IRS Logo
Print - Click this link to Print this page

For Senior Taxpayers

Question: I am over age 70½. How do I determine the amount I must withdraw each year from my IRA & 401(k) accounts to avoid penalty?


Generally, a required minimum distribution (RMD) is calculated for each account by dividing the prior December 31 balance of that IRA or retirement plan account by a life expectancy factor that IRS publishes in Tables in Publication 590 (PDF), Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs). There are three separate tables:

  • The Uniform Lifetime Table (Table III) is used by an unmarried owner, a owner whose spouse is not the sole beneficiary, and an owner whose spouse is not more than 10 years younger;
  • The Joint and Last Survivor Table (Table II) is used by a married owner whose spouse is both more than 10 years younger and the sole beneficiary of the account; and
  • The Single Life Expectancy Table (Table I) is used by a beneficiary of an account.

You can use Worksheet 1-5, Figuring the Taxable Part of Your IRA Distribution, on page 44 of Publication 590 (PDF).

For additional information, see Publication 590 for RMD on IRAs and Publication 575 for RMD on 401(k) plans.

Category: Other (Alternative Minimum Tax, Estates, Trusts, Tax Shelters, State Tax Inquiries)
Subcategory: For Senior Taxpayers

Please provide your feedback.

1. Was it easy to find your information within the above Frequently Asked Question?

2. How satisfied are you with the information provided within the above Frequently Asked Question?

3. If you still need help from the IRS, what would your next step be?

The OMB number for this study is 1545-1432.
If you have any comments regarding this study, please write to:
IRS, Tax Products Coordinating Committee
1111 Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20224