What is the IRS Code for an IRA?

An employer-maintained payroll deduction IRA plan offers Traditional or Roth IRAs to its employees as an employer-maintained SEP or SIMPLE plan.

Rollover distributions from traditional, SEP or SIMPLE IRAs may be transferred into another traditional SEP IRA or Roth IRA; however, only one such rollover per 12-month period.


Contributing to an IRA is an effective way of lowering taxable income, but there are limits. Your maximum tax deduction may be reduced or even eliminated once income exceeds certain thresholds, depending on your filing status.

Assuming you meet IRA regulations, your money may be invested in most publicly traded securities and some non-publicly traded assets; certain unconventional investments such as baseball cards or rare coins are prohibited and life insurance cannot be purchased; certain custodians may impose additional restrictions as well.

If you receive a distribution from an IRA, the institution that manages it must file Form 1099-R with IRS detailing your distribution code(s). Here is what that looks like for an individual:


As IRAs are designed for retirement purposes, the IRS places limitations on when and how often you can withdraw. After reaching age 59 1/2, earnings can be accessed without incurring penalties; any withdrawals before that may be treated as ordinary income and subject to a 10% early withdrawal penalty unless exempt.

As long as your first home or medical expenses don’t qualify for insurance coverage, penalty-free withdrawals up to $10,000 (lifetime limit) may also be available without incurring penalties. Proof must be provided of purchase or expenses in order to claim this deduction.

Your IRA custodian or trustee reports the appropriate IRS code depending on the nature of any distribution you received in box seven of Form 1099-R. This section describes these codes at length in back.

Required minimum distributions

Your required minimum distribution (RMD) must be taken from all IRAs and employer-sponsored retirement plans such as 401(k) accounts each year in order to include it as part of your taxable income. Your RMD calculation is determined using your account balance at the end of last year divided by an IRS life expectancy divisor. If married, both partners should utilize the Joint and Last Survivor Table; otherwise you must refer to the Single Life Expectancy Table.

RMDs must be calculated separately for each IRA you own; however, you may take your total distribution from one or more. Your IRA custodian must provide you with a Form 1099-R that details RMD calculations for every account in their custody.

If you plan to rollover funds from one IRA into another type of IRA, please mark Box 7 of your 1099-R as such and complete it within 60 days to avoid an extra tax penalty.


IRAs provide tax advantages that are invaluable when planning for retirement. Unfortunately, their rules can be complicated and confusing, making it essential to understand how taxes apply in order to maximize savings for retirement.

Contributing to an IRA is tax deductible, which reduces your taxable income for the year and can significantly lower your overall taxes payable for that year.

As soon as you turn 70 1/2, the IRS requires you to begin taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) from both traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs, in addition to certain employer-sponsored retirement plans such as 401(k)s and 403(b) plans. For more information about RMD rules visit their website page on RMD rules.

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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