Be Aware of the IRA Rules
Whether you’re just starting to save for retirement, have been saving for years, or are ready start using your hard earned savings, you should be aware of this essential IRA rules.
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Direct & Indirect Rollovers
As of January 1, 2015, only one indirect rollover (known as a 60-day rollover) per year is permitted for all of your IRAs. The IRS is taking a strict stand on this ruling. Consider a direct rollover or trustee-to-trustee transfers.
Proper Tax Form
Form 5329 is the tax form filed for any excess contributions that have been made to an IRA. There’s no statute of limitations if a form isn’t filed so penalties can be assessed years later. So be sure to correct any mistakes made in past years, as well.
Inherited IRAs – spousal and non-spousal beneficiaries
A spousal rollover (as a direct transfer) makes sense if the surviving spouse is older than 59 ½. A spousal rollover can be done anytime, so money can eventually be rolled over after the spouse turns 59 ½. However, setting up an inherited IRA for spouses under 59 ½ years old can be more beneficial because if a withdrawal is needed, a 10% early withdrawal penalty wouldn’t apply,
Non-spousal beneficiaries, such as children and grandchildren, can’t do a 60-day rollover from an inherited IRA into their own IRA. The money should stay in the inherited account, because it’s a taxable event that can’t be reversed if rolled over. The beneficiary takes the Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) each year, and any excess withdrawn is taxable (unless in a Roth account).
IRA and Roth IRA income limitations
There are no income limits to contribute to a traditional IRA, but if you (or your spouse) are active in a company retirement plan, there are income limits for IRA deductibility. For those covered by a company plan, the 2016 phase-out range for IRA deductibility is $98,000-$118,000 for married/joint filers, and $61,000-$71,000 for single filers. If not covered by a company plan, but a spouse is, the phase-out range is $184,000-$194,000.
Required Minimum Distributions combined
RMDs from IRAs can be aggregated with all other IRAs, meaning RMDs can be taken from a combination of accounts (with the exception of inherited or Roth IRAs). You can’t satisfy an IRA RMD from a 401(k) plan. RMDs for inherited IRAs can only be aggregated if inherited from the same decedent, and husband and wife RMDs can’t be aggregated.