Changes to Your IRA

Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) 

If you are age 70 1/2 before January 1, 2020 you are not required to take your 2020 distribution.

If you are aged 70 1/2 last year and were waiting until March 31 to take your 2019 distribution you are not required to take your 2019 RMD or your 2020 RMD. If you took your 2019 or 2020 RMD within the last 60 days you can roll over your distribution to the same or a different IRA within 60 days of the prior distribution and not pay the income tax on the withdrawal as long as you have not made an IRA withdrawal within the 365 days preceding your distribution. Inherited IRAs can take advantage of the RMD suspension for 2020 but they are not eligible for the indirect rollovers within sixty days.


If you are 59 1/2 or younger, distributions of up to $100,000 are not subject to the 10% excise tax in 2020 or on early distributions (only for IRA owners affected by coronavirus).

Distributions of up to $100,000 this year can be reported evenly as income over 2020, 2021 and 2022 and/or repaid.  You will not have to pay the tax on the distribution if you choose to repay the distribution to an IRA or other eligible retirement plan within three years of the distribution (only for IRA owners affected by coronavirus).

Owners affected by coronavirus must meet these requirements:

  • Personally diagnosed with coronavirus
  • Your spouse or dependent is diagnosed with coronavirus
  • Experiencing adverse financial consequences as a result of:
    • being quarantined,
    • being furloughed or laid off,
    • having reduced hours,
    • being unable to work due to lack of childcare,
    • closing or reduced hours of a business owned or operated by the participant, or
    • any other factor determined by the Secretary of the Treasury.

Retirement Accounts

Changes made by the 2019 SECURE Act to required minimum distributions (RMDs) may affect your retirement accounts. If you turn 70½ after 2019, you can now wait until age 72 to start taking mandated annual withdrawals from your retirement accounts. Updated life expectancy tables proposed by the IRS for 2021 would change how you calculate those amounts. Also, children who draw on a deceased parent’s retirement account now have 10 years to withdraw, effective for distributions starting in 2020.  If you inherited an IRA from an account holder who passed away prior to January 1, 2020, you can continue the current distribution schedule.

The new law also impacts Sec 529 accounts.  Tax-free distributions now include up to $10,000 for repayment of qualified student loans, and expenses for certain apprenticeship programs.  This change was made retroactive to distributions after December 31, 2018.