How Do I Report an Inherited Roth IRA Distribution?

How do I report an inherited Roth IRA distribution

Roth IRA rules can be intricate. A beneficiary of an inherited account must decide how and when to withdraw funds, as well as determine whether tax-free withdrawals should be utilized and whether to utilize “stretch” option.

If the beneficiary is married, they may treat the account as their own and forgo RMDs; otherwise they must empty it within 10 years.

Required minimum distributions

Assuming you inherit an IRA, withdrawing funds requires careful thought to ensure compliance with federal law as well as to maximize tax-free growth of the account. A financial advisor can assist clients in selecting an option best suited to their situation and avoid an excise tax levied on missed distributions by December 31 of year five following death of deceased owner.

Traditional IRA withdrawals are subject to income taxes, leading to potentially substantial federal and, where applicable, state bills for beneficiaries who withdraw funds within 10 years after an original account owner dies (except where an exception exists, such as being the surviving spouse, minor child, chronically ill beneficiary or one no more than 10 years younger). Most non-spouse beneficiaries will have to empty inherited Roth IRA accounts within this same 10-year rule unless another exception applies; most non-spouse beneficiaries will need to empty these accounts by this same 10-year deadline rule regardless.


As the rules surrounding inherited IRAs can be complicated and their consequences serious, it’s wise to consult a qualified tax professional prior to making any important decisions.

Inherited IRAs must generally be liquidated by the time of the beneficiary’s death unless an exception applies; such as minor children, chronically ill or disabled individuals and those not more than 10 years younger than the original account owner.

Beneficiaries have the option to merge an inherited IRA into their existing or another traditional IRA account, but must take care not to mix inherited and non-inherited funds together, as this could make RMD calculations more complicated than necessary. Alternatively, beneficiaries who inherit Roth IRAs can assume ownership by titling it as their own and treating it like it has always been theirs, thus changing its distribution schedule and avoiding income tax liability on withdrawals.

Life expectancy or “stretch” method

Beneficiaries who inherit an IRA can choose the life expectancy method, where distributions are calculated over their entire lifespan. This option may be particularly suitable for beneficiaries not required to take RMDs annually.

Beneficiaries who do not require RMDs can extend their withdrawals for up to 10 years from the date of death, providing an effective strategy to preserve an inheritance account and allow it to grow tax-free.

Due to the SECURE Act, non-eligible designated beneficiaries no longer have this option available to them; rather, they must distribute all inherited accounts within 10 years after their owner dies – potentially missing out on years of tax-free growth. If this is a source of concern for you, consult a financial professional about what options best suit your circumstances – they will help guide your understanding of applicable rules and regulations that pertain to you specifically.


As the rules surrounding an IRA can be complex, it’s wise to consult an expert. The IRS website can be an invaluable resource; offering information on required minimum distributions but being unable to offer customized advice tailored specifically for your situation. Furthermore, keeping beneficiary designations up-to-date should also be a top priority.

Non-spouse beneficiaries must take their first RMD in the calendar year following the death of an account owner. However, this time frame can be reduced if they are chronically or severely ill, disabled, or less than 10 years younger than the account holder.

Spousal beneficiaries have the option of rolling their inherited Roth IRA into an individual retirement account in their own names, avoiding RMDs and early withdrawal penalties while still subjecting it to taxes; before making this decision, survivors should carefully consider their income needs and personal tax situation before making this choice.

Raymond Banks Administrator
Raymond Banks is a published author in the commodity world. He has written extensively about gold and silver investments, and his work has been featured in some of the most respected financial journals in the industry. Raymond\\\'s expertise in the commodities market is highly sought-after, and he regularly delivers presentations on behalf of various investment firms. He is also a regular guest on financial news programmes, where he offers his expert insights into the latest commodity trends.

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