IRS Warns Taxpayers of IRA Distribution Deadline

An important deadline is rapidly approaching for taxpayers who turned age 70½ during 2016. In most cases they must start receiving required minimum distributions (RMD) from Individual Retirement Accounts and workplace retirement plans by Saturday, April 1, 2017.

IRS officials say that deadline applies to owners of traditional IRAs, but not to people with Roth IRAs. It also typically applies to participants in various workplace retirement plans, including 401(k), 403(b) and 457(b) plans.

The April 1 deadline only applies to the required distribution for the first year. For all subsequent years, the required minimum distribution must be made by Dec. 31. A taxpayer who turned 70½ in 2016 (born after June 30, 1945 and before July 1, 1946) and receives the first required distribution (for 2016) on April 1, 2017, for example, must still receive the second RMD by Dec. 31, 2017.

Affected taxpayers who turned 70½ during 2016 must figure the RMD for the first year using the life expectancy as of their birthday in 2016 and their account balance on Dec. 31, 2015. The trustee reports the year-end account value to the IRA owner on Form 5498 in Box 5. Worksheets and life expectancy tables for making this computation can be found in the appendices to Publication 590-B.

More information on RMDs, including answers to frequently asked questions, can be found on