How to Avoid Tax on IRA Withdrawal
Traditional IRAs can be an excellent way to save for retirement, but withdrawing the funds before age 59 1/2 typically incurs income tax and an early withdrawal penalty of 10%. There may be circumstances under which accessing your IRA without incurring these penalties is permissible.
Consider consulting with a financial planner or Certified Public Accountant who specializes in retirement planning – they could uncover strategies you haven’t considered yet.
1. Roll over to another IRA
If you withdraw funds from an IRA and redeposit them within 60 days at another institution, this transaction won’t incur tax. However, you are only permitted to do this once annually.
Direct rollover is the preferred strategy in this instance; that is, your administrator sends you a check which you deposit directly into your new IRA. Although more complex, direct rollover prevents IRS taxes from taxing any distribution. With indirect rollover, however, withholding taxes must be withheld from checks payable directly to yourself instead of directly into an IRA – or else face income tax and an early withdrawal penalty of 10% (if under age 59 1/2).
Avoiding the 10% penalty can also be accomplished through Qualified Charitable Distributions, also known as QCDs. When making this choice, be sure to consult with a financial advisor first.
2. Take a distribution in a low-income year
Make the most of your RMD by timing it during a low-income year to reduce overall taxable income and save money in future tax payments when your income may increase. This way, when taking an RMD in cash or by transferring shares to a taxable brokerage account, timing it appropriately can simplify tax payments while saving you money in future years when taxes may be higher.
In general, withdrawals from an IRA are subject to taxes as ordinary income; exceptions include distributions used to cover unreimbursed medical expenses or qualified charitable distributions (QCDs). Taking an early distribution during a year with high earnings could put you into a higher tax bracket and increase the taxes due.
If you’re worried about how to best avoid taxes when withdrawing an IRA withdrawal, speaking to a financial advisor might help. SmartAsset’s free advisor matching tool makes finding one in your area easy – while using strategies can maximize retirement savings and avoid having to pay excessive taxes in retirement.
3. Donate part of your IRA to charity
Creative planning can help you avoid paying tax on your IRA withdrawal by making charitable donations from it, known as qualified charitable distributions. These gifts must go to a 501(c)3 public charity; donations made directly through split interest vehicles (like charitable lead or remainder trusts ), private foundations do not count towards this tax relief option.
When taking out their minimum distribution from an IRA, those age 70.5 or over can exempt up to $100,000 each year in qualified charitable distributions from federal taxable income. This option only applies for owners aged 70.5.
If you choose this method of distribution, it is critical that your IRA company send the check directly to us with donor details prominently displayed on its front. Otherwise, we won’t be able to identify you as the donor and be unable to properly credit your gift.
4. Take a distribution in a non-taxable year
There are various strategies available to you for minimizing taxes on IRA withdrawals, but prior to embarking on any particular one it’s wise to consult a financial advisor first. SmartAsset’s free advisor matching tool can connect you with professionals serving your area.
Traditional IRAs allow tax-deferred growth, though you must pay income tax on distributions after reaching age 59 1/2. An early withdrawal penalty of 10% also applies, unless an exception applies such as educational expenses or your first home purchase.
Self-employed and small business owners can use SEP IRAs and SIMPLE IRAs as part of their retirement savings strategies to save for retirement outside their workplace plans. But you must know all relevant regulations surrounding RMDs and other accounts so as to maximize them effectively.
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