The Slott Report | Ed Slott and Company, LLC

The Slott Report

Direct Transfers, Direct Rollovers, and 60-Day Rollovers

When moving retirement money from IRA to IRA, or from a workplace retirement plan like a 401(k) to an IRA, there are essentially three methods to relocate those dollars. Two of them are similar, and the third opens all kinds of potential problems. Knowing how to properly move retirement dollars is imperative to produce the desired outcome.

Beneficiary RMD Rules and 401(k) Contribution Limits: Today’s Slott Report Mailbag

Question: Someone participates in a 401(k) through his regular employer and has a solo 401(k) for a side job (self-employed). That person maxed out his 401(k) pre-tax deferrals for 2021 through the regular 401(k) and utilized the remaining limit up to $58,000 for a Mega Backdoor Roth contribution via after-tax contributions. Is he eligible for any solo 401(k) contributions for 2021 (not catch-up eligible)? What am I missing here?

Repaying a CRD

Back in 2020 when COVID first became our new reality, Congress enacted the CARES Act. The CARES Act allowed qualified individuals who were affected by COVID to take penalty-free distributions from their retirement accounts of up to $100,000. The taxation on these distributions could have been paid in 2020 or spread over three years.

Sidestepping the New IRS Private Letter Ruling Fees

Like most everything else these days, the price for receiving an IRS private letter ruling (PLR) has recently gone up. A person will request a PLR to receive the IRS’s blessing that a specific tax transaction won’t violate the tax code or IRS regulations. A PLR is specific to the particular tax situation of the person requesting it. This means that PLRs shouldn’t be relied on by anyone other than that person.

Self-Directed IRAs and the Backdoor Roth: Today's Slott Report Mailbag

Question: Is there a required minimum distribution (RMD) on a self-directed IRA? Answer: A “self-directed IRA” is nothing more than an IRA that invests in unconventional items that not all custodians will handle – like maybe crypto currency, real estate, or a hard-to-value assets. Otherwise, self-directed IRAs follow the same rules as every other IRA. As such, yes, self-directed IRAs do have RMDs.

Conduit IRA – Is it Really Necessary?

Conduit IRAs, sometimes called “rollover IRAs,” typically contained only money rolled over from a company plan - and subsequent earnings on those dollars. But a 2001 tax law (Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001) opened all sorts of rollovers and plan portability. So, for the most part, a person could commingle his IRA contributions and rollovers from plans in the same IRA. The result was that, beginning in 2002, conduit IRAs were no longer necessary for most people rolling over plan funds.

4 QCD Rules That May Surprise You

A qualified charitable distribution (QCD) is a way for you to move funds out of your IRA to a qualifying charity income-tax free. If you are thinking this might be a good strategy for you, here are 4 QCD rules that may surprise you.

Inherited IRAs and RMDs: Today's Slott Report Mailbag

Question: Dear Sirs: I inherited a regular IRA upon my mother's death in 2015. I am now 75 years old and have been taking required distributions since then. She was taking distributions herself when she died. My question is: may I close out this IRA now by taking out the entire balance and paying taxes on it? Thanks.

Should I Accept a Lump Sum Buyout Offer?

Should I Accept a Lump Sum Buyout Offer? With economic uncertainty increasing, more companies with defined benefit (DB) pension plans will likely attempt to improve their bottom line by offering lump sum buyouts. A lump sum buyout is a limited opportunity for DB plan participants to elect a one-time cash payment in exchange for giving up future periodic payments. Some buyouts are offered to participants who are near retirement age, while others target those already receiving benefits. Deciding whether to accept a lump sum buyout is an important choice that you shouldn’t make without consulting with a knowledgeable financial advisor. Here are several factors you and your advisor should be looking at:

IRA BASIS AND ROTH CONVERSIONS IN AN RMD YEAR: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

Question: I am 66 and would like to convert one of my IRAs to a Roth, but I am not sure if any of my old IRA accounts have any after-tax contributions. I have no records, so I assume they are all pre-tax but I am not sure. If I convert and pay taxes, does the IRS contact me regarding after-tax contributions if I ever made them?
 

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