Internal Revenue Bulletin: 2009-5
February 2, 2009
This notice provides guidance to financial institutions on reporting required minimum distributions for 2009 after enactment of the Worker, Retiree, and Employer Recovery Act of 2008, P. L. 110-458.
On December 23, 2008, the President signed the Worker, Retiree, and Employer Recovery Act of 2008 (the Act) into law. Section 201 of the Act waives any required minimum distributions (RMDs) for 2009 from retirement plans that hold each participant’s benefit in an individual account, such as § 401(k) plans and § 403(b) plans, and certain § 457(b) plans. The Act also waives any RMD for 2009 from an Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA). This means that most participants and beneficiaries otherwise required to take minimum distributions from these types of accounts are not required to withdraw any amount in 2009. If they do make a withdrawal in 2009 (that is not an RMD for 2008), they might be able to roll over the withdrawn amount into other eligible retirement plans. Of course, they must still include any previously untaxed portion of the withdrawal that they do not roll over in their gross income. See Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs), Publication 590, and Pension and Annuity Income, Publication 575, for additional information on rollovers and on calculating the taxable portion of a distribution.
The Act does not waive any 2008 RMDs, even for individuals who were eligible and chose to delay taking their 2008 RMD until April 1, 2009 (e.g., retired employees and IRA owners who turned 701/2 in 2008). These individuals must still take their full 2008 RMD by April 1, 2009. The 2009 RMD waiver under the Act does apply to individuals who may be eligible to postpone taking their 2009 RMD until April 1, 2010 (generally, retired employees and IRA owners who attain age 701/2 in 2009). However, the Act does not waive any RMDs for 2010.
If a beneficiary is receiving distributions over a 5-year period, he or she can now waive the distribution for 2009, effectively taking distributions over a 6-year rather than a 5-year period.
Issuers of the 2008 Form 5498, IRA Contribution Information, should not put a check in Box 11. However, in recognition of the short amount of time to make programming changes, if a financial institution issues a 2008 Form 5498 with a check in Box 11, the IRS will not consider such form issued incorrectly solely because of the check in Box 11, provided the IRA owner is notified by the financial institution no later than March 31, 2009, that no RMD is required for 2009.
In addition, the RMD information required under Notice 2002-27, 2002-1 C.B. 814, need not be sent to IRA owners for 2009. If a financial institution sends a separate RMD statement to an IRA owner, either initially or in response to the owner’s request for the financial institution to calculate the RMD for 2009, the financial institution must show the RMD for 2009 as zero (0). Alternatively, the financial institution may send the IRA owner a statement showing the RMD that would have been required but for the waiver of RMDs for 2009, along with an explanation of the waiver for 2009.
The IRS encourages all financial institutions to inform IRA owners who delayed taking their 2008 RMD until April 1, 2009, that they are still required to take that distribution.
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