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Expansion of the scope of qualified 2017 disasters for 2017 Publication 590-B

After Publication 590-B was published, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (Public Law 115-123) was enacted and expanded the scope of qualified 2017 disasters to include the California wildfires. As a result, sections in the publication that refer to Hurricane Harvey, Irma or Maria, also apply to the California wildfires. Additionally, references to Hurricane Harvey throughout the publication now also apply to Tropical Storm Harvey. This includes "Disaster tax relief" on page 1; "When Can You Withdraw or Use Assets" on page 6; the "Tip" on pages 14, 24, 30, and 33; "Disaster relief" on pages 26 and 29; and "Disaster-Related Relief" on page 37.   

Please note these specific changes for page 37 for the California wildfires. 

Under "Qualified Disaster Distributions" the following applies to the numbered list. 

  1. The distribution was made after October 7, 2017, and before January 1, 2019, for California wildfires.  
  2. Your main home was located in a qualified disaster area listed below on the date shown for that area. This now includes any date during the period from October 8, 2017, to December 31, 2017, for California wildfires. 
  3. You sustained an economic loss because of Hurricane Harvey, Irma, or Maria. This now includes the California wildfires. 

The paragraph under item 3 states: If 1 through 3 above apply, you can generally designate any distribution (including a periodic payment or a required minimum distribution) from an eligible retirement plan as a qualified disaster distribution, regardless of whether the distribution was made on account of Hurricane Harvey, Irma, or Maria. This now extends to the California wildfires. Note, however, that the $100,000 limit discussed in "Distribution limit” applies separately to the California wildfires.

Please note these specific changes for page 39 for the California wildfires. 

Under "Repayment of a Qualified Distribution for the Purchase or Construction of a Main Home" if you received a qualified distribution to purchase or construct a main home in the California wildfire disaster area, you can repay all or any part of that distribution to an eligible retirement plan during the period beginning on October 8, 2017, and ending on June 30, 2018. 

The numbered list that follows is also changed, beginning with item 2. 
2. For the California wildfires, a distribution that was received after March 31, 2017, and before January 15, 2018. 
3. The distribution was to be used to purchase or construct a main home in the California wildfire disaster area that was not purchased or constructed because of the California wildfires. 

The three paragraphs that follow this numbered list only list repayments before March 1, 2018. However, repayment amounts before July 1, 2018, as a result of the California wildfires are now included.