The Slott Report | Ed Slott and Company, LLC

The Slott Report

Returning Unwanted RMDs: Today's Slott Report Mailbag

Question: Client has a Thrift Savings Plan and took RMDs in January, February and March of 2020. Client then rolled the balance of the TSP into an IRA. Question is whether or not he can “repay” those RMDs to the IRA under Notice 2020-51. Thanks. Answer: Yes, the three RMD payments can be “repaid” to the IRA, but a deadline is fast approaching. Plan-to-IRA rollovers do not count against the one-rollover-per-year rule, so that is not a concern. However, since these RMD payments were taken back in January, February and March, they are outside of the standard 60-day rollover window.

3 RMD Repayment Remedies Only Available Until August 31

We are in the dog days of summer and this year is a crazy and unsettling time. The last thing on your mind may be your IRA. However, you should be aware that an important deadline is quickly approaching. If you took your 2020 required minimum distribution (RMD) from your IRA and now want to repay it, your time may be running out. The deadline for these three repayment remedies is August 31. 1. Repay more than one RMD distribution. Normally, you are limited to rolling over only one IRA distribution in a one-year period. If you take multiple distributions during this period, you are typically out of luck. However, these are not normal times! In Notice 2020-51, the IRS waives the one-per-year rule for 2020 RMDs. This is good news if you took your RMD in multiple distributions, which many people do.

Stop Naming Trusts as IRA Beneficiaries!

Yes, trusts can play an instrumental role in estate planning. Yes, special needs trusts are invaluable to those with disabled or chronically ill family members. Trusts are essential for minors and for those who may struggle with managing money. Trusts also allow for post-death control of assets. But they are not for everyone, nor are they a panacea when it comes to estate planning…especially with IRAs. I continue to pound my head on the desk every time I encounter a trust unnecessarily named as an IRA beneficiary. Why did the IRA account owner name the trust? Bad advice? Was he simply trying to keep up with the Jones’ who bragged about their trust? Did he read someplace that all trusts are great? Was he intentionally trying to make things difficult for his IRA beneficiaries? Sadly, “making things difficult” is oftentimes the unintended result.

The CARES Act and 2020 RMDs: Today's Slott Report Mailbag

Question: I can't find the answer to this question anywhere, so I thought I'd go straight to the experts. Does the CARES Act waive the requirement for a surviving spouse to distribute the RMD in 2020 prior to re-registering the IRA in the surviving spouse's name? The deceased spouse had reached their required beginning date. I've read Notice 2020-51, but it does not address this issue specifically. Thanks!

SECURE Act Gives Businesses Extra Time to Establish New Retirement Plans

Hidden within the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act (SECURE Act) signed into law last December is a provision giving businesses extra time to establish certain new tax-qualified retirement plans. Prior to the SECURE Act, a new workplace plan had to be adopted by the last day of the employer’s tax year. Despite that deadline for adopting a new plan, businesses were always allowed extra time to make retroactive employer contributions for any year (including the plan’s first year). The employer contribution deadline is the due date (including extensions) of the company’s federal tax return.

Stretch IRA Lives on For Some Beneficiaries

Last year the SECURE Act became law and eliminated the stretch IRA for millions of IRA beneficiaries. However, for some IRA beneficiaries the stretch lives on. For most beneficiaries, the stretch is now replaced with a ten-year payout period. Beginning for deaths in 2020, the ten-year rule will apply to designated beneficiaries who are not eligible designated beneficiaries under the SECURE Act. Eligible designated beneficiaries include spouses, minor children of the IRA owner, chronically ill and disabled individuals and beneficiaries who are not more than ten years younger than the IRA owner.

Rollovers and Inherited IRAs: Today's Slott Report Mailbag

Question 1: I have a very simple ROTH IRA question. I borrowed money from my ROTH IRA with the intention of paying it all back in 60 days. To avoid any penalty, must I make one repayment of all the money I borrowed? Or, can my repayment be made in two parts, all within the sixty days? Question 2: Am I allowed to convert my inherited Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA?

Death During a Rollover

A financial advisor contacted me about her client who had recently passed away. The advisor was legitimately concerned about a rollover check received by the now-deceased individual. It had not been deposited into his IRA prior to death. Was her client’s estate stuck with a taxable distribution? Could the financial institution refuse the rollover because the person was no longer of this earth?

Tax Rules for Roth 401(k) Distributions

With more 401(k) plans offering Roth contributions and more folks taking distributions from their plans, now’s a good time to review the tax rules governing Roth 401(k) distributions.

RMDs in 2020: Today's Slott Report Mailbag

Question: Once the RMD’s for 2020 were suspended, I withdrew what would have been my RMD from my traditional IRA and deposited it in my Roth IRA. Can I now withdraw that amount from my Roth and repay it to my traditional IRA? Thank you. Russ Answer: Russ, Once you deposited the RMD amount into your Roth IRA, it became a conversion. Roth conversions can not be reversed (“recharacterized”).
 

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