RMD | Ed Slott and Company, LLC


I had a client that just happened to turn 70 1/2 in Feb 2019 and he turned 71 in August 2019. Does he need to take 2 RMD's in 2019 or just one?

  • Client has an option for the first RMD distribution year, which is 2019. He can defer all or part of the 2019 RMD to 4/1/2020. The only IRS requirement is that he complete the 2019 RMD by 4/1/2020. However, any portion that he pushes into 2020 will be taxed in 2020 along with the 2020 RMD which is due by 12/31/2020. 
  • The fact that he reached 71 in 2019 does not trigger an additional 2019 RMD. It only means that the divisor for the 2019 RMD is based on age 71 and is therefore 26.5. HIs 2019 RMD is determined from the 12/31/2018 account balance divided by 26.5 and this RMD can be taken in 2019 or deferred to 2020 as explained above. 
  • His 2020 RMD is determined from his actual 12/31/2019 balance divided by 25.6 because he will be 72 at the end of 2020. 
  • All RMDs are taxable in the year distributed. Usually it is best to take the first year RMD in that year and not defer it to the following 4/1 date. However, in some cases such as having much higher income in the first year, it will save taxes to defer the first RMD. Client would have to figure that out from his total tax picture for the two years.

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