The Slott Report | Ed Slott and Company, LLC

The Slott Report

10 Things You Must Know Before Converting in 2020

The clock is ticking if you are considering converting your Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA in 2020. More IRA owners are making this move this year as historically low tax rates and COVID-related income losses have combined to make this an ideal time to trade off the tax hit of a conversion for the promise of future tax-free Roth IRA earnings.

Caution: Four Tax Break Deadlines Rapidly Approaching

Thanksgiving is behind us, and the end of the year will be here soon. (Many of us are truly thankful for that!) This is a good time to remind you of certain tax breaks that will expire before we turn over the calendar to 2021. Many of these actions require cooperation from third-party IRA custodians and plan administrators, so you need to act fast. As that great philosopher Yogi Berra once said, “It gets late early out there.”

Back to the Right Side Up

We have collectively crawled into the hollow of a 2020 tree and found ourselves in the Upside Down. (That is a “Stranger Things” reference, for the uninitiated.) The SECURE Act turned beneficiary options upside down. The CARES Act turned required minimum distribution rules upside down.

IRS Adds New Reason for Self-Certification of Late Rollovers

The IRS has recently added a new reason for self-certification of late rollovers to its list. Revenue Procedure 2020-46 modifies the list of reasons to include an IRA or company plan distribution made to a state unclaimed property fund and later claimed by an IRA owner or plan participant. Rev. Proc. 2020-46 is effective as of October 16.

RMD WAIVER AND ROTH CONVERSION RECHRACTERIZATIONS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

Question: Good Morning, We have a client that passed away in November of 2019 at the age of 85. Her beneficiaries would be required to take their RMD in 2020. Are they eligible under the CARES Act to forgo that RMD for this year? Thank you, Linda

What Limits Apply If I Participate in Two Company Plans?

We continue to get questions about the limits that apply for folks who participate in multiple company savings plans at the same time or who switch jobs in the middle of the year. What’s confusing is that there are two limits – the “deferral limit” and the “annual additions limit,” and you need to comply with both. Deferral limit. The deferral limit is based on the total pre-tax and Roth deferrals (but not after-tax contributions) you make to ALL your plans for the year. The limit is indexed periodically and for 2020 (and 2021) is $19,500, or $26,000 if you’re age 50 or older by the end of the year.

Military Benefits

With Veterans Day being just last week, an overview of two military retirement benefits felt like an all-important and appropriate topic of discussion. One benefit pertains to a penalty exception for accessing retirement dollars prior to the age of 59 ½. The other relates to the treatment of military benefits when a soldier has made the ultimate sacrifice. Active Reservists’ Exception The Pension Protection Act of 2006 created the Active Reservists’ Exception. This penalty exception allows active reservists to avoid the 10% penalty if they withdraw funds from either their IRA or workplace retirement plan before reaching the age of 59 ½.

QCDs and RMDs Under the CARES Act: Today's Slott Report Mailbag

Question: Is there any problem with someone who is self-employed and has an active SEP making a deductible SEP contribution and an IRA QCD after age 70 1/2? In this case, the QCD would come from the IRA while the SEP continues to be funded. Does any offset apply? Bill Answer: Hi Bill, This is an interesting question!

6 Ways That Roth IRAs and Roth 401(k)s Are Different

Both Roth 401(k)s and Roth IRAs offer the ability to make after-tax contributions now in exchange for tax-free earnings down the road if the rules are followed. However, there are some important differences between the two retirement accounts that you will want to understand. 1. Contributions limits are higher for Roth 401(k)s One major difference is in the amount that you may contribute. Your Roth IRA contribution is limited to a maximum of $6,000 for 2020 if you are under age 50.

IRS Issues New RMD Tables . . . for 2022!

Good news! You can look forward to somewhat smaller required minimum distributions (RMDs) from your IRA and company retirement savings plan beginning in 2022. That’s because, on November 6, the IRS released new life expectancy tables that are used to calculate RMDs. The new tables are not effective until 2022. RMDs are waived for 2020, and RMDs for 2021 will be calculated under the current tables.
 

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