After rules changes, how will my IRA distribution work?


Q. I turned 71 in October 2020. I have not yet taken a Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) from my IRA accounts because of last year’s changes from COVID-19. So for this year, what age do I use on the IRS worksheet to determine my RMD? Must I take it by April 1, and do I only have to take one this year?
— Retired

A. These are great questions.

Required Minimum Distributions (RMDS) have changed significantly in the past few years, and the elimination of the RMD in 2020 because of COVID just adds to the confusion.

The rules are now that you generally must begin receiving distributions from your IRA by April 1 of the year following the year you reach age 72, said Neil Becourtney, a certified public accountant and tax partner with CohnReznick in Holmdel.

“As you will reach age 72 in 2021, you will be required to receive your initial distribution by April 1, 2022. And you will be required to receive your second RMD by Dec. 31, 2022,” he said. “Thus, if you do not take your first distribution in 2021, you will end up with two distributions for 2022.”

In 2023 and future years, you will be required to receive one distribution annually.

You have asked what age line on the IRS RMD worksheet you are to use to determine your RMD.

In most cases, you will use Table III found in IRS Publication 590-B, he said. For your initial 2021 distribution, you use age 72. For your second distribution, you use age 73, he said.

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This story was originally published on April 16, 2021. presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.