Unwanted RMDs and Using IRAs for Higher Education: Today's Slott Report Mailbag | Ed Slott and Company, LLC

Unwanted RMDs and Using IRAs for Higher Education: Today's Slott Report Mailbag

By Ian Berger, JD
IRA Analyst
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Question:

I had taken an RMD in January 2020 from an IRA account. Then in July, I returned a portion back to the same IRA. Now I want to return another portion back to the IRA.

Are multiple transactions for reversal allowed?

Thanks for your quick reply in advance.

Piyush


Answer:

Hi Piyush,

You are allowed to pay back an IRA distribution with multiple partial rollovers. This includes an unwanted 2020 RMD. Normally, each rollover from a single distribution must be made within 60 days of receipt of the funds. But for 2020, the IRS has waived the 60-day deadline for unwanted RMDs. However, payment(s) must be returned by August 31, 2020. So, you better hurry!


Question:

My son is attending college. I plan on using my IRA to pay off his school debt. I'm old enough to avoid penalty, but do I get any tax break for using it for education?

Jeff


Answer:

Hi Jeff,

There is no tax break for paying off college debt if your withdrawal is from a traditional IRA. Traditional IRA distributions are always taxable (unless they are ultimately rolled over). For those under 59 ½, the 10% early withdrawal penalty can be avoided for IRA withdrawals used for higher education expenses paid in the same year as the withdrawal was made. But the withdrawals will still be taxable.

 


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