Convert money from a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA to eliminate future RMDs. If you convert money from a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA, you'll pay taxes for the conversion (minus any part of the non-deductible contributions). But from then on, the money will grow tax-free and will not be subject to future RMDs. Saving for retirement in a 401 (k) plan at work or in a traditional individual retirement account (IRA) can help you build long-term wealth while enjoying some tax advantages.
Starting at age 72, you must withdraw the required minimum distributions (RMD) from those accounts, meaning you won't be able to defer paying income taxes indefinitely. That could mean a hefty tax bill if you're in a higher tax bracket during retirement. If you're wondering how to avoid taxes on RMD payments, there are some strategies you can use to minimize them. A financial advisor can offer you significant benefits as you study appropriate scenarios that could help you avoid taxes in retirement.
One of the easiest ways to defer RMDs and taxes on those withdrawals is to continue working. If you're still working at age 72 or older and are contributing to your employer's 401 (k) plan, the IRS allows you to delay the departure of RMDs from those accounts. Unfortunately, this only works for your current employer's 401 (k) plan. If you have a 401 (k) plan from a previous employer, the RMD rule would still apply.
The same goes for any traditional IRA that you contribute money to. If you're not sure if a charity qualifies, the IRS has a tool you can use to check its status. Keep in mind that this tactic of minimizing taxes only works with IRAs; you can't use this strategy to donate RMD from a 401 (k) plan. If you have assets in a tax-deferred account, you can avoid RMDs and their associated taxes by transferring the balance to a Roth IRA.
This is done through a Roth conversion, in which deferred tax-deferred assets are basically converted into tax-free assets. Roth IRAs can be an attractive option for saving for retirement if you want to minimize taxes. Qualified Roth IRA distributions are 100% tax-free and no minimum distributions are required. If you have money in certain retirement accounts, such as a traditional 401 (k) or a traditional individual retirement account, you'll be asked to start receiving the required minimum distributions (RMDs) after your 72nd birthday.
That means you should start withdrawing a minimum amount of money from your tax-advantaged retirement account according to a schedule determined by the IRS. When you have a tax-advantaged retirement plan, such as a 401 (k) plan or an IRA, the IRS wants to make sure that you eventually take money out of the account in order to collect taxes. If you don't take your RMDs when necessary, you'll have to pay a 50% fine on the money you had to withdraw from your account. .
Since Roth IRAs don't require RMDs, you may be able to avoid accepting these minimum distributions by transferring your retirement money from a traditional IRA, 401 (k), or other tax-advantaged account to a Roth IRA. You can do this with a conversion to a Roth IRA, which occurs when you transfer money from your traditional account to a Roth IRA. However, you should note that in order to make tax-free withdrawals, you must have made your first contribution to a Roth account at least five years before you start making withdrawals. If you make a distribution within five years of the conversion, you could owe a 10% fine and an ordinary income tax.
If you decide to convert to Roth and you're over 72 years old, you'll need to use your RMD first to meet the RMD requirements, since a conversion to Roth doesn't count as an RMD. If you're not married, have a spouse who's less than 10 years younger than you, or your spouse isn't the only beneficiary of your IRA, you'll use the uniform lifetime chart. However, if your spouse is more than 10 years younger and is the sole beneficiary of your IRA, you will use the joint life expectancy and last survivor table. You can wait until April 1 of the calendar year after your 72nd birthday to take your first RMD.
Some retirees wait to apply for their RMD because they think they'll be in a lower tax bracket that year. If you wait and make your first distribution the year after your 72nd birthday, you'll need to make another RMD before December 31. Taking two RMDs could mean a higher-than-expected tax bill for that year. If you don't take an RMD as required, you may face a tax penalty of 50% of the amount you should have withdrawn from your account but didn't.
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At BWM, we'll evaluate the following strategies below to help lower your RMDs and effectively reduce your tax bill during retirement. It all starts with creating a savings strategy today that reduces your RMDs later on. If you're retired, we'll evaluate whether it makes sense to accept IRA distributions now or convert pre-tax IRA money into tax-free Roth investments. You can also reduce your RMDs without paying taxes by making a qualified charitable distribution.
It's also a good idea to ensure that your IRA investment fees aren't paid from another account. Your brokerage agency can help you make the conversion, but you should keep in mind that converting a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA doesn't mean you can avoid taxes completely. Contributing to a Roth IRA won't reduce your taxable income, but you won't have to pay taxes on income withdrawals if you're over 59 and a half years old and have had your account open for five years or more. But if you accept them, they will increase your taxable income and, therefore, your income taxes for the year (unless the account in question is a Roth IRA or a 401 (k) that was funded with after-tax dollars).
In contrast, distributions from a Roth IRA are not taxable as long as you meet the retirement requirements, and Roth IRAs are not subject to RMDs. You won't get a tax deduction for investing money, the money you invest will not grow tax-free, and you'll have to calculate the portion of your RMD that is considered a return of your non-deductible contribution and should not be subject to taxes. Another strategy for wealthy savers seeking to avoid reducing mandatory distributions is to transfer part of their savings to a Roth IRA. That means the money can stay and grow tax-free in the Roth IRA for as long as you want, or it can be left in the hands of the heirs.
One of the main reasons for RMDs is that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) wants to be paid for income that was not previously taxable. .