SECURE ACT REGULATIONS AND INHERITED IRAS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

Question:

When can we expect final SECURE Act regulations from the IRS?

Mike

Answer:

Hi Mike,

No one knows for sure. However, there is now some hope that these may be coming sooner rather than later. In recently released Notice 2024-35, the IRS said that final regulations are anticipated to apply for determining RMDs for 2025 and beyond. If the IRS is true to its word, then final regulations would be issued by the end of 2024.

Question:

Good afternoon,

We have received conflicting guidance and advice regarding an inherited IRA situation and were hoping you could help. A client born in 1962 passed away in 2011 and left his IRA to his father. The father was born in 1940 and died in 2012. Upon his passing, he left the IRA to his wife (the original client’s mother). She was born in 1942 and just passed away in May 2024, leaving the IRA to her other son (born in 1964).

The wife had been taking annual required minimum distributions (RMDs) from the inherited IRA based on her late husband’s life expectancy. We are wondering whether her surviving son is allowed to continue stretching RMDs or must empty the IRA account in 10 years.

One source told us the SECURE Act rules do not apply because both the original owner and original beneficiary passed away prior to the new law, meaning the surviving son continues to take annual RMDs from the inherited IRA based on his late father’s remaining life expectancy. Another source told us the SECURE Act rules do apply, and the surviving son has to drain the IRA completely within 10 years, but does not have annual RMDs in years 1 through 9.

Knowing you all are THE industry experts, we are hoping you can break the tie on what the technical rule is here. Thanks for your help.

Amit

Answer:

Hi Amit,

This is a little tricky! The IRA was inherited prior to the SECURE Act, so the original beneficiary (the father) was able to stretch RMDs over his life expectancy. This payout method would have continued for the first successor beneficiary (his wife).

However, with her death in 2024 the SECURE Act would apply for the second successor beneficiary (the surviving son). That would mean the inherited IRA would be subject to the 10-year rule and must be emptied by 12/31/34.

In addition, the IRS proposed regulations would require annual RMDs in years 1-9 of the 10-year period based on the original beneficiary’s (the father’s) life expectancy. Due to all the confusion over this requirement, the IRS has so far waived it for 2021, 2022, 2023, and 2024. It remains to be seen what will happen in future years.

 

By Sarah Brenner, JD
Director of Retirement Education
Follow Us on X: @theslottreport

https://irahelp.com/slottreport/secure-act-regulations-and-inherited-iras-todays-slott-report-mailbag/

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