A hefty 94% of investors said they are unfamiliar with the implications of the 1997 Taxpayer Relief Act, a survey found.

The study, released this week, was conducted for Dreyfus Corp., the $120 billion mutual fund unit of Mellon Bank Corp. of Pittsburgh.

The study also found that though 85% of respondents said taxes play an important role in investment decisions, only one-third said they have a good understanding of the tax implications of investing.

The Taxpayer Relief Act created the Roth Individual Retirement Account, which lets individuals make after-tax contributions to retirement accounts. Traditional IRAs are pretax vehicles.

The study, conducted by Response Center, a market research firm in Philadelphia, surveyed 1,000 mutual fund investors with a median age of 45 and median household income of $63,000.

Separately, Dreyfus is issuing an educational booklet, "10 Tips for Tax Smart Investing," and other material to raise investor awareness.

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