Recent IRS Notice Lifts Ban on Rolling Over Your MRD

In response to the economic crisis that kicked into high gear last year, Congress passed the Worker, Retiree and Employer Act (WRERA) of 2008 with the goal of providing older Americans some much-needed relief and flexibility in managing their personal finances. Part of the Act allowed for the suspension of minimum required distributions (MRDs) from IRAs and defined contribution plans. However, WRERA was enacted so late in the year, many retirees and plan administrators were unable to adjust to the new rules and many continued to take their MRDs during 2009.

If you are one of the people who unnecessarily took MRDs all year, you’ll be happy to note that on September 24th, the IRS issued Notice 2009-82 which gives you a second chance to keep the money in your account.  The normal ban on rolling over MRDs is being temporarily lifted and you now have the option to roll the money back into the IRA or defined contribution plan by November 30th for mandatory payments taken before October 1st.  If you took an MRD after September 30th, the deadline for putting the money back into your plan is 60 days after the distribution was made.

Some IRA owners are bound to be disappointed with part of Notice 2009-82.  The IRS did not change the part of the tax code which mandates a one-rollover-per-year rule for IRAs.  If you are an IRA owner who took your MRD in one lump sum – no problem.  You can roll the entire amount back into your plan.  Unfortunately, if you’re an IRA owner who took monthly MRDs, you are limited to rolling back only one of the withdrawals.

If your MRD was not taken from an IRA, but from some other defined contribution plan like a 401(k), this one-rollover-per-year does not apply to you.  Even if you took monthly distributions, you can still roll the entire amount back into your plan.

IRS Notice 2009-82 provides an excellent opportunity to extend your income tax deferral from your retirement account.  Just don’t miss the deadline – November 30th for payments taken before October 1st and 60 days after the distribution for payments made after September 30th.

For a complete look at Notice 2009-82, click on

Last Minute Tax Tips

Big thanks to Lange team member Steve Kohman for being a part of our radio show The Lange Money Hour: Where Smart Money Talks on Wednesday night, April 8th on KQV am 1410. Steve is so dedicated to his clients that we had trouble prying him away from the office to do the show.

We’re glad that Steve finally agreed because his tax advice was excellent. He’s a technical machine – answering questions off the top of his head with no notes!

So is it too late to do something about your 2008 tax return?  Not according to Jim and Steve. For starters, you can still fund an IRA for 2008.  Individuals can contribute up to $5,000 — $6,000 if you’re 50 or older.

Steve also pointed out that many tax deductible medical expenses are overlooked.  Double-check to make sure you haven’t forgotten long-term care insurance premiums, prescription expenses, Medicare insurance premiums, prescribed weight-loss programs, therapy and even miscellaneous improvements to your house (adding a wheelchair ramp, for instance).

The tax code can be tricky to navigate. This year, there are several new developments, including The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. First-time home buyers will have until December 1, 2009 to claim a new refundable tax credit for a qualifying home purchase.  There are certain restrictions, so make sure you check with your tax professional.

The Worker, Retiree and Employer Recovery Act of 2008 allows retirees to suspend their Required Minimum Distribution for 2009.  Jim and Steve believe this has created an ideal opportunity for seniors to make a Roth IRA conversion.

What should you do if you realize you’ve made a mistake on your return?  Simply file an amended return.  To make it even easier, you have three years to take care of the paperwork.

If you think you could work night and day on your return and still not get it done by April 15th, you can always file an extension. It’s important to note, though, that it’s an extension to file – not an extension to pay.  Uncle Sam still wants you to estimate your taxes and, if you miscalculate, you could be subject to a penalty and interest.

We don’t know what came over Jim and Steve, but they offered listeners who are PA residents a free tax extension!   The Lange team is offering to take care of all of the paperwork and will even deliver your return hand-stamped. Then, after April 15th (and some much needed R&R), one of the accountants will meet with you and take a closer look at your return. If you’re interested, call the office at 800-387-1129.

Jim and Steve also covered various strategies for Roth IRA conversions, ideas for 2009 tax planning, what documents your tax professional really wants you to bring to the office and which one of them has already finished his personal tax return and which one hasn’t.

If you missed any part of the show, a rebroadcast is set for Sunday, April 12th from 9-10 a.m. ET and the audio will be available on early next week.

The next show is set for Wednesday, April 22nd from 7-8 p.m. ET with special guest, author and money manager, Paul Merriman. Paul promises to make his prediction on when the economy will recover and explain the common mistakes that investors make.