Peter Thiel, the luminary venture capitalist billionaire, has used a common personal retirement account as his own “$5 Billion Tax-Free Piggy Bank,” according to a new report from the nonprofit news organization ProPublica.
Roth IRAs, which were created in 1997, are meant to serve as an incentive for people to save money now and be able to withdraw it tax-free for retirement. People pay taxes on the initial income, but then they do not pay taxes on any capital gains accrued by assets in the Roth account.
ProPublica found that Thiel and other wealthy Americans have used this structure to stash assets that are currently worth millions or even billions of dollars in value and could be withdrawn at retirement age tax-free, according to tax documents it reviewed.
NBC News has not independently verified the documents, and ProPublica declined to disclose how it had gained access to what it has previously called a “vast trove of Internal…