Tech Mogul Peter Thiel Turned A Tiny Roth IRA Into A $5 Billion Tax-Free Piggy Bank

  • Roth IRAs were designed to help average working Americans save, but billionaire Peter Thiel and other 1% investors have used them to amass vast tax free fortunes.
  • The founder of PayPal has bankrolled a group that promotes the building of off-shore floating nations that would not impose any income taxes.
  • Thiel took a Roth IRA account worth less than $2,000 in 1999 and turned it into a $5 billion windfall.

Justin Elliot, Patricia Callahan and James Bandler from ProPublica write:

“Billionaire Peter Thiel, a founder of PayPal, has publicly condemned “confiscatory taxes.” He’s been a major funder of one of the most prominent anti-tax political action committees in the country. And he’s bankrolled a group that promotes building floating nations that would impose no compulsory income taxes.

But Thiel doesn’t need a man-made island to avoid paying taxes. He has something just as effective: a Roth individual retirement account.

Fact-based, independent journalism is needed now more than ever.

Over the last 20 years, Thiel has quietly turned his Roth IRA — a humdrum retirement vehicle intended to spur Americans to save for their golden years — into a gargantuan tax-exempt piggy bank, confidential Internal Revenue Service data shows. Using stock deals unavailable to most people, Thiel has taken a retirement account worth less than $2,000 in 1999 and spun it into a $5 billion windfall.

To put that into perspective, here’s how much the average Roth was worth at the end of 2018: $39,108.

And here’s how much $5 billion is: If every one of the 2.3 million people in Houston, Texas, were to deposit $2,000 into a bank today, those accounts still wouldn’t equal what Thiel has in his Roth IRA.

What’s more, as long as Thiel waits to withdraw his money until April 2027, when he is six months shy of his 60th birthday, he will never have to pay a penny of tax on those billions…”

See full story here.



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