Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Pennsylvania Issues Guidance on Revised IRA Provision, Delays Impact

Last fall, Pennsylvania amended its unclaimed property law to, among other things,  change the ways that Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) are covered by the Act.  Under the former law, IRAs were not required to be turned over to the state unless there was an unclaimed distribution or the IRA owner reached the mandatory distribution date specified by the IRS rules.  Under the revised law, the dormancy period begins to run when two account statements are returned to the custodian as undeliverable.  In other words, if a person moves, but forgets to tell his or her IRA custodian within the period of two account statements, the IRA account is on its way to being turned over to the Commonwealth.

As noted in an earlier post, this approach is potentially problematic.  IRA's are perhaps the predominant "buy and hold" type of investment.  Not only are they designed to provide preferable tax treatment in exchange for holding until a later age, but there are actually hefty tax penalties for failing to hold off on distributions until age 59.5.  The new Pennsylvania laws, however, fail to take this economic reality into account, the dormancy period begins upon the requisite amount of returned mailings, regardless of the age of the account holder or any tax penalties that may occur.

As a result, a number of groups, including the Unclaimed Property Professionals Organization and the Investment Company Institute have objected to the new legislation and/or have asked Pennsylvania to amend or clarify the application of the new IRA provisions.

As a result of these inquiries, the Pennsylvania Department of Treasury issued policy guidance on the application of the new IRA rules.  Unfortunately, the guidance does not address the shortcomings of the revised law, but kicks the problem down the road.  In the guidance, the Treasury Department opines that no adverse tax consequence for the owner is "anticipated":
The provisions of Section 1301.8 directing the transfer of abandoned and unclaimed retirement accounts into the custody of the Commonwealth are not anticipated to implicate early distribution related taxes. Upon the transfer of an IRA or certain retirement assets pursuant to Section 1301.8, the Commonwealth will act solely as custodian of those assets until such time as the owner or beneficiary is located and reclaims the abandoned and unclaimed property. Because neither the owner nor the beneficiary will have constructive possession or control of the account, the transfer to the Commonwealth’s custody should not be taxable, reportable or potentially penalize a premature distribution to the account owner, but instead should be treated as a non-reportable transfer of retirement assets.
Unfortunately, there is no citation, analysis, or explanation of the reasons for the Treasury Department's position, nor any indication that there has been any communication with the IRS in order to confirm the Treasury Department's understanding.  That said, the guidance at least puts off the day of reckoning for this issue, providing that the Treasury Department will "neither demand nor accept" abandoned IRA accounts unless (1) three years have passed since the death of the owner and or (2) the owner has reached the mandatory distribution requirement.  This directive will remain in place while the Treasury Department studies the issue.

10 comments:

  1. Siempre habrá una razón por la cual podrán comprar Bolsas Michael Kors Precios de los minoristas en línea. Los compradores de hoy que estén interesados en comprar Michael Kors Rebajas podrán descubrir cómo pueden obtener los mejores resultados que siempre quisieron simplemente haciendo ruido con lo mejor de Bolsos Michael Kors Outlet que ofrecen más allá de precios asequibles.

    Dessutom med så många alternativ att välja mellan, har det blivit praktiskt taget omöjligt för köpare att ta reda på hur de kan köpa Designer Michael Kors Väska Rea online utan att behöva investera för mycket pengar eller tid i scouting den lokala marknaden som annars skulle tyckas omöjligt att göra först . En riktig äkta Michael Kors Rea skulle kunna ge dig tillbaka tusentals dollar och det är något som de flesta inte har råd med. Du kan faktiskt köpa Michael Kors Plånbok online.

    Maintenant, la question se pose de savoir si vous pouvez réellement trouver en ligne authentique Longchamp Soldes bon marché qui sont vraiment authentiques et la réponse est oui, vous pouvez! Un des sites les mieux notés et les plus populaires pour localiser le Sac A Main Longchamp en ligne parfait pour votre collection personnelle est eBay. Rappelez-vous, juste parce que vous êtes en mesure de magasiner en ligne Sac À Main Longchamp sur eBay à des prix incroyablement bas ne signifie pas qu'ils sont faux ou de qualité bon marché.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nice Blog, I’m really impressed with your efforts. Visit for
    Europe Honeymoon Packages

    ReplyDelete