The Government Accountability Office just released a study regarding Individual Retirement Accounts and the enormous amount of deferred income that is currently accumulated in them. The report noted that an estimated 43 million taxpayers had IRAs with a reported fair market value of $5.2 trillion at the end of 2011, which results in an estimated $17.45 billion in lost tax revenue, and it made several recommendations to Congress as to what it thought the IRS should do about this. Options could include limits on (1) the types of assets permitted in IRAs, (2) the minimum valuation for an asset purchased by an IRA, or (3) the amount of assets that can be accumulated in IRAs and employer sponsored plans that get preferential tax treatment. There will not be any action on this by Congress in the near future, or perhaps ever, but it is interesting to note that what once was considered an inalienable right (i.e., accumulating as much wealth in your IRA as you possibly could for retirement) might someday be taken away, or at least restricted in some way. Click here to review the full GAO report.
Will the IRS Take Action to Restrict Wealth Accumulation in IRAs?
About the Author: Jeff Belingheri
Jeff is a Partner at Bregante + Company LLP, providing tax, accounting and consulting services to closely held businesses and high net worth individuals throughout the greater San Francisco Bay Area.