THE IRA AND RETIREMENT PLAN OWNER’S GUIDE TO BEATING THE NEW DEATH TAX is aimed at a very specific audience: Americans who have an income substantial enough to make it worthwhile to find loopholes in inheritance laws. But Certified Public Accountant and attorney James Lange writes with sufficient clarity and width so that this book will also interest anyone who wants to learn more about finance and financial law.
Lange’s book deals with the SECURE Act and its impact on IRAs – and so narrow is his intended readership that at no point in the book does he bother to say what these acronyms mean. (IRA stands for Individual Retirement Account and SECURE for Setting Up Every Community for Retirement.) The SECURE Act, which came into effect at the start of 2020, changed the inheritance law so that, except for spouses, the heir has to take the money out of the account within ten years. Congress changed the previous law because these kinds of inheritance accounts couldn’t be taxed, so forcing people to use the money after ten years opens a new source of revenue for the federal government.
This, as Lange explains, means that someone who inherited $1 million in, say, their 50s, would in their mid-80s have had $2 million in the account. Now, under the SECURE Act, they will have zero dollars at that age due to taxes. “The new legislation is a money grab by Congress,” Lange writes. “They are picking the pockets of IRA owners who played by the rules to plan for their heirs…Then, late in the game, Congress, assuming they even knew what they were voting for, decides they need a quick infusion of money, so they change the rules. The impact is devastating for most children and grandchildren of IRA owners.”
Every law has defects, however, and in his 131-page book Lange outlines six strategies to get around the SECURE provisions. He is a specialist in what are called Roth IRA conversions, and argues that this is an effective core strategy for preserving the tax benefits of retirement accounts and trusts. (The basic idea is that taxes are paid upfront.)
Of course, the main purpose of this book is to market Lange’s accounting firm. There is no doubt that he knows both his law and his accounting, although his assertion that other attorneys/CPAs make mistakes in 90% of inheritance documents seems rather unlikely. But, for those persons who are anywhere over the 24% tax bracket, this book is a useful alarm on the need to modify their IRAs now.
For those persons who are anywhere over the 24% tax bracket, THE IRA AND RETIREMENT PLAN OWNER’S GUIDE TO BEATING THE NEW DEATH TAX is a useful alarm on the need to modify their IRAs now.
~Kevin Baldeosingh for IndieReader