required minimum distributions (RMDs)

Calculate Your Required Minimum Distribution From IRAs

The IRS updated the uniform lifetime table, which is used to determine your mandatory withdrawals, this year. This tool can calculate your RMDs from a traditional IRA.

This calculator makes it easy to determine your required minimum distributions from a traditional IRA. The SECURE Act of 2019 raised the age for taking RMDs. If you were born before July 1, 1949, then you should have started taking a distribution when you hit 70 ½. However, if you were born on or after July 1, 1949, then you are required to start making withdrawals beginning at age 72. 

To use the calculator, all you need is what your age will be at the end of 2022 and the total balance of your traditional IRA accounts as of December 31, 2021. Do not include balances from Roth IRAs. Those accounts do not have required minimum distributions. 

Please note that the IRS updated the uniform lifetime table, which is used to calculate RMDs, at the beginning of 2022. The change is meant to account for longer life expectancies, and as a result, RMDs should be slightly smaller each year.

If you're married and your spouse is more than 10 years younger than you are — and is named as the sole beneficiary on at least one of your IRAs — the RMD will be less than what this calculator shows. Consult a financial planner for more details.

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For your first RMD, you have until April 1 after the year you turn 72. All subsequent ones must be taken by December 31. For instance, if you turn 72 in 2022, you have until April 1, 2023 to take your first RMD. Then you would have to take your second one by December 31, 2023. 

Taking two RMDs in one year can have important tax implications. This could push you into a higher tax bracket, meaning a larger portion of your Social Security income could be subject to taxes, or you could also end up paying more for Medicare Part B or Part D.

To determine the best time to take your first RMD, compare your tax bills under two scenarios: taking the first RMD in the year you hit 72, and delaying until the following year and doubling up RMDs. 

You should also make sure you take your RMDs every year. Failure to do so means you get hit with a 50% penalty on the amount you were supposed to take out. For instance, if you were supposed to withdraw $18,000 but only took out $14,000, you would owe a $2,000 penalty plus income tax on the shortfall. 

But the IRS is known to be fairly lenient in these situations, and you may be able to get the penalty waived by filling out Form 5329. You will need to provide a letter of explanation, including what steps you took to fix the mistake. 

One way to avoid forgetting: Ask your IRA custodian to automatically withdraw RMDs. 

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