What is the required minimum distribution (RMD) that must be taken if an IRA owner dies on or after the required beginning date?
For the purposes of this article, we will be discussing traditional IRAs. More specifically, we will be discussing the required minimum distribution (RMD) that must be taken for the year that an IRA owner dies.
If your loved one passed away in 2019, you will need to know what the options are when inheriting an IRA.
Required Beginning Date
First, what is the required beginning date? Any discussion about retirement topics or IRAs typically includes a reference to the required beginning date.
The required beginning date is simply the deadline for taking the first required minimum distribution (RMD). The deadline is April 1 of the year following the year that you become age 70 ½.
For example, an IRA owner who turned 70 in February 2017 was 70 ½ in 2017. The required beginning date will be April 1, 2018. An IRA owner who turned 70 in November 2017 did not reach 70 ½ until 2018. The required beginning date was April 1, 2019.
If IRA Owner Dies on or After the Required Beginning Date
An IRA owner who dies after the required beginning date should have been taking RMDs. If not, he or she would have been subject to a 50% penalty tax on the amount not withdrawn.
A required minimum distribution must also be taken for the year of death just as if the IRA owner was still living. The questions are, how is the RMD calculated and who must take it?
Calculating the RMD
The RMD for the year of death is calculated the same as if the IRA owner was still living. In most cases, the Uniform Lifetime Table is used unless the beneficiary is a spouse and more than 10 years younger than the IRA owner.
For example, the RMD for a person who dies in 2019 at the age of 72 would be calculated by using a distribution period of 25.6.
Who Takes the Required Minimum Distribution?
It is very important to know who must take the RMD for the year of death. This depends on whether the IRA owner already took the RMD in the year of his or her death. If the IRA owner did not take the RMD in the year of death, then the beneficiary must take it.
For example, if your spouse died in 2019 before taking the RMD, then you will take the RMD if you are the named beneficiary.
If you are the named beneficiary of your parent’s IRA, then you must take the RMD for the year of death.
IRA Rules Can Be Confusing
There are many rules regarding IRAs. Sometimes, the rules and deadlines can be confusing.
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the rule regarding the required minimum distribution (RMD) that must be taken if an IRA owner dies on or after the required beginning date.
As always, do not sign any beneficiary claim forms until you fully understand the company’s contractual and/or IRS tax ramifications. A mistake could trigger a huge tax penalty. And make sure that you contact your advisor (estate attorney, CPA, CFP®) for professional advice.