Retirement Security: Improved Guidance Could Help Account Owners Understand the Risks of Investing in Unconventional Assets

Source: U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), GAO-17-102: Published: December 8, 2016

From the fast facts:
People who invest their retirement accounts in unconventional assets—such as real estate or virtual currency—may be placing their savings at risk.

Retirement accounts allowing such unconventional investments increase owners’ responsibilities in ways they may not understand—and mistakes can trigger taxes and penalties. Moreover, account custodians may prematurely close an account or let valueless assets and fraud go undetected because they did not accurately determine the value of unconventional assets.

We recommended that IRS improve guidance for account owners with unconventional retirement assets and clarify how to annually value such assets. ….

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