishment of vehicles for purposes of investing in U.S.-originated life settlement transactions. Sponsors have utilized two types of vehicles in Ireland to achieve their objectives - Irish unregulated special purpose vehicles (SPVs) or regulated qualifying investor funds (QIFs).
The U.S./Ireland Double Tax Treaty (Treaty) is of particular importance for investment in life settlement policies. Where the various requirements of the Treaty are satisfied, no withholding tax will apply to payments of death benefits. In addition to benefiting from zero U.S. withholding tax, it is possible to establish an Irish SPV or QIF such that there is no Irish tax leakage and investors receive an overall return on their investment in the most tax efficient manner.