Are Distributions From
My Roth IRA Taxable?
You do not include in your gross income qualified distributions
or distributions that are a return of your regular contributions from your Roth IRA(s). You also do not include distributions from your Roth IRA that you roll over tax free into another Roth IRA. You may have to include part of other distributions in your income. See Ordering Rules for Distributions,
Basis of distributed property.
The basis of property distributed from a Roth IRA is its fair market value (FMV) on the date of distribution, whether or not the distribution is a qualified distribution.
Withdrawals of contributions by due date.
If you withdraw contributions (including any net earnings on the contributions) by the due date of your return for the year in which you made the contribution, the contributions are treated as if you never made them. If you have an extension of time to file your return, you can withdraw the contributions and earnings by the extended due date. The withdrawal of contributions is tax free, but you must include the earnings on the contributions in income for the year in which you made the contributions.
What Are Qualified Distributions?
A qualified distribution is any payment or distribution from your Roth IRA that meets the following requirements.
- It is made after the 5-year period beginning with the first taxable year for which a contribution was made to a Roth IRA set up for your benefit, and
- The payment or distribution is:
- Made on or after the date you reach age 59 1/2,
- Made because you are disabled,
- Made to a beneficiary or to your estate after your death, or
- One that meets the requirements listed under First home under When Can I Withdraw or Use IRA Assets? in chapter 1 (up to a $10,000 lifetime limit).
Additional Tax on Early Distributions
If you receive a distribution that is not a qualified distribution, you may have to pay the 10% additional tax on early distributions as explained in the following paragraphs.
Distributions of conversion contributions within 5-year period.
If, within the 5-year period starting with the year in which you made a conversion contribution of an amount from a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA, you take a distribution from a Roth IRA of an amount attributable to the portion of the conversion contribution that you had to include in income, you generally must pay the 10% additional tax on early distributions. (See Ordering Rules for Distributions,
later, to determine the amount, if any, of the distribution that is attributable to the conversion contribution.) The 5-year period is separately determined for each conversion contribution.
Unless one of the exceptions listed later applies, you must pay the additional tax on the portion of the distribution attributable to the part of the conversion contribution that you had to include in income because of the conversion.
The 10% additional tax applies as though you must include the amount in gross income in the year of the distribution, even if you had included it in income in an earlier year (such as in the year of the conversion). You also must pay the additional tax on any portion of the distribution attributable to earnings on contributions. See Example 2,
later under How Do I Figure the Taxable Part.
Other early distributions.
Unless one of the exceptions listed below applies, you must pay the 10% additional tax on early distributions on the taxable part of any distributions that are not qualified distributions.
You may not have to pay the 10% additional tax on early distributions in the following situations.
- You have reached age 59 1/2.
- You are disabled.
- You are the beneficiary of a deceased IRA owner.
- You use the distribution to pay certain qualified first-time homebuyer amounts.
- The distributions are part of a series of substantially equal payments.
- You have significant unreimbursed medical expenses.
- You are paying medical insurance premiums after losing your job.
- The distributions are not more than qualified higher education expenses.
- The distribution is due to an IRS levy of the qualified plan.
Most of these exceptions are discussed earlier in chapter 1 under When Can I Withdraw or Use IRA Assets.
Ordering Rules for Distributions
If you receive a distribution from your Roth IRA that is not
a qualified distribution, part of it may be taxable. There is a set order in which contributions (including conversion contributions) and earnings are considered to be distributed from your Roth IRA. For these purposes, the withdrawal of excess contributions and the earnings on them (discussed earlier) are disregarded. The order of distributions is as follows.
- Regular contributions.
- Conversion contributions, on a first-in-first-out basis (generally, total conversions from the earliest year first). See Aggregation (grouping and adding) rules, later. These conversion contributions are taken into account as follows:
- Taxable portion (the amount required to be included in gross income because of conversion) first, and then the
- Nontaxable portion.
- Earnings on contributions.
Rollover contributions from other Roth IRAs are disregarded for this purpose.
Aggregation (grouping and adding) rules.
To determine the taxable amounts distributed (withdrawn), distributions and contributions are grouped and added together as follows.
- All distributions from all your Roth IRAs during the year are added together.
- All regular contributions made for the year (including contributions made after the close of the year, but before the due date of your return) are added together. This total is added to the total undistributed regular contributions made in prior years.
- All conversion contributions made during the year are added together. For purposes of the ordering rules, in the case of any conversion in which the conversion distribution is made in 2002 and the conversion contribution is made in 2003, the conversion contribution is treated as contributed prior to other conversion contributions made in 2003.
Any recharacterized contributions that end up in a Roth IRA are added to the appropriate contribution group for the year that the original contribution would have been taken into account if it had been made directly to the Roth IRA.
Any recharacterized contribution that ends up in an IRA other than a Roth IRA is disregarded for the purpose of grouping (aggregating) both contributions and distributions. Any amount withdrawn to correct an excess contribution (including the earnings withdrawn) is also disregarded for this purpose.
How Do I Figure the Taxable Part?
To figure the taxable part of a distribution that is not
a qualified distribution, complete Worksheet 2-3.
The following example illustrates the rules affecting the tax treatment of distributions from Roth IRAs.
Example. On October 15, 1998, Justin converted all $80,000 in his traditional IRA to his Roth IRA. His Forms 8606 from prior years show that $20,000 of the amount converted is his basis.
Justin included $60,000 ($80,000 - $20,000) in his gross income.
On February 23, 2002, Justin makes a regular contribution of $3,000 to a Roth IRA. On November 7, 2002, Justin takes a $5,000 distribution from his Roth IRA.
The first $3,000 of the distribution is a return of Justin's regular contribution and is not includible in his income.
The next $2,000 of the distribution is not includible in income because it was included previously.
Because the $2,000 is distributed before the end of the 5-year period, it is subject to the 10% additional tax on early distributions that applies to distributions of conversion contributions.
Justin must file Form 5329 with his return to report the early distribution and figure the additional tax or claim an exception, if one applies.
Worksheet 2-3. Figuring the Taxable Part of a Distribution (That is Not a Qualified Distribution) From a Roth IRA
||Enter the total of all distributions made from your Roth IRA(s) during the year
||Enter the amount of qualified distributions made during the year
||Subtract line 2 from line 1
||Enter the amount of distributions made during the year to correct excess contributions made during the year. (Do not include earnings.)
||Subtract line 4 from line 3
||Enter the amount of distributions made during the year that were contributed to another Roth IRA in a qualified rollover contribution
||Subtract line 6 from line 5
||Enter the amount of all prior distributions from your Roth IRA(s) (whether or not they were qualified distributions)
||Add lines 1 and 8
||Enter the amount of the distributions included on line 8 that were previously includible in your income
||Subtract line 10 from line 9
||Enter the total of all your contributions to all of your Roth IRAs
||Enter the total of all distributions made (this year and in prior years) to correct excess contributions. (Include earnings.)
||Subtract line 13 from line 12. (If the result is less than 0, enter 0.)
||Subtract line 14 from line 11. (If the result is less than 0, enter 0.)
||Enter the smaller of the amount on line 7 or the amount on line 15. This is the taxable part of your distribution
Must I Withdraw or Use Roth IRA Assets?
You are not required to take distributions from your Roth IRA at any age. The minimum distribution rules that apply to traditional IRAs do not apply to Roth IRAs while the owner is alive. However, after the death of a Roth IRA owner, certain of the minimum distribution rules that apply to traditional IRAs also apply to Roth IRAs.
Can I use my Roth IRA to satisfy minimum distribution requirements for traditional IRAs?
No. Nor can you use distributions from traditional IRAs for required distributions from Roth IRAs. See Distributions to beneficiaries,
Recognizing Losses on Investments
If you have a loss on your Roth IRA investment, you can recognize the loss on your income tax return, but only when all the amounts in all of your Roth IRA accounts have been distributed to you and the total distributions are less than your unrecovered basis. Your basis is the total amount of contributions in your Roth IRAs. You claim the loss as a miscellaneous itemized deduction, subject to the 2%-of-adjusted-gross-income limit that applies to certain miscellaneous itemized deductions on Schedule A, Form 1040.
Distributions After Owner's Death
If a Roth IRA owner dies, the minimum distribution rules that apply to traditional IRAs apply to Roth IRAs as though the Roth IRA owner died before his or her required beginning date. See When Can I Withdraw or Use IRA Assets?
in chapter 1.
Distributions to beneficiaries.
Generally, the entire interest in the Roth IRA must be distributed by the end of the fifth calendar year after the year of the owner's death unless the interest is payable to a designated beneficiary over the life or life expectancy of the designated beneficiary. (See When Must I Withdraw IRA Assets? (Required Distributions)
in chapter 1.) If paid as an annuity, it must be payable over a period not greater than the designated beneficiary's life expectancy and distributions must begin before the end of the calendar year following the year of death. Distributions from another Roth IRA cannot be substituted for these distributions unless the other Roth IRA was inherited from the same decedent.
If the sole beneficiary is the spouse, he or she can either delay distributions until the decedent would have reached age 70 1/2, or treat the Roth IRA as his or her own.
Aggregation with other Roth IRAs.
A beneficiary can aggregate an inherited Roth IRA with another Roth IRA maintained by the beneficiary only if the beneficiary either inherited the other Roth IRA from the same decedent, or was the spouse of the decedent and the sole beneficiary of the Roth IRA and elects to treat it as his or her own IRA.
Distributions that are not qualified distributions.
If a distribution to a beneficiary is not a qualified distribution, it is generally includible in the beneficiary's gross income in the same manner as it would have been included in the owner's income had it been distributed to the IRA owner when he or she was alive.
If the owner of a Roth IRA dies before the end of:
- The 5-year period beginning with the first taxable year for which a contribution was made to a Roth IRA set up for the owner's benefit, or
- The 5-year period starting with the year of a conversion contribution from a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA,
each type of contribution is divided among multiple beneficiaries according to the pro-rata share of each. See Ordering Rules for Distributions,
earlier under Are Distributions From My Roth IRA Taxable.
Example. When Ms. Hubbard died in 2002, her Roth IRA contained regular contributions of $4,000, a conversion contribution of $10,000 that was made in 1998, and earnings of $2,000. No distributions had been made from her IRA. She had no basis in the conversion contribution in 1998.
When she established her Roth IRA, she named each of her 4 children as equal beneficiaries. Each child will receive one-fourth of each type of contribution and one-fourth of the earnings. An immediate distribution of $4,000 to each child will be treated as $1,000 from regular contributions, $2,500 from conversion contributions, and $500 from earnings.
In this case, because the distributions are made before the end of the 5-year period, each beneficiary includes $500 in income for 2002. The 10% additional tax on early distributions does not apply because the distribution was made to the beneficiaries as a result of the death of the IRA owner.
Tax on excess accumulations (insufficient distributions).
If distributions from an inherited Roth IRA are less than the required minimum distribution for the year, discussed in chapter 1 under When Must I Withdraw IRA Assets? (Required Distributions),
you may have to pay a 50% excise tax for that year on the amount not distributed as required. For the tax on excess accumulations (insufficient distributions), see Excess Accumulations (Insufficient Distributions)
under What Acts Result in Penalties or Additional Taxes
in chapter 1. If this applies to you, substitute Roth IRA
for traditional IRA
in that discussion.
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