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New Required Minimum Distribution Rules

New Required Minimum Distribution Rules
Your required minimum distributions, or RMDs, can impact other aspects of your financial life, like taxes or Medicare costs.

If you are retired or near retirement, Beck, Lenox and Stolzer Estate Planning and Elder Law assumes you are already somewhat familiar with the new Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) rules. In 2023, the SECURE 2.0 Act changed the age for starting RMDs to 73, and in 2033, the age will change to 75. Depending upon your income from RMDs and other sources, premium costs for Medicare could increase once withdrawals begin, and taxes may also be higher, reports the article “Don’t Overlook These New RMD Rules for 2024” from U.S. News & World Report.

RMDs are required distributions taken from traditional IRAs and 401(k)s after a certain age. There are expensive consequences for missing withdrawals, and some guidelines relating to charitable giving and Roth 401(k) RMDs.

Before the SECURE 2.0 Act, the age to start RMDs was 72. In 2024, if you were born between 1951 and 1959, you must start your RMDs after age 73. Were you born in 1960 or later? You can delay RMDs until you reach age 75.

Deadlines are important to know. You may get a little more time to take your first RMD. However, subsequent RMDs must be taken each calendar year. If you’re celebrating your 73rd birthday in 2024, you have two choices: you can take your first RMD by December 31, 2024, or you can choose to wait until April 1, 2025. However, if you decide to wait until April, you’ll have to take a second RMD by December 31, 2025.

RMDs are calculated on the prior year’s account balance on December 31, so delaying an RMD isn’t always the best strategy. Having to take two RMDs in the same year will mean, in most cases, the RMD will be slightly higher for year two.

What you pay for Medicare Part B and D premiums is related to income. If you delay taking withdrawals until age 73, your income could be lower, and your premiums could be less. Once you start taking RMDs, your income may go up, and Part B and D premiums may be more expensive.

You’ll face penalties if you fail to take an RMD at the right time. Before the SECURE Act 2.0, the tax penalty was 50% on the required amount not withdrawn. If you failed to take an RMD of $2,000, you’d need to pay $1,000 in penalties. The penalty is now 25%. This is better, but still costly. If you miss a $2,000 RMD, the penalty will be $500. However, if the error is corrected within two years, the penalty drops to 10%, so it pays to address the issue. In some cases, if you can prove the RMD was due to a mistake and demonstrate that reasonable steps were taken to address the issue, you might get lucky, and the IRS could waive the penalty altogether.

Beck, Lenox and Stolzer believes that a significant part of estate planning is saving on taxes. Talk with your estate planning attorney about tax planning for RMDs. There are several strategies, including making charitable donations directly from IRAs and 401(k)s, which may be appropriate for your situation. Contact us here to schedule a free initial consultation.

Reference: U.S. News & World Report (Jan. 26, 2024) “Don’t Overlook These New RMD Rules for 2024”

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