10 percent penalty

IRAtv: Can You Consolidate Converted Roth IRA Funds?

We received an IRA mailbag question from Greg, who wanted to know if he could consolidate all of his separate converted Roth IRA funds into one account. Two important factors to answer this question are: 1) how long have the converted funds been in the Roth IRA? 2) how old is Greg?

No Hardship Distribution from an IRA

An employer retirement plan, such as 401(k) plan may provide for hardship distributions. A hardship distribution must be for an immediate and heavy financial need of the employee, his spouse, or dependent. Hardship distributions are generally taxable and cannot be rolled over to an IRA or other retirement plan. They are also subject to the 10% early distribution penalty (unless an exception applies).

When Can I Take a Roth Distribution? It’s All About the Rules

Last week I said that some taxpayers may be forced to take funds from their Roth IRA to pay the income tax due on a Roth IRA conversion. Yes, you can take money out of your Roth IRA. Generally there is no income tax due on a distribution, but if you are under age 59 ½ you may owe the 10% early distribution penalty. Here’s the way it works.

Hardship Withdrawal From an IRA

Let me start out by saying there is no such thing as a hardship withdrawal from an IRA. An IRA owner generally has unlimited access to their IRA funds for any reason whatsoever (unless they are in an investment that limits their access). There is no age restriction on taking a withdrawal from the IRA. So, there is no need to prove a hardship. So, there is no need to prove a hardship. BUT, if you do take a withdrawal before you are age 59 ½, then there is an extra tax to pay.

Roth IRA Conversion 10% Penalty Trap

A 10% early withdrawal penalty applies to taxable funds withdrawn from a traditional IRA before the account owner attains age 59 ½ unless an exception applies. The same penalty (with its own set of exceptions) also applies on distributions made from most employer-sponsored retirement plans, unless the payment is due to the participant’s separation from service in a year in which he or she attains age 55 or older. Click to read about two tax traps that will trip up an unsuspecting consumer and trigger the 10% penalty.

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