Roth Conversion, Pro-Rata Rule, and Rollovers: Today’s Q&A Mailbag
I was curious if a Roth conversion of post-tax money from an IRA is subject to the pro rata rules if the IRA owner also owns a SIMPLE IRA? Is the SIMPLE excluded from the calculation?
The pro-rata rule looks at the balance of ALL your IRAs to determine which portion of a Roth conversion is pre-tax and post-tax. This includes any SEP or SIMPLE IRA balances. For example, let’s say you have 3 IRAs: one is a SIMPLE IRA with a $50,000 balance, one is a traditional IRA with $40,000 in pre-tax money, and the last one is a traditional IRA with $10,000 in after-tax contributions. If you try to convert just the $10,000 in after-tax money, under the Tax Code, you are considered to have one big IRA of $100,000. The $10,000 conversion would come from this source and the pro-rata rule would apply to the aggregate balance (here $100,000).
I read the Slott Report religiously and I appreciate all of the information that you provide. My question revolves around a client I have. He has a 401K from a previous employer; he separated in December of last year and has a 5,000 401K loan still outstanding. We discussed a rollover and know that that would make the loan taxable unless repaid prior to rollover. He is under the belief that the new tax law that was put in place in 2018 allows him to extend the loan repayment schedule? Have you heard of this before, any information is greatly appreciated.
First, thank you for your support! As for your question, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act did institute some changes to loans from employer plans. However, these changes simply extended the rollover period for certain plan loan offsets. Importantly, the changes did not affect repayment schedules and do not apply to deemed distributions. Under the new rules, the rollover period is extended if the loan offset was due to either the participant’s termination of employment or the employer’s termination of the plan. Instead of the normal 60 days, the participant in this situation has until his or her tax filing due date (plus extensions) to roll over the loan offset. This new treatment applies to loan offsets that occur on or after January 1, 2018.
Whether your client will have a deemed distribution, or a loan offset, depends on the terms of the plan. A loan offset occurs when the repayment period is accelerated due to the terms of the plan. For example, the plan document may require that a loan be repaid, or offset, immediately when a participant requests a distribution or terminates employment. On the other hand, a default occurs when the loan no longer meets the conditions set forth in the Tax Code. The most common reason for a default is the failure to make timely repayments. Here, your client terminated employment but the loan remains outstanding. Therefore, before you client requests a rollover, check with the plan administrator on how the outstanding loan will be treated. If it is treated as an offset, he or she will have the extended period to roll over an amount equal to the offset.
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