As the Coronavirus continues to spread and the lockdown remains active in many places of business, some Americans have been hit hard financially. Many retirement accounts have also taken a serious blow although markets are beginning to recover. In these very difficult times, there is a bit of good news as the government has come through with some relief for retirement savers. Some changes you may be aware of, however, there may be a few that you may not know.

IRA DEADLINE EXTENDED UNTIL JULY 15

The IRS has extended the tax-filing deadline for 2019 Federal Income Tax Returns from April 15 to July 15. This extension also postpones the deadline for making 2019 prior-year contributions to traditional and Roth IRAs from April 15 to July 15. This is good news for retirement savers; allowing them a little more time to get their prior-year contributions done. To avoid confusion, anyone taking advantage of this postponed deadline should be sure to clearly indicate to the IRA custodian that the amounts contributed are 2019 prior-year contributions.

2020 RMD WAIVER

On March 27th, the massive “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act,” or the “CARES Act,” was signed into law. The CARES Act includes a waiver of required minimum distributions (RMDs) for 2020. This waiver applies to company savings plans and IRAs, including both traditional and Roth inherited IRAs. In addition, the CARES Act impacts 2019 RMDs for those who reached age 70 ½ in 2019 and have a required beginning date of April 1, 2020. Any 2019 RMD amount remaining and not already withdrawn by January 1, 2020 is waived. The RMD waiver can help you if you had to take an RMD this year based on much higher end-of-2019 account values. Now you can avoid the tax bill altogether.

WHAT ARE THE RELIEF PROVISIONS FOR WITHDRAWALS?

There are three withdrawal-related relief provisions. The first waives the 10% early distribution penalty. That penalty normally applies to IRA or company plan withdrawals if you are under age 59 ½, unless an exception applies. The CARES Act adds a new exception to that penalty but only if you are a “qualified individual.”

The second provision provides relief if your financial situation improves and you no longer need the withdrawn funds. “Qualified individuals” can repay, tax-free, 2020 withdrawals to an IRA or company plan. Repayment must be made within three years of the date the money was received.

Third, if you have already paid taxes on a withdrawal that you later decide to repay, you can file an amended tax return to recover the taxes.

In most cases, your withdrawal will be taxable. To cushion the blow of getting hit with the entire tax in the year of distribution, the CARES Act permits you to spread any federal income tax over three years.

Rules for plan loans are relaxed for those who meet the definition of being affected by the coronavirus with loan limits increased and repayments postponed.

WHAT ARE THE RELIEF PROVISIONS FOR LOANS?

If you participate in a company plan that allows loans, the CARES Act increases the maximum amount of any new loan taken by September 23, 2020. If you are a “qualified individual,” you can borrow up to 100% of your account balance – but no more than $100,000 (reduced by the amount of any outstanding loans). In addition, you can get a break on repaying existing loans. For repayments normally due between March 27, 2020 and December 31, 2020, you can delay repayment for a year.

It appears that these tax relief provisions are available with your plan only if your employer allows it. We expect that most companies will.

WHO GETS RELIEF?

Both the distribution and plan loan relief apply only to “qualified individuals.” Not everyone meets this definition. The definition includes:

Individuals diagnosed with the SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19 virus by a test approved by the CDC;

Individuals whose spouse or dependent is diagnosed;

Individuals who experience “adverse financial consequences” on account of:

➢ being quarantined;

➢ being furloughed or laid off or having work hours reduced;

➢ being unable to work due to lack of child care; or

➢ closing or reducing hours of a business owned or operated by the individual.

If you have questions about accessing your retirement savings, please give us a call, at 614-468-1660 for a complimentary consultation.

Darren, a Columbus, Ohio native has earned degrees in Business, Accounting, and an MBA. He has over twenty-five (25) years’ experience in financial services. The Ohio Company, First Union Securities, and Merrill Lynch were instrumental in his career prior to starting his own Wealth Management Firm, Wealth Conscious LLC, (614) 468-1660, www.wealth-conscious.com. He holds his Series 65 and Life and Health licenses. Investment advisory services are offered through Foundations Advisors, LLC an SEC Investment Advisor Representative.