Wednesday, September 22, 2021
ProPublica, House Bill Would Blow Up the Massive IRAs of the Superwealthy:
Legislation currently making its way through Congress would take a sledgehammer to the massive individual retirement accounts built up tax-free by a select group of the ultrawealthy.
The proposal, which is part of the infrastructure and tax package advancing in the House, targets the jaw-dropping IRAs accumulated by multimillionaires and billionaires such as tech investor Peter Thiel, which were first reported by ProPublica earlier this year. Those accounts — Thiel’s alone was worth $5 billion in 2019 — have allowed some super-wealthy Americans to turn their Roth IRAs, tools meant to incentivize middle-class retirement saving, into supersized tax shelters.
The proposed reform, put forward by House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., would effectively cap the total amount someone could hold in a Roth at $20 million and compel the holders of the giant accounts to withdraw anything over that limit.
Separately, individuals would have to add up the balances of their retirement accounts — including Roths, traditional IRAs, 401(k)s and 403(b)s — and every year withdraw half of any amount over $10 million. The provisions would only apply to individuals with taxable income of over $400,000 or couples making over $450,000.
The reform wouldn’t affect the overwhelming majority of Americans, whose retirement savings (if they have any) are far more modest — the average Roth was worth just $39,108 at the end of 2018.
- ProPublica: America's Richest People Pay Little To Nothing In Federal Income Taxes (June 8, 2021)
- Dorothy Brown And David Cay Johnston Discuss Yesterday's ProPublica's Report On The Tax Secrets Of The .001% (June 9, 2021)
- Dorothy Brown On The ProPublica Tax Report, Racial Justice, And The Gig Economy (June 14, 2021)
- ProPublica: How Peter Thiel Turned $2,000 In A Roth IRA Into $5,000,000,000 (June 28, 2021)
- ProPublica: Why You Can’t Turn Your Roth IRA Into a Billion-Dollar Tax Shelter (July 1, 2021)
- ProPublica: The Billionaire Playbook — How Sports Owners Use Their Teams To Avoid Millions In Taxes (July 12, 2021)
- ProPublica: The Number Of People With IRAs Worth $5 Million Or More Has Tripled, Congress Says (July 29, 2021)
- ProPublica: Secret IRS Files Reveal How Much the Ultrawealthy Gained by Shaping Trump’s “Big, Beautiful Tax Cut” (Aug. 11, 2021)
- ProPublica: How The Trump Tax Law Created A Loophole That Lets Top Executives Net Millions By Slashing Their Own Salaries (Aug. 20, 2021)