Author Topic: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?  (Read 13796 times)

hedgefund10

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Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« on: March 19, 2016, 02:21:50 PM »
With the amount of unfunded liabilities that the US is going to face, I'm afraid that the government won't be able to resist those juicy Roth IRAs and 401Ks. Has anybody switched to traditional instead of Roth due to the prospect of the government taxing Roth accounts?

ender

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2016, 02:33:23 PM »
I am fairly confident any taxes they might impose on Roth accounts will still be less than the tax benefit I am gaining from traditional IRA/401k.

And any tax they might impose on Roth accounts would likely be fairly low for someone who retires early, anyways.




Spork

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2016, 03:00:31 PM »
Maybe I'm overly optimistic but... I think I can be overly critical of our government and overly paranoid about what they might do... and I don't really think they'll do that.  This is really what defines the Roth.  If anything, they might lower contribution limits or end them entirely -- but I think anything inside a Roth will forever behave like a Roth is supposed to behave.

abhe8

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2016, 04:39:46 PM »
No... Quite the opposite. Dh and I have 2 fully funded Roth IRAs, and I set all my 18k TSP deduction to Roth. I think taxes are going no where but up. I also think they will do away with the ability to contribute to the accts but not tax what is already there.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2016, 08:46:23 PM by abhe8 »

SMCx3

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2016, 04:51:51 PM »
I will take my chances. 

Tigerpine

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2016, 05:05:07 PM »
I agree that existing Roth IRA's will most likely be left alone, but the worst thing likely to happen in the future is that people will not be able to open new Roth IRA's.  Absolute worst case scenario would be that you wouldn't be able to contribute to your Roth IRA and just "leave it in stasis", so to speak.

hedgefund10

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2016, 05:26:10 PM »
Maybe I'm just overly pessimistic/paranoid.

Jim2001

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2016, 05:26:36 PM »
The money went in after tax.  I believe it's unlikely the laws will change to support a second taxation.  Like others have said, contributions may be limited in the future, but they're not now.

I'm not going to worry about it and will keep using the tool as long as I can. 

Paul der Krake

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2016, 05:30:00 PM »
Not a chance.

PhysicianOnFIRE

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2016, 05:30:39 PM »
I think it's more likely that RMDs will be imposed, and the "backdoor Roth" option eliminated.  The nation would be up in arms if the government attempted to collect a second tax on Roth investments. 

Never say never, but that would be an incredibly unpopular (and unfair) move.

hedgefund10

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2016, 05:32:19 PM »
Maybe I'm just overly pessimistic/paranoid. 

JLee

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2016, 06:34:05 PM »
If income is not too high for a Traditional IRA, that's generally the way to go anyway.

RWD

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2016, 06:39:11 PM »
Taxing Roth withdrawals would make just as much sense as taxing bank savings account withdrawals as if it were income.

Jesstache

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2016, 06:47:11 PM »
More likely there'd be an indirect tax on it like instituting a national
sales tax or VAT tax.

JLee

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2016, 06:48:13 PM »
More likely there'd be an indirect tax on it like instituting a national
sales tax or VAT tax.
That'd be a tax on everything, though, not just a tax targeting 401k/IRA accounts.

hedgefund10

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2016, 07:59:02 PM »
Yes if they did tax Roth withdrawals. I would not be paying voluntarily.

powskier

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2016, 09:20:00 PM »
Crystal ball vision is murky, send me cash and I can get a clearer picture pertaining to changes in tax code .

Stop worrying. Plan for future with what is current. Change if that changes.

MustacheAndaHalf

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2016, 09:50:25 AM »
If something happens to Roth accounts you don't like (your example being taxation), you can withdraw all the money you contributed (not the growth).  So there's a way of mitigating the damage, even if something bad comes down on Roth accounts.

hedgefund10

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2016, 09:53:01 AM »
If something happens to Roth accounts you don't like (your example being taxation), you can withdraw all the money you contributed (not the growth).  So there's a way of mitigating the damage, even if something bad comes down on Roth accounts.

Good point.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2016, 10:09:28 AM »
Even Congress realizes the implications of confiscating assets. It is a huge blow to the credibility of the world's largest economy. It sends a message that the United States is not a safe place to invest or do business. The repercussions to the ensuing capital flight would be unprecedented.

Not gonna happen.

Seriously, what is it with you conspiracy people? I get that there is a lot of general mistrust of government, but c'mon.

hedgefund10

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #20 on: March 20, 2016, 10:20:53 AM »
Even Congress realizes the implications of confiscating assets. It is a huge blow to the credibility of the world's largest economy. It sends a message that the United States is not a safe place to invest or do business. The repercussions to the ensuing capital flight would be unprecedented.

Not gonna happen.

Seriously, what is it with you conspiracy people? I get that there is a lot of general mistrust of government, but c'mon.

Bernie has already called for a wealth tax...

JLee

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #21 on: March 20, 2016, 10:33:58 AM »
Even Congress realizes the implications of confiscating assets. It is a huge blow to the credibility of the world's largest economy. It sends a message that the United States is not a safe place to invest or do business. The repercussions to the ensuing capital flight would be unprecedented.

Not gonna happen.

Seriously, what is it with you conspiracy people? I get that there is a lot of general mistrust of government, but c'mon.

Bernie has already called for a wealth tax...

To tax what specifically?

Retire-Canada

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #22 on: March 20, 2016, 10:35:33 AM »
Bernie has already called for a wealth tax...

I don't see anything suggested on his official site that says he wants to take money that you already have saved and invested.

https://berniesanders.com/issues/income-and-wealth-inequality/

He talks about the wealthy paying their fair share of taxes, closing loop holes and such. He does mention a progressive estate tax for inheritances over $3.5M.

It's highly unlikely Bernie is going to be the next president, but I don't see what the fear and paranoia is about even if he was. He's not targeting the early retiree in any way.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #23 on: March 20, 2016, 10:49:19 AM »
Even Congress realizes the implications of confiscating assets. It is a huge blow to the credibility of the world's largest economy. It sends a message that the United States is not a safe place to invest or do business. The repercussions to the ensuing capital flight would be unprecedented.

Not gonna happen.

Seriously, what is it with you conspiracy people? I get that there is a lot of general mistrust of government, but c'mon.

Bernie has already called for a wealth tax...
And Ted Cruz has called for abolishing the IRS. Whoever is the next POTUS is, neither will happen.

Telecaster

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #24 on: March 20, 2016, 10:58:02 AM »
With the amount of unfunded liabilities that the US is going to face, I'm afraid that the government won't be able to resist those juicy Roth IRAs and 401Ks. Has anybody switched to traditional instead of Roth due to the prospect of the government taxing Roth accounts?

Hell to the no.

Despite what you may have heard, compared to recent decades Federal spending, income (from taxes), and deficits are on the low end of things compared to GDP.

The notion there is some sort of budget crisis is being vastly overblown.





hedgefund10

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #25 on: March 20, 2016, 11:39:18 AM »
Even Congress realizes the implications of confiscating assets. It is a huge blow to the credibility of the world's largest economy. It sends a message that the United States is not a safe place to invest or do business. The repercussions to the ensuing capital flight would be unprecedented.

Not gonna happen.

Seriously, what is it with you conspiracy people? I get that there is a lot of general mistrust of government, but c'mon.

Bernie has already called for a wealth tax...

To tax what specifically?

Uhhh, wealth. Pretty self-explanatory.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #26 on: March 20, 2016, 12:37:54 PM »
Uhhh, wealth. Pretty self-explanatory.

Provide a link to the specifics of the policy you are concerned about from Bernie's platform.

hedgefund10

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #27 on: March 20, 2016, 12:42:56 PM »

RWD

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #28 on: March 20, 2016, 12:56:01 PM »
Uhhh, wealth. Pretty self-explanatory.

Provide a link to the specifics of the policy you are concerned about from Bernie's platform.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/sep/6/sen-sanders-calls-wealth-tax-afl-cio-convention/

Isn't an estate tax just for inheritances? That article doesn't go into specifics.

Villanelle

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #29 on: March 20, 2016, 01:00:06 PM »
Maybe I'm overly optimistic but... I think I can be overly critical of our government and overly paranoid about what they might do... and I don't really think they'll do that.  This is really what defines the Roth.  If anything, they might lower contribution limits or end them entirely -- but I think anything inside a Roth will forever behave like a Roth is supposed to behave.

This is more or less where I'm at.  I can see them eliminating Roths (for future contributions), changing the future rules on contributions, lowering limits, establishing some new type of account (Roth2) with some post-tax advantage that is lessor than current Roth rules, or something along those lines.  But I don't see them messing with Roth money that is already existing Roth money, invested under Roth rules.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #30 on: March 20, 2016, 01:08:32 PM »
An estate tax and a wealth tax are two different things. Wealth taxes are almost entirely extinct, with the notable exception of France.

It is unfortunate that Sanders's own senate page mingles the two. A closer reading does in fact reveal that his intention is to prevent leaving tons of money to heirs, not play Robin Hood. I chalk it up to marketing and the general public's irrational distaste of "death taxes".

Telecaster

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #31 on: March 20, 2016, 01:25:55 PM »
Instituting a wealth tax would require amending the Constitution.  Estate taxes are excise taxes, which are a different thing, and of course we already have those.

hedgefund10

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #32 on: March 20, 2016, 01:26:02 PM »
An estate tax and a wealth tax are two different things. Wealth taxes are almost entirely extinct, with the notable exception of France.

It is unfortunate that Sanders's own senate page mingles the two. A closer reading does in fact reveal that his intention is to prevent leaving tons of money to heirs, not play Robin Hood. I chalk it up to marketing and the general public's irrational distaste of "death taxes".

An estate tax is a type of wealth tax. So Bernie calls it a wealth tax but it really isn't, come on.

Indexer

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #33 on: March 20, 2016, 02:38:26 PM »
Why would they? 

I can't even think of the circumstances that would lead to taxing Roth IRAs.

Who uses Roth IRAs?  Average people.

People with the highest incomes can't even use a Roth(unless they backdoor), and it isn't going to be as beneficial as a traditional IRA. So taxing Roth IRAs would require targeting average income Americans who are saving for retirement. When politicians do try to close loopholes or increase tax revenues by targeting specific types of accounts/investments they normally go after things used by the extremely wealthy.

It wouldn't surprise me at all if congress put max limits how much you could have in tax deferred/tax free accounts. For instance once you hit 3 million you can't make new contributions. I also wouldn't be surprised if they closed the backdoor roth IRA loophole, or if they prevented people with very high incomes from doing roth conversions. Everything I'm suggesting here has either been proposed or was a law in the past. Note all of these items target wealthy high income individuals who are abusing the Roth.

In the past congress has drastically changed certain laws around investing, but almost always targeting wealthy individuals who are abusing the system. Limited partnership would be the prime example.  The tax treatment of LTCGs and dividends for high income individuals will likely be next. Romney and Buffet have such low tax rates because all of their income, or close to it, is made up of LTCGs and dividends. When they put the LTCG rates so low that wasn't the intention.

I think it is near impossible that congress would pass a law that effectively acts as a lie and abuses average americans saving for retirement. That would make average voters very unhappy and be counterproductive in trying to get americans to save for retirement. Even if they did decide to target Roth IRAs I think they would just prevent new contributions long before changing how w/ds are taxed.

dividendman

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #34 on: March 20, 2016, 03:32:48 PM »
It wouldn't surprise me at all if congress put max limits how much you could have in tax deferred/tax free accounts. For instance once you hit 3 million you can't make new contributions. I also wouldn't be surprised if they closed the backdoor roth IRA loophole, or if they prevented people with very high incomes from doing roth conversions. E

Really? I'd be surprised if congress does anything. For the foreseeable future the house will be republican (thanks to jerrymandering), so, nothing will happen.

Telecaster

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #35 on: March 20, 2016, 03:38:46 PM »
An estate tax is a type of wealth tax. So Bernie calls it a wealth tax but it really isn't, come on.

It doesn't matter what Bernie calls it, or what you call it.  It matters what Congress and the courts call it.   By definition estate taxes are not wealth taxes and it has been that way since 1789.   

hedgefund10

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #36 on: March 20, 2016, 04:35:44 PM »
An estate tax is a type of wealth tax. So Bernie calls it a wealth tax but it really isn't, come on.

It doesn't matter what Bernie calls it, or what you call it.  It matters what Congress and the courts call it.   By definition estate taxes are not wealth taxes and it has been that way since 1789.

An estate tax is a tax on the value (i.e. wealth of an estate). I don't care what Congress and the courts call it, they can call anything whatever they want. If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it's a duck.

seattlecyclone

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #37 on: March 20, 2016, 04:44:20 PM »
So...we already have an estate tax. Sanders proposes to expand it a bit. There's a huge difference between that and a tax on Roth IRA withdrawals, or a general wealth tax (i.e. calculate your net worth and send 1% of it to the feds each year). That's how I see it anyway. I'm not even a little bit concerned about this.

Telecaster

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #38 on: March 20, 2016, 05:05:46 PM »

An estate tax is a tax on the value (i.e. wealth of an estate). I don't care what Congress and the courts call it, they can call anything whatever they want. If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it's a duck.

That's fine, but if you make up your own special definitions for words that only you know about, you should expect that other people won't know what you are talking about.

If you want to put effort into making sure other people don't understand you, knock yourself out, I have no problem with it.  But you won't win many arguments by confusing people on purpose. 


hedgefund10

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #39 on: March 20, 2016, 05:33:36 PM »

An estate tax is a tax on the value (i.e. wealth of an estate). I don't care what Congress and the courts call it, they can call anything whatever they want. If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it's a duck.

That's fine, but if you make up your own special definitions for words that only you know about, you should expect that other people won't know what you are talking about.

If you want to put effort into making sure other people don't understand you, knock yourself out, I have no problem with it.  But you won't win many arguments by confusing people on purpose.

Do you or do you not agree that an estate tax, is a tax on the wealth of an estate?

Telecaster

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #40 on: March 20, 2016, 06:12:38 PM »

Do you or do you not agree that an estate tax, is a tax on the wealth of an estate?

Disagree. 

hedgefund10

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #41 on: March 20, 2016, 06:22:27 PM »

Do you or do you not agree that an estate tax, is a tax on the wealth of an estate?

Disagree.

Then what is it a tax on?

Telecaster

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #42 on: March 20, 2016, 06:31:03 PM »
It is a tax on an event, specifically the distribution of your estate.  As long as its your estate, it can't legally be taxed.  And it isn't.  That's why it is nonsensical to describe estate taxes as wealth taxes.   They are completely different things.   

hedgefund10

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #43 on: March 20, 2016, 06:59:55 PM »
It is a tax on an event, specifically the distribution of your estate.  As long as its your estate, it can't legally be taxed.  And it isn't.  That's why it is nonsensical to describe estate taxes as wealth taxes.   They are completely different things.

You cannot tax an event, an event has no monetary value.  An event may trigger a tax, in this case the wealth of your estate being distributed.

JLee

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #44 on: March 20, 2016, 10:11:35 PM »
It is a tax on an event, specifically the distribution of your estate.  As long as its your estate, it can't legally be taxed.  And it isn't.  That's why it is nonsensical to describe estate taxes as wealth taxes.   They are completely different things.

You cannot tax an event, an event has no monetary value.  An event may trigger a tax, in this case the wealth of your estate being distributed.
If we follow your own interpretation of a "wealth tax", then a wealth tax already exists - so what are you worried about?

MustacheAndaHalf

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #45 on: March 21, 2016, 04:44:29 AM »
Most taxes are annual.  When someone says "wealth tax", I infer "(annual) wealth tax".  But an estate tax occurs once, when a taxpayer dies.  It's a "(one-time) estate tax".

Telecaster

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #46 on: March 21, 2016, 08:14:18 AM »
You cannot tax an event, an event has no monetary value.  An event may trigger a tax, in this case the wealth of your estate being distributed.

Dude, I am not trying to break your balls here, I really am not. 

You started this thread with a question about tax strategy.  For the past 200+ years, wealth taxes have been illegal.  For the past 200+ years excise taxes are legal.  Excise taxes are defined (in part) as a tax on events or activities, that includes the event of you dying and dividing up your estate.   That has been the case for one whole helluva lot longer than Roth IRAs have even existed.

Now, if you think the tax laws will be completely different going forward based on an interpretation of law that exists solely inside of your head...knock yourself out!  I mean that sincerely.  Go to the mat for what you believe.

But I humbly suggest you'd be a lot better off using words the IRS way defines them instead of coming up with your own secret definitions.   







Mr. Green

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #47 on: March 21, 2016, 10:43:49 AM »
I consider the chances of Roth IRAs becoming taxed to be equal to the chances that Social Security goes away. Zero.

AM43

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #48 on: March 21, 2016, 12:04:49 PM »
Roth IRA isn't going anywhere anytime soon and I cant imagine government taxing it twice.
2 things are most likely to happen are RMD and backdoor roth loop hole will be eliminated.

zephyr911

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Re: Anyone Scared of Possible Taxes on Roth Accounts?
« Reply #49 on: March 21, 2016, 02:49:27 PM »
*sigh* nope. Not even a little.