Individual Retirement Accounts offer more than one tax benefit and remain popular with Americans who make too much money to deduct IRA contributions from their taxable income.
Americans at the top of the earnings scale can establish and fund IRA accounts, but the contributions are made with “after tax” income. A significant number of affluent investors still see IRAs as a good way to lessen their tax burden. That’s because IRAs grow tax free until investors reach retirement age and begin to withdraw funds.
Tax-deferred growth results in a larger nest egg because profits are allowed to compound for years before taxes eat into gains. Affluent investors, who are very sensitive to the tax implications of their investments, give relatively high ratings to IRAs as a means to save on taxes, according to Spectrem research. In an April survey of 1,251 affluent investors, IRAs received a ranking of 53 on a 100-point scale, compared to 30 for annuities, 27 for life insurance and 10 for real estate. The only strategy ranked above IRAs was hiring a good tax advisor.
More than 80 percent of millionaires rank tax implications as a key investment factor, and even higher percentages of these investors own IRAs. Nearly all – 97 percent – of investors with a net worth of $5 million to $25 million, excluding primary residence, have IRAs with a mean value of more than $1 million dollars.
IRS rules on IRA contribution and deduction limits are published on www.irs.com. The agency distinguishes between taxpayers who are and are not covered by retirement plans at work. In 2010, a married couple filing jointly with a spouse who is covered by a plan a work could deduct the full amount of their IRA contribution if they had a modified adjusted gross income of $167,000 or less. The same coupled qualified for a partial deduction if their income was more than $167,000 but less than $177,000, but could not deduct any of their IRA contribution if their income was $177,000 or more.
Americans younger than 50 were allowed to contribute up to $5,000 of taxable income to an IRA in 2010. Those 50 and older were allowed to contribute $6,000.