Stay Ahead of Law Changes & Protect Yourself Against Being Audited: Corporate Transparency Act and Reasonable Compensation

COVID-19 IRA Information

In this article, we explain how you may be able to take money from your IRA and other retirement accounts, avoid early withdrawal penalties, and have generous options on repayment (or not).

We also explain when you don’t have to take the required minimum distribution from your IRA.

COVID-19-Related Distributions from IRAs Get Tax-Favored Treatment

If you are an IRA owner who has been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, you are probably eligible to take tax-favored distributions from your IRA(s).

For brevity, let’s call these allowable COVID-19 distributions “CVDs.” They can add up to as much as $100,000. Eligible individuals can recontribute (repay) CVD amounts back into an IRA within three years of the withdrawal date and can treat the withdrawals and later recontributions as federal-income-tax-free IRA rollover transactions.

In effect, the CVD privilege allows you to borrow up to $100,000 from your IRA(s) and recontribute the amount(s) at any time up to three years later with no federal income tax consequences.

There are no income limits on the CVD privilege, and there are no restrictions on how you can use CVD money during the three-year recontribution period.

If you’re cash-strapped, use the money to pay bills and recontribute later when your financial situation has improved. Help your adult kids out. Pay down your HELOC. Do whatever you want with the money.

CVD Basics

Eligible individuals can take one or more CVDs, up to the $100,000 aggregate limit, and these can come from one or several IRAs. The three-year recontribution period for each CVD begins on the day after you receive it.

You can make recontributions in a lump sum or make multiple recontributions. You can recontribute to one or several IRAs, and they don’t have to be the same account(s) you took the CVD(s) from in the first place.

As long as you recontribute the entire CVD amount within the three-year window, the transactions are treated as tax-free IRA rollovers. If you’re under age 59 1/2, the dreaded 10 percent penalty tax that usually applies to early IRA withdrawals does not apply to CVDs.

If your spouse owns one or more IRAs in his or her own name, your spouse is apparently eligible for the same CVD privilege if he or she qualifies (see below).

Do I Qualify for the CVD Privilege?

That’s a good question. Some IRA owners will clearly qualify, while others may have to wait for IRS guidance. For now, here’s what the CARES Act says.

A COVID-19-related distribution is a distribution of up to $100,000 from an eligible retirement plan, including an IRA, that is made on or after January 2, 2020, and before December 31, 2020, to an individual

  • who is diagnosed with COVID-19 by a test approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; or
  • whose spouse or dependent (generally a qualifying child or relative who receives more than half of his or her support from you) is diagnosed with COVID-19 by such a test; or
  • who experiences adverse financial consequences as a result of being quarantined, furloughed, laid off, or forced to reduce work hours due to COVID-19; or
  • who is unable to work because of a lack of child care due to COVID-19 and experiences adverse financial consequences as a result; or
  • who owns or operates a business that has closed or had operating hours reduced due to COVID-19, and who has experienced adverse financial consequences as a result; or
  • who has experienced adverse financial consequences due to other COVID-19-related factors to be specified in future IRS guidance.

We await IRS guidance on how to interpret the last two factors. We hope and trust that the guidance will be liberally skewed in favor of IRA owners. We shall see…

What If I Don’t Recontribute a CVD within the Three-Year Window?

Another good question. You will owe income tax on the CVD amount that you don’t recontribute within the three-year window, but you don’t have to worry about owing the 10 percent early withdrawal penalty tax if you are under age 59 1/2.

If you don’t repay, you can choose to spread the taxable amount equally over three years, apparently starting with 2020.

Example. Tomorrow you withdraw $90,000 from your IRA, and you don’t recontribute it and don’t elect out of the three-year spread; you have $30,000 of taxable income in years 1, 2, and 3.

Here it gets tricky, because the three-year recontribution window won’t close until sometime in 2023. Until then, it won’t be clear that you failed to take advantage of the tax-free CVD rollover deal.

You also have the option of simply electing to report the taxable income from the CVD on your 2020 Form 1040. You won’t owe the 10 percent early withdrawal penalty tax if you are under age 59 1/2.

Can the One-IRA-Rollover-Per-Year Limitation Prevent Me from Taking Advantage of the CVD Deal?

Gee, you ask a lot of good questions. The answer is no, because when you recontribute CVD money within the three-year window, it is deemed to be done via a direct trustee-to-trustee transfer that is exempt from the one-IRA-rollover-per-year rule. So, no worries there.

Can I Take a CVD from My Company’s Tax-Favored Retirement Plan?

Yes, if your company allows it. The tax rules are similar to those that apply to CVDs taken from IRAs.

That said, employers and the IRS have lots of work to do to figure out the details for CVDs taken from employer-sponsored qualified retirement plans. Stay tuned for more information.

More Good News: Retirement Account Required Minimum Distribution Rules Are Suspended for 2020

In normal times, after reaching the magic age, you must start taking annual required minimum distributions (RMDs) from traditional IRAs set up in your name (including SEP-IRA and SIMPLE-IRA accounts) and from tax-favored company retirement plan accounts. The magic age is 70 1/2 if you attained that age before 2020 or 72 if you attain age 70 1/2 after 2019.

And you must pay income tax on the taxable portion of your RMDs. Ugh!

Thankfully, the CARES Act suspends all RMDs that you would otherwise have to take in 2020.

The suspension applies equally to your initial RMD if you turned 70 1/2 last year and did not take that initial RMD last year (the initial RMD is actually for calendar year 2019). Before the CARES Act, the deadline for taking that initial RMD was April 1, 2020. Now, thanks to the CARES Act, you can put off any and all RMDs that you otherwise would have had to take this year. Good!

For 2021 and beyond, the RMD rules will be applied as if 2020 never happened. In other words, all the RMD deadlines will be pushed back by one year, and any deadlines that otherwise would have applied for 2020 will simply be ignored.

Takeaways

The CVD privilege can be a very helpful and very flexible tax-favored financial arrangement for eligible IRA owners.

  • You can get needed cash into your hands right now without incurring the early withdrawal penalties.
  • You can then recontribute the CVD amount anytime within the three-year window that will close sometime in 2023—depending on the date you take the CVD—to avoid any federal income tax hit.

The suspension of RMDs for this year helps your 2020 tax situation, because you avoid the tax hit on RMDs that you otherwise would have had to withdraw this year.

I love it when I can bring you good news. If you would like to discuss the COVID-19 changes to your IRA, please call us at 281-440-6279.

The Molen & Associates Difference

Mike Forsyth

“Super helpful and timely. This is our first year with them and we look forward to trusting them with our taxes and business books for years to come.”

Caitlin Daulong

“Molen & Associates is amazing! They run an incredibly streamlined process, which makes filing taxes a breeze. So impressed with their attention to detail, organization, and swift execution every year. Cannot recommend them enough!”

Sy Sahrai

“I’ve been with Mr. Molen’s company for few years and I felt treated like family respect and dignity. They are caring, professional and honest, which hard to find these days. Love working with them.”

Tax Tips for Newlyweds

Tax & Financial Tips for Newlyweds in Houston Marriage is a significant milestone that not only unites two individuals in partnership, but in most cases, also merges their financial and tax situations. For newlyweds in Houston, understanding the tax implications...

Self-Employment Taxes: A Deeper Dive

Self-Employment Taxes: A Deeper Dive Self-employment taxes are a critical component of the tax system in the United States, impacting individuals who work for themselves. Understanding the nuances of these taxes can help self-employed individuals plan and manage their...

Education Tax Benefits: Maximizing Savings with Credits and Deductions

Education Tax Benefits: Maximizing Savings with Credits and Deductions Navigating the complexities of tax season can be daunting, but for those bearing the costs of higher education, there are valuable tax benefits that can ease the financial burden. Among these are...

How to request Individual Penalty Abatement

How to Request Penalty Abatement Penalty abatement is a great way to help reduce your client's tax debt. Here's how you can request apenalty abatement from the IRS. Let’s say you’ve determined that your client is eligible for a penalty abatement to help reduce their...

Understanding the Child Tax Credit for 2023

Understanding the Child Tax Credit for 2023 The Child Tax Credit (CTC) is a significant provision in the U.S. tax code designed to offer financial relief to families with qualifying children. As we navigate the 2023 tax year, it’s crucial to understand the current...

Tax-Smart Strategies to Pay for College

Tax-Smart Strategies to Pay for College   As the cost of college continues to rise and inflation soars, families are looking for ways to make ends meet. One way to do this is by taking advantage of tax breaks that can help offset the cost of tuition and other...

Unlocking Financial Freedom: The Strategic Power of Revoke-S Elections

Unlocking Financial Freedom: The Strategic Power of Revoke-S Elections As a small business owner, you understand that time, money, and peace of mind are precious commodities. The world of taxes can often feel like a labyrinth of complexities, with ever-changing rules...

The Augusta Rule: A Comprehensive Guide to the Section 280A Deduction for Small Business Owners

As a small business owner, you’re likely familiar with the home office deduction. This popular tax break allows you to write off up to 300 square feet of workspace in your home at a rate of five dollars per square foot, resulting in a potential $1,500 annual...

Unleashing the Mega Backdoor Roth: Maximizing Your Retirement Savings

Unleashing the Mega Backdoor Roth: Maximizing Your Retirement Savings Embark on a financial adventure with us as we introduce you to the not-so-secret world of the Mega Backdoor Roth – the financial strategy that's not only powerful but sounds almost as charming as a...

Get Organized and Sail Smoothly with a Family Tax Firm

How to Get Organized and Sail Smoothly with a Family Tax Firm? Tax season—an annual event that can trigger a range of emotions, from anticipation to anxiety. For small business owners, the prospect of tackling complex forms, deciphering intricate regulations, and...

Request an Appointment Today

8 + 1 =

Call us at

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This