Don't Panic If You're Turning 70½ This Year and Get an RMD Statement in the Mail

Thanks to the SECURE Act, RMDs aren't required until you turn age 72.

Seniors who turn 70½ in 2020 could get a statement in the mail this month saying they have to take a required minimum distribution (RMD) from their IRA in 2020. If you're in that age group and get one of these statements, don't worry—it's a mistake. (You could also get a Form 5498 (opens in new tab) saying the same thing, but they aren't due until June 1.)

If an RMD is due for 2020, the financial institution that maintains your IRA must send you an RMD statement by January 31, 2020. The statement will tell you the due date for the RMD, and either provide the amount of the RMD or offer to calculate the amount upon your request.

For years, the RMD requirement kicked in when you turned age 70½. However, thanks to the SECURE Act, which was enacted on December 20, 2019, RMDs are now delayed until you turn 72. As a result, RMD statements should not be sent to IRA owners who will turn 70½ in 2020.

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Nevertheless, some people who turn 70½ this year will still receive an RMD statement in the mail this month. Since the SECURE Act became law so late last year, some financial institutions just didn't have enough time to adjust their systems that generate RMD statements. The IRS won't penalize financial institutions that send incorrect statements if the IRA owner is notified by April 15, 2020, that no RMD is actually required for 2020.

Note, however, that the SECURE Act did not change the RMD start date for IRA owners who turned 70½ in 2019. So, if you turned 70½ last year, you're still required to take your first RMD by April 1, 2020.

Rocky Mengle
Senior Tax Editor, Kiplinger.com

Rocky is a Senior Tax Editor for Kiplinger with more than 20 years of experience covering federal and state tax developments. Before coming to Kiplinger, he worked for Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting and Kleinrock Publishing, where he provided breaking news and guidance for CPAs, tax attorneys, and other tax professionals. He has also been quoted as an expert by USA Today, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, Reuters, Accounting Today, and other media outlets. Rocky has a law degree from the University of Connecticut and a B.A. in History from Salisbury University.