Category: Financial Planning
Tags: IRAs, Roth IRA Conversion, Income Tax

Don’t Pay more than 24.5% Tax on Your Roth Conversion

Posted on: January 13th, 2011
Do you think you have to pay income tax on large ($500k++) Roth IRA conversions at the top marginal tax rates? Think again.  I have recommend the following strategy to several of my clients.  In most cases, you can stay with your current investment manager.
By utilizing the Jagen™ investment strategy, you may be able to lock in a 24.5*% rate on big IRA conversions.
A lot of advisors don’t like the idea of clients paying taxes early. They adhere to the mindset of “never pay a tax if you don’t absolutely have to.” Some advisors also still believe that clients might be in lower tax brackets later in life and don’t want to recommend taxable transactions at today’s top federal rate of 35%. But what if clients didn’t have to pay at top rates today? A Roth conversion at a 25% or less tax rate now will almost guarantee long-term tax savings for high net worth clients with large IRAs. How many clients with large IRAs will be in a retirement tax bracket less than 25%?
Jagen™ funds are eligible IRA investments and offer access to very high level institutional money management platforms. In addition, the Jagen™ fund design provides for a variance between the net asset value (NAV) and fair market value (FMV) of each investor’s interest in the funds.
For example, an investor might have an IRA holding Jagen™ fund units valued at $1 million NAV. This same account may only have a $700,000 FMV based on a qualified appraisal of those fund units. The reason for this valuation adjustment involves various features of Jagen™ funds which must be taken into account when determining FMV. Each fund is privately owned by a limited number of investors and fund units are not traded on open exchanges. Investors must commit to holding their fund units for specified terms. Thus FMV will typically be less than NAV during the holding period.
 Let’s see how this affects a Roth conversion:

 1-Discount for illustration purposes only. Actual discounts, if applicable, will vary.
2-Assumes 35% maximum federal income tax bracket.
The effective federal tax rate on the Roth conversion using Jagen™ fund units inside the Traditional IRA is 24.5% ($245,000 tax / $1,000,000 IRA NAV = 24.5%).
It is also possible to combine the Roth conversion using Jagen™ shown above in defined benefit plan contributions, a charitable trust (CLAT, CRAT, etc.), NOL carry forwards, current year NOLs or other tax reduction strategy? The effective tax rate can be less than 20% or even zero depending on specifics.
*Note:  State income tax is additional.
Adapted from blog post by Jagen Investments, LLC.  Used with permission.


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