The Slott Report | Ed Slott and Company, LLC

The Slott Report

Year-of-Death RMD and Spousal Rollovers

There are always questions as to the correct way to handle the required minimum distribution (RMD) for the year of death of the IRA owner. This is especially true when a spouse is the beneficiary. The regulations are clear that even a spouse beneficiary does not get a pass when it comes to the year-of-death RMD. It must be paid out or there will be a penalty. However, a spouse who is doing a spousal rollover by transfer or by treating the account as her own does have some flexibility.

The IRS May Be Coming After Your Solo 401(k) Plan

If you sponsor a solo 401(k) plan, beware! The IRS recently announced that it is targeting several employer plan areas for stepped-up auditing. One of those areas is solo 401(k) plans. The fact that solo plans made the list is a signal that the IRS believes there are widespread compliance issues with these plans. While solo 401(k) plans don’t have as many rules to follow as employer-based 401(k) plans, there are still several requirements. The IRS announcement should be a warning to business owners with solo plans to make sure they are obeying those rules.

YEAR-OF-DEATH RMDs AND IRA CREDITOR PROTECTION: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

Question: Your newsletter is so helpful, and your book was a great resource to me when my mom passed away 5 years ago and I inherited her IRA. I am 76 and have not taken my RMD for 2021. Should I pass away and my wife age 69 transfers my IRA to hers, must my RMD for 2021 be taken first? Thanks much. A columnist in the Chicago Tribune led me to you years ago. F. Perry

Active Participation and IRA Deductibility

This question (or a derivation of it) has been popular as of late: “I only participated in my 401(k) for a couple of months in 2020 before I was laid off. Does that still make me a ‘covered’ employee, and can I contribute to my Traditional IRA?” It seems innocent enough, but there is a heck of lot going on in this little question.

Making a 2020 Roth IRA Contribution

The IRS has delayed the deadline for filing federal income taxes until May 17, 2021. This also extends the deadline for making a 2020 Roth IRA contribution. A Roth IRA offers the promise of tax-free withdrawals in retirement if you follow the rules. If you are deciding whether a 2020 Roth IRA contribution is the right move for you, here are some things to keep in mind.

60-Day Rollovers & SEP IRA Contributions: Today's Slott Report Mailbag

Question: A new customer came to me asking for help with an IRA. Unfortunately, he had already accepted a check from the 401(k) plan made out to him personally. He sat on the check for 5 months and deposited it into his checking account last week. He is only 50 years old. Since we are well after the normal 60-day rollover period, is there any way that this can be repaired? Perhaps under the CARES act of 2020 if his departure was Covid related? Any direction you can provide would be appreciated.

IRS Surprises with Apparent Explanation of the SECURE Act 10-Year Rule

Just a few weeks after the start of the baseball season, the IRS has thrown us a curveball by apparently interpreting the SECURE Act 10-year payout rule in a totally-unexpected way. We say “apparently” because the IRS explanation isn’t very clear. And even if it was clear, the IRS offered the information in an informal publication that should not be relied on. Here’s the backstory: One of the major changes made by the 2019 SECURE Act was the elimination of the stretch for many beneficiaries of inherited IRAs.

IRA Rumors and Conspiracy Theories

With all the recent changes to IRAs under the SECURE Act [i.e., required minimum distribution (RMD) age raised to 72, new rules for beneficiaries, etc.], combined with the CARES Act waiver of RMDs last year, it comes as no surprise that we are hearing rumors and conspiracy theories about what will happen next. Here are a couple of the more popular speculations: Will RMDs be waived again in 2021?

Inherited IRA & 401(k) Accounts: Today's Slott Report Mailbag

Question: Hi, I inherited my husband's 401(k) when he died last year. I kept the assets with the 401(k) administrator, believing I had to do that to take distributions without 10% penalty. (I am under 59 ½ years old). If I roll over the 401(k) to an inherited IRA, will I still be able to take penalty-free distributions? Thank you Donna

Who Must Take the Year-of-Death RMD

Required minimum distributions (RMDs) were waived for 2020 but they are back now for 2021. This includes the RMD for the year of death of the IRA owner. The rules for this RMD can be tricky. One question that comes up a lot is who must take this RMD. It is an all-too-common scenario. An IRA owner has passed their required beginning date and is required to take an RMD for the year. However, prior to taking this RMD, the individual dies. Who must take this year-of-death RMD? This is an area of great confusion!
 

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