The limit for contributions to Individual Retirement Accounts for 1982 by a married couple with only one wage earner is $2,250. The figure was reported incorrectly yesterday.
An estimated 10 million Americans put funds into Individual Retirement Accounts and claimed IRA deductions on their 1982 tax returns--three times the previous year's number, the Internal Revenue Service said yesterday.
Banks, brokerage firms and other institutions staged an advertising brouhaha as the April 15 tax filing deadline approached and customers flocked in to qualify for the popular IRA deduction.
Meanwhile, Federal Reserve data for March show that IRA and Keogh accounts in commercial and savings banks, savings and loans and money market mutual funds totaled $59.5 billion, up $31 billion, or more than double the totals on Jan. 1, 1982, when all American workers became eligible to open IRAs. That figure excludes credit union balances, insurance company annuities and self-directed stock accounts.
"The IRA is really exceeding all of our expectations," Treasury Secretary Donald T. Regan told reporters yesterday. "The Treasury really lowballed its estimates on that one."
Single taxpayers could deduct IRA contributions of up to $2,000 for 1982, up from $1,500 the year before. Married couples with only one wage earner had a $2,500 limit this year and a $1,750 limit for 1981.
With 93 percent of the 1040 forms already processed, the IRS says that 9.7 million out of the 88 million returns filed listed the IRA deduction. That translates into 18 percent of the 1040 returns.
True to prediction, the higher the income, the more popular the deduction. For taxpayers earning over $25,000 the percentage rises to 25. By comparison, just 10 percent of eligible workers bought IRAs in 1981, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute.
By the time the four-month automatic extension for late filers has ended, the Treasury estimates the total number of returns containing IRAs will climb to 10.9 million. The revenue loss at that level has not yet been calculated.
The IRS has not yet figured the actual amount of dollar deductions claimed. Based on 1981 returns, the Treasury originally set the average per return this year at $1,719. On that basis, the deductions would amount to approximately $19 billion for IRAs plus another $3 billion for Keogh plans.
The apparent discrepancy between the Treasury's estimates for 1982 deductions and the total amount reported by the Fed is due to a number of factors. The Fed figure includes rollovers from previous years, accrued interest and earnings and contributions already made for tax year 1983.
A breakdown of the Fed's preliminary March figures shows $22.8 billion in commercial banks, $31.3 billion in savings and loan associations and mutual savings banks and $5.4 billion in money market funds. (By the end of the month that total had grown by about $1 billion.)
The American Council of Life Insurance estimates that IRA and Keogh annuity balances amounted to $5.4 billion at the end of 1982, an increase of $1.7 billion from the previous year. The National Credit Union Administration reported $940 million by the end of the year. This brings the reported total retirement account balance up to $65.8 billion.