Are you looking to take an early distribution from your IRA? Learn how you can avoid early withdrawal penalties.

Taking withdrawals from your traditional IRA, means you will probably be taxed on it. There could be penalties associated with taking money out of your IRA early too.

This is all dependent on how old you are, when you take the money out, and what you are using it for.

Important: Once you reach a certain age, you must start taking required minimum distributions from your traditional IRAs to avoid a different tax penalty. Previously, the required beginning date (RBD) was April 1 of the year after the year in which you turn 70½. However, a 2019 law changed the RBD to 72 for individuals who reach age 70½ after 2019.

But what if you want to take an “early” withdrawal, defined as one taken before age 59½? You’ll be hit with a 10% penalty tax unless an exception applies. This 10% early withdrawal penalty tax is on top of the regular income tax you’ll owe on the distribution.

Exceptions to the general rule
Fortunately, there are several exceptions to the early withdrawal penalty tax if you use the money for certain things. Common examples include:

  • Paying for medical costs that exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income,
  • Withdrawals up to the amount of qualified higher education expenses for you, your spouse, or the children or grandchildren of you or your spouse, and
  • Withdrawals to buy or build a first home for a parent, grandparent, yourself, a spouse, or you or your spouse’s child or grandchild. This exception for first-time home purchases is subject to a lifetime limit of $10,000. A first-time homebuyer is someone who hasn’t had an ownership interest in a home in the last two years before buying a new home.

There’s also an exception to the early withdrawal penalty tax if you take annuity-like annual withdrawals under IRS guidelines. If distributions are made as part of a series of “substantially equal periodic payments” over your life expectancy or the life expectancies of you and your designated beneficiary, the tax doesn’t apply.

Be careful with rollovers
Be aware that the early withdrawal penalty may come into play if you’re moving funds out of an account. You can roll over funds from one IRA to another tax-free so long as you complete the rollover within 60 days. What if you miss the deadline? You may owe tax and the early withdrawal penalty if you’re younger than age 59½. (The IRS may waive the penalty if there are extenuating circumstances.)

We can help
Reach out to your Rudler, PSC advisor at 859-331-1717 and we can tell you if you’re eligible for the exceptions described above or other exceptions to the 10% early withdrawal penalty tax. Be sure to keep good records so you can prove your eligibility.

RUDLER, PSC CPAs and Business Advisors

This week's Rudler Review is presented by Drew Sullivan, Senior Accountant and Jeff Epplen, Shareholder.

If you would like to discuss your particular situation, contact Drew or Jeff at 859-331-1717.

As part of Rudler, PSC's commitment to true proactive client partnerships, we have encouraged our professionals to specialize in their areas of interest, providing clients with specialized knowledge and strategic relationships. Be sure to receive future Rudler Reviews for advice from our experts,  sign up today !

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