What Are the Federal Required Minimum Distribution Rules for IRAs?


Quick Answer

IRA owners must usually receive distributions beginning at age 70 1/2 that meet or exceed the minimum amount calculated using the Internal Revenue Service's Uniform Lifetime Table, according to the Internal Revenue Service. If the IRA beneficiary is the owner's spouse, a different table may be required for calculating the minimum distribution amount.

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Full Answer

The IRS provides tables that explain how to calculate the minimum distribution required based on the age of the beneficiary that year and whether the beneficiary is a younger spouse of the account owner, notes the IRS. Minimum distributions vary and should be verified with the IRS directly or using current information provided by the IRS. This minimum amount or more must be withdrawn from the account each year and is typically subject to income taxes. Roth IRA owners are not required to receive distributions during their lifetimes.

Withdrawal amounts do not impact future years and do not necessarily reduce the next year's required distribution, explains Kay Bell for Bankrate. Funds must be withdrawn, but account owners may choose to reinvest the funds as long as any applicable taxes on the distribution are paid. Under some circumstances, owners may also donate distributions directly to charity and avoid paying taxes on those funds.

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