Once you reach the age of 60, you can breathe a sigh of relief. You've outlived traditional IRA early withdrawal penalties and restrictions established by the Internal Revenue Service. And if you own a traditional IRA, you haven't yet seen the boom of required minimum distributions come crashing down. It's a moment of unparalleled distribution freedom, and ideally, you'll make the most of it. At age 60, a Roth IRA owner is free to withdraw the entire balance tax-free (as long as the account has been open at least five years) ... or to leave it in place for his heirs.
Contact the trustee managing your IRA about making a withdrawal. The bank or brokerage might provide paper or online distribution forms to fill out. Otherwise, you can simply request a withdrawal by phone or email. Specify the amount and how you want to receive the distribution. Indicate on the form, by phone or email how much you want the trustee to withhold in taxes on a traditional IRA withdrawal. You can use a dollar amount or a percentage figure. You can also choose to have no income tax withheld.Step 2
Sign the form and submit it to the trustee. If you are withdrawing a large sum, $100,000 or more, for example, you may have to have the distribution form medallion-stamped to verify your signature. Most banks and brokerages have at least one official on staff who can witness your signature and provide the medallion stamp.Step 3
Look for cash to be deposited to your brokerage cash account or your personal bank account or for a check by mail, whichever you designated.Step 4
Watch the mail for the arrival of your Form 1099-R from the trustee. It reports your IRA distributions for the tax year and should arrive in late January or early February.Step 5
Write the total distribution amount from a traditional IRA, found in Box 1 of the 1099-R, on Line 16a of IRS Form 1040. Enter the taxable amount, from Box 2a of the 1099-R, on Line 16b. The figures are often identical. If you had tax withheld from the distribution, the amount will appear in Box 4 of the 1099-R. Add this amount to the "federal tax withheld" figures from any other 1099 and W-2 forms, and enter the total on Line 62 in the "Payments" section of your 1040 form.
- Take taxation into account when planning IRA withdrawals. If you are near the upper limit of a tax bracket, or if your distribution is large, the transaction might push you into a higher bracket. Mete out your distributions year by year to sidestep this circumstance.
D. Laverne O'Neal, an Ivy League graduate, published her first article in 1997. A former theater, dance and music critic for such publications as the "Oakland Tribune" and Gannett Newspapers, she started her Web-writing career during the dot-com heyday. O'Neal also translates and edits French and Spanish. Her strongest interests are the performing arts, design, food, health, personal finance and personal growth.