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Taking Your First RMD - December 31 deadline for some

Last Updated November 2, 2015

Generally, your RMD must be taken by December 31 of the year for which it is due. However, an exception applies to your first RMD, which is due for the year in which you reach age 70½. Under this exception, your RMD for the year that you reach age 70 ½ can be deferred until April 1 of the following year. Caution: If you defer taking your RMD for the year you reach age  70½, until the following year (taking it by April 1), you will need to take two RMD amounts for that year. That is because the second and all subsequent RMDs must be taken by December 31 of the year for which they are due. Taking two RMD amounts in one year could impact your income taxes. Consult with your tax professional, who should be able to advise you on the tax impact of taking your first RMD in your 70½ year vs. deferring it until the next year.

Qualified plans, 403(b)s and governmental 457(b) plans

If you have funds in a qualified plan, 403(b) account or governmental 457(b) plan, and you are still employed by the plan sponsor (employer), you might be able to defer starting your RMD past age 70 ½ until after you retire.  Check with your employer or plan administrator regarding your option for deferring your RMD.

Tip by Denise Appleby