- IRA FAQs – Distributions (Withdrawals)
- Publication 590-B, Distributions from Individual Retirement Arrangements
- Publication 575, Pension and Annuity Income
Saturday, March 12, 2016
Many people find it necessary to take out money early from their IRA or retirement plan. Doing so, however, can trigger an additional tax (early withdrawal penalty) on top of the income tax you may have to pay. Here are a few key points to know about taking an early distribution:
1. Early Withdrawals. An early withdrawal normally means taking the money out of your retirement plan before you reach age 59½.
2. Additional Tax. If you took an early withdrawal from a plan last year, you must report it to the IRS. You may have to pay income tax on the amount you took out. If it was an early withdrawal, you may have to pay an additional 10 percent tax.
3. Nontaxable Withdrawals. The additional 10 percent tax does not apply to nontaxable withdrawals. They include withdrawals of your cost to participate in the plan. Your cost includes contributions that you paid tax on before you put them into the plan.
A rollover is a type of nontaxable withdrawal. A rollover occurs when you take cash or other assets from one plan and contribute the amount to another plan. You normally have 60 days to complete a rollover to make it tax-free.
4. Check Exceptions. There are many exceptions to the additional 10 percent tax. Some of the rules for retirement plans (401K, 403B, etc) are different from the rules for IRAs.
More information on this topic is available on IRS.gov.