Savvy individuals, estate planning lawyers and financial advisors are not averse to finding unintended benefits when Congress makes changes to laws regarding retirement accounts and Social Security payments. Unfortunately, when too many of these techniques are discovered and shared widely, the government sees revenue slipping away. Three of these loopholes have drawn the attention of various government agencies and may be changed in the near future.
A recent Reuters article, titled “3 Retirement Loopholes That Are Likely to Close,” discusses some of the loopholes that can be found, as an unintended result, due to changes in law.
Back-Door Roth IRA Conversions. Congress created this loophole by lifting income restrictions from conversions from a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA, but not placing such restrictions from the contributions to the accounts. As a result, those whose incomes are too high to put after-tax money directly into a Roth IRA so it can grow tax-free, instead are able to fund a traditional IRA with a non-deductible contribution then convert it to a Roth. Taxes are usually expected in a Roth conversion, but this work-around doesn’t cause much liability, the article explains, provided the contributor doesn’t have other money in an IRA.