April Sales Reach Record Highs as Tax Deadline Spurs Late Surge; Year's Activity Estimated at $34 Billion, a 20% Increase

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NEW YORK -- Sales of individual retirement accounts reached record highs during the last weeks before the tax deadline this year, according to industry sources.

The late surge in activity, brought on by the April 16 tax deadline, followed lagging sales early in the year.

According to W. Wesley Howard 3d, editor of the Cleveland-based IRA Reporter newsletter, IRA sales for the 1983 tax year will total $34 billion, 20% better than the $28 billion recorded in the 1982 tax year.

At the end of April 1984, IRA assets in all industries totaled $119.4 billion, compared to $78.1 billion at the end of the same period the year before, according to the newsletter's estimates.

April's activity constituted the best sales month ever for IRAs with sales of more than $5 billion, the newsletter said.

According to the Investment Company Institute, a trade group for the mutual fund industry, assets in mutual fund IRAs jumped $1.3 billion during April to a total balance of $13.5 billion.

The Federal Reserve Board, which does not separate IRA and Keogh statistics, reported that IRa and Keogh assets for 13,386 issuing commercial banks rose $4.996 billion to $39.074 billion between March 26 and April 25, 1984.

The Fed also reported that 366 issuing mutual savings banks added $460 million in IRA and Keogh money during that period, for a total of $7.871 billion.

The Federal Home Loan Bank Board, which also tallies IRA and Keogh assets $35.791 billion at the end of April.

Trade groups for the life insurance and securities industries did not have statistics for the April sales period.

However, the IRA Reported estimated that IRA balances in the life insurance industry rose $1.9 billion to $11.4 billion between yearend 1983 and the end of April 1984.

The newsletter also estimated that securities companies added $4. …