April 1 deadline for retirees

March 12, 2019

Tax preparers may wish to remind their retired clients of the April 1 deadline for receiving required minimum distributions (RMDs) from individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and qualified retirement plans for the 2018 tax year (IR-2019-29, 3/5/19).

Customarily, taxpayers who have reached age 70½ are obligated to begin taking lifetime RMDs from traditional IRAs and employer-sponsored retirement plans.

Those who reached age 70½ during 2018 are covered by a special rule that allows first-year recipients of these payments to wait until as late as April 1, 2019, to get the first of their RMDs. The April 1 RMD deadline only applies to the required distribution for the first year. For all following years, including the year in which recipients were paid the first RMD by April 1, the RMD must be made by Dec. 31.

The IRS recommends two tax relief strategies for the RMD rules.

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