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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 a penalty?


Generally, the required minimum distribution (RMD) must be figured separately for each account. You can calculate the RMD for each account by dividing the prior December 31 balance of that IRA or retirement plan account by a life expectancy factor that the IRS publishes in Tables in Publication 590-B, Distributions from Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs). Use the:

  • Uniform Lifetime Table (Table III) if you're an unmarried owner, an owner whose spouse isn't the sole beneficiary, or an owner whose spouse isn't more than 10 years younger;
  • Joint and Last Survivor Table (Table II) if you're a married owner whose spouse is both more than 10 years younger and the sole beneficiary of the account; and
  • Single Life Expectancy Table (Table I) if you're a beneficiary of an account.

You can use Worksheet 1-1. Figuring the Taxable Part of Your IRA Distribution, in Publication 590-B.

Note: If you have more than one such IRA or retirement plan account from which RMDs must be taken, you can total the required distributions for all the accounts and then satisfy the requirement by taking distributions from any one (or more) of the accounts.

For more information, see Publication 590-B for RMD on IRAs and Publication 575, Pension and Annuity Income, for RMD on 401(k) plans.

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

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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
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Washington, DC 20224