If you are working with an eye towards retirement or even semi-retirement, you are probably (hopefully) saving more than you could in the past in your retirement accounts. You may have paid off the mortgage and paid for college and other heavy expenses of raising children. That all sounds like you are on your way, except for one big problem I call the "ticking tax time bomb."
Ed Slott, CPA, is one of the nation's top experts on retirement plans. For more than 30 years, he has educated both consumers and financial advisors on retirement tax-saving strategies. Most recently, he published Ed Slott's Retirement Decisions Guide: 2020 Edition and is the host of several popular public television specials, including his latest, Retire Safe & Secure! With Ed Slott.
In late March, IRS released IRS Publication 590-B, which contains the tax rules on withdrawing funds from individual retirement accounts. Normally this is a wrap-up of rules to use as guidance in preparing tax returns. But not this time. In this new 2021 version, updated on March 25, the IRS included explained how the SECURE Act rules would work for post-death distributions to IRA beneficiaries — and the rules are not what anyone thought they would be.
From the SECURE Act to the CARES Act to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, a lot has changed in the last five years regarding retirement, income tax, and estate law changes and provisions enacted. As if retirement planning wasn’t already difficult enough for Americans to navigate, but with Congress constantly overhauling the tax system, it’s vital to be on top of the latest retirement and tax planning strategies.
Q: Early last year I took my 2020 required minimum distribution (RMD) from my IRA, but later in the year the tax law waived RMDs, so I returned the funds. By doing this, I thought this was all taken care of, meaning that I thought I was “zeroed” out with no tax due.
But now it's tax time, and I have two issues I'd like help on.
It ain't no lie. Bob Dylan has sold his immense collection of songs. The financial details were not disclosed, but most commentators estimate the deal is worth hundreds of millions of dollars. While one song Dylan did not write was “Taxman” (that was George Harrison), he may have been thinking about that when deciding to go through with this sale. (While “Johnny’s in the basement mixing up the medicine,” Dylan was “on the pavement thinking about the government.”)
Time’s running out on coronavirus-related distributions. CRDs were created under the CARES Act but only for 2020 — technically only through Dec. 30. These are distributions that can be taken from an individual retirement account or company retirement plan by affected individuals, generally due to illness or loss of income resulting from the COVID pandemic.
Q: I'm 62, single, no children, self-employed. I'm slowly recuperating from COVID, although I'm a long way from recovered.
I have a Roth IRA and a rollover IRA. May I withdraw all of these moneys now, and repay/replace these funds in three years without tax implications?
2020 will be a year to remember for decades to come. In the world of tax and retirement planning, it’s brought opportunities for advisors to present to clients. But unlike those in other years, 2020’s opportunities should be seized now—taken advantage of before year’s end—because they may not be as effective afterward.
Can you really make millions and pay little or nothing in taxes, and do it legally? Absolutely! Big corporations do it all the time. But so can certain individuals who have the right set of financial facts, specifically the right sources of income and losses.