This week's Slott Report Mailbag includes your questions (and our answers) on inherited IRA distributions, SEP IRAs and the pro-rata tax rule. As always, we stress the importance of working with a competent, educated financial advisor to keep your retirement nest egg safe and secure. Find one in your area at this link.
Are you able to answer a question related to an inherited IRA?
|Send your questions to email@example.com|
Thanks for your enlightened guidance.
Generally you MUST begin taking required distributions from an IRA that is inherited from someone other than your spouse beginning in the year after the death of the account owner. You use your single life expectancy using your age as of the end of the year. This option is often called a stretch IRA. There is never a penalty when taking distributions from an inherited IRA regardless of your age.
You have a second option on how to take the money from the inherited IRA. You can choose the 5-year rule where the funds must be distributed by December 31 of the 5th year after your brother died. Assuming he died in 2012, the deadline would be 12/31/17. During this 5-year period, you can take the money out however you’d like. There is no penalty as long as the account is emptied by the end of the fifth year.
I have an IRA worth $130,000 with $2,000 in basis, and this IRA does not receive contributions. I also have a much larger SEP that receives regular contributions. Can I move $128,000 of IRA into the SEP and just yank the $2,000 IRA balance without tax consequences?
Whether you can move non-SEP money into your SEP depends on the custodian. The IRS allows it, but some custodians insist on keeping SEP money separate from other IRA funds.
You cannot just take the $2,000 basis tax-free because of the pro-rata tax rule that applies to IRAs. Basically, you or your CPA must add together the balances of all your IRAs, including any SEP and SIMPLE IRAs. Then,
you take all your basis and divide it by the total of all the balances in all your IRAs. The percentage you get is the percentage of your distributions for the year that are income tax free. This formula is found in IRS Form 8606.
-By Joe Cicchinelli and Jared Trexler