When do I take my second RMD from an IRA?

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Q. Regarding Required Minimum Distributions on an IRA: I turned 70 in August 2019. I must begin taking my  RMD by the time I’m 70 ½. When must I take my second withdrawal? Do I need to take two withdrawals in 2020?
— Retired

A. The timing of Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) from an IRA can be confusing, and it can also be costly if you get it wrong.

You’re correct that you must take your first distribution in the year you turn 70 ½, said Michael Karu, a certified public accountant with Levine, Jacobs & Co. in Livingston.

He said you indicated that you turned 70 in August 2019, which means that you will turn 70 ½ in February 2020.

The first RMD can be withdrawn up to the tax filing date for that year, which would be April 15, 2021.

“You must take your second in the year in which you turn 71, also 2020,” Karu said.

But again, you would have until that year’s tax filing deadline, so you could in theory take two RMDs in 2021.

“Depending on your income and the calculated RMDs, you may want to take the initial RMD in 2020.”

That would allow you to avoid taking two RMDs in the same year.

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This story was originally published Oct. 11, 2019.

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