Does this April 2 deadline apply to you?

If you reached age 70½ last year, April 2, 2012, could be an important deadline. That’s the last day you can take your required minimum distribution (RMD) for 2011 from your traditional IRAs. If you miss that deadline, the penalty could be a 50% excise tax on the amount you should have withdrawn.

Here’s how the rules work. Once you reach age 70½, you must start taking annual distributions from your traditional IRAs. Normally these distributions must occur by December 31 of each year. But a special rule lets you defer the first distribution until April of the year after you reach age 70½. So if you turned 70½ last year, April 2 is the deadline for your 2011 distribution. Be aware that you’ll still need to take your 2012 RMD before the end of this year.

Generally, the amount of the RMD for any year is based on your age. You take the balance in all your traditional IRAs as of the last day of the previous year, and divide by a factor representing your life expectancy. The IRS has published a standard life expectancy table to use in the calculation. Special rules might apply if your spouse is more than ten years younger than you are.

Because all or part of your distribution may be taxable income, it is important to include RMDs in your tax planning. Ideally you should start planning for RMDs several years before you reach age 70½. But whether you’re planning in advance or looking at a distribution on April 2, contact our office for more detailed advice.

The RMD rules don’t apply to Roth IRAs. Unless you’re still working, this deadline also applies to your other retirement accounts.

About Brenda J. McGivern, CPA

Brenda McGivern started her own certified public accounting and management consulting firm in October 2001. The full service CPA firm provides tax and accounting solutions to meet the needs of today’s small business and individual. Brenda McGivern has become a trusted advisor and valuable resource her clients rely on for timely, accurate assistance when they need it.

Before starting the firm, she worked as an accountant for three years at a local firm and prior to that five years at a large international CPA firm in Boston. She has performed the following tax services: federal, state and local tax planning, international tax planning, estate and succession planning, mergers and acquisitions, capital retention and IRS representation. She has also coordinated assurance engagements, such as financial statement audits, reviews and compilations from the planning phase through the reporting phase. She has prepared and reviewed regulatory filings for numerous regulatory agencies including the Security and Exchange Commission.

Prior to these positions she was selected from over 2,000 candidates into an eight-person intensive financial management program at an international technology company. The program consisted of graduate level classroom study and two six-month rotational assignments in financial operations.

She graduated cum laude from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and holds a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in accounting. McGivern also holds a license in Massachusetts as a Certified Public Accountant and is a member of the American Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants. She resides in Stoughton, Massachusetts with her husband Brian, and their sons Sean, Ryan and Conor and their dog, Davis.

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