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What are the exceptions to the penalty for an early withdrawal from my 401(k)?

If you took a distribution from your 401(k) or another qualified retirement plan (excluding IRAs) before you turned 59 1/2, you'll pay a 10% early withdrawal penalty, with a few exceptions:

  • Death, or total and permanent disability
  • Qualified Domestic Relations Order
  • Series of substantially equal periodic payments based on life expectancy
  • Dividend pass through from an ESOP
  • IRS levy
  • Unreimbursed medical expenses that are more a certain amount of your adjusted gross income
  • Certain distributions to qualified military reservists called to active duty
  • Separation from Service if age requirement is met

Once you enter the distribution information from your 1099-R form, we'll help you check for any exceptions that could reduce the tax.

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