Failure to withdraw a required minimum distribution (RMD) from an IRA, 401(k) or similar account by the deadline can result in a 50% additional tax assessed on the amount of the RMD that was not taken. However, the IRS will waive the 50% additional tax for good cause. There are three steps you should take to request waiver of the additional tax:
- Contact the account custodian to take the late RMD now. Do this as a separate transaction rather than combining it with the RMD that is due for the current year. To have the 50% additional tax waived, the error must be promptly corrected. Do not wait. Also, this late RMD does not replace this year’s RMD. That must still be taken and both will be included in this year’s taxable income.
- File IRS Form 5329, Additional Taxes on Qualified Plans (Including IRAs) and Other Tax-Favored Accounts here: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f5329.pdf. The additional tax does not have to be prepaid, but if the IRS determines that it is owed, there could be interest owed on the additional tax payment.
- Attach a letter of explanation to Form 5329. The letter should include why the RMD was missed, the fact that it has now been taken, and describe the steps taken to ensure that future RMDs will be taken as required.