Series: The Secret IRS Files Inside the Tax Records of the .001% ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive our biggest stories as soon as they’re published. The Democratic plan to crack down on individual retirement accounts worth hundreds of millions, even billions, of dollars and to tighten the rules governing IRA investments is facing intense opposition from several industry groups seeking to kill or soften the proposed reforms. Several retirement industry firms, including one backed by tech investor Peter Thiel, who amassed a multibillion-dollar IRA, have mounted a lobbying push against the plan, disclosure filings show. They have hired an array of former Capitol Hill staffers, a former congressman and at least one former U.S. senator to fight efforts to rein in and regulate the accounts. ProPublica Get Our Top Investigations Subscribe to the Big Story newsletter. Thanks for signing up. If you like our stories, mind sharing this with a friend? https://www.propublica.org/newsletters/the-big-story?source=www.propublica.org&placement=share®ion=national Copy link For more ways to keep up, be sure to check out the rest of our newsletters. See All Fact-based, independent journalism is needed now more than ever. Donate ProPublica reported in June that, as of 2019, Thiel had $5 billion in one of the tax-advantaged accounts, which were originally intended to incentivize retirement savings by the middle and working classes. Other superrich Americans have also protected large fortunes from taxation using the retirement vehicles. Income generated inside an IRA is not taxed and, in the case of a Roth IRA such as Thiel’s, withdrawals are also tax-free once the owner reaches the age of 59 and a half. In response, Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee included a proposal to curb mega-IRA accounts as part of the package of social spending and tax changes being debated on Capitol Hill. The House proposal would effectively cap the total amount someone could hold in a Roth IRA at $20 million and compel the holders of the giant accounts to withdraw anything over that limit. “Incentives in our tax code that help Americans save for retirement were never intended to enable a tax shelter for the ultra-wealthy,” Ways and Means Chair Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., said earlier this year. “We must shut down these practices.” The proposal would also bar IRAs from making certain nonpublic investments, an area that congressional investigators have flagged as ripe for abuse. Purchasing shares of startups through an IRA has become popular among the founders of Silicon Valley companies. Buying difficult-to-value shares at extremely low prices can sidestep IRA contribution limits and potentially generate massive tax-free growth. Among the companies lobbying on the proposal is San Francisco-based Forge Global, which runs a marketplace for shares of private companies and also has a division that administers IRA plans. Forge hired lobbyists from Allon Advocacy in September, including former staffers for Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and former Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-N.Y. Thiel was one of the early funders of Forge, and it regularly touts its connection to him in press releases. Forge CEO Kelly Rodriques was previously the chief executive of an IRA company formerly called Pensco. Pensco was the custodian of Thiel’s giant IRA for many years, ProPublica previously reported. A Thiel spokesperson didn’t respond to a request for comment. A Forge spokesperson said Thiel and his representatives had no role . . . read the full article here.