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josephcardon
New Member

My spouse took a distribution from an IRA inherited in December 2017. Is it possible to transfer it back to a beneficiary IRA to avoid tax consequences now?

My wife’s mother died in Jan. 2017 and an inherited IRA distribution was taken in Dec. 2017. I would have preferred to have the funds go into a beneficiary IRA and been withdrawn over 5 years.

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dmertz
Level 15

My spouse took a distribution from an IRA inherited in December 2017. Is it possible to transfer it back to a beneficiary IRA to avoid tax consequences now?

No, the law does not allow it to be put back into a beneficiary IRA.  Once a non-spouse beneficiary receives a distribution from an inherited IRA, it is forever distributed.  This distribution received in 2017 is taxable on your 2017 tax return.

If you or your wife is eligible to make a deductible traditional IRA contribution, a new regular traditional IRA contribution could be made to reduce your taxable income, but this would have nothing to do with the distribution from the inherited IRA (other than subsidizing your new IRA contributions).  It would not be a rollover.

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2 Replies
dmertz
Level 15

My spouse took a distribution from an IRA inherited in December 2017. Is it possible to transfer it back to a beneficiary IRA to avoid tax consequences now?

No, the law does not allow it to be put back into a beneficiary IRA.  Once a non-spouse beneficiary receives a distribution from an inherited IRA, it is forever distributed.  This distribution received in 2017 is taxable on your 2017 tax return.

If you or your wife is eligible to make a deductible traditional IRA contribution, a new regular traditional IRA contribution could be made to reduce your taxable income, but this would have nothing to do with the distribution from the inherited IRA (other than subsidizing your new IRA contributions).  It would not be a rollover.

dmertz
Level 15

My spouse took a distribution from an IRA inherited in December 2017. Is it possible to transfer it back to a beneficiary IRA to avoid tax consequences now?

This is such a common mistake for non-spouse beneficiaries to make that there has been talk in Congress about changing the law to allow a non-spouse beneficiary to do a 60-day rollovers to a beneficiary IRA.  (Even if this had been the law in 2017, it would still be too late because it has been more than 60-days since the distribution.)
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