Tax Dictionary – Required Minimum Distribution (RMD)

IRS Definition

Your required minimum distribution is the minimum amount you must withdraw from your account each year. You generally have to start taking withdrawals from your IRA, SEP IRA, SIMPLE IRA, or retirement plan account when you reach age 70½.

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Beginning April 1 of the year after you turn 70 ½, you must begin taking the required minimum distribution (RMD) from your IRA, 401(k) or 403(b) account. Roth IRAs do not have a RMD until the owner dies. The RMD is calculated based on your projected life expectancy as shown on the IRS Uniform Lifetime Table, and the total amount in your account at the end of the preceding calendar year. Most financial services that hold retirement accounts will calculate this amount for you and advise you of the amount you must withdraw before the end of the year. However, the responsibility to take the required amount is yours and failure to withdraw your RMD will result in a 50% penalty if you do not take out the required amount.

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