Nonperiodic distributions are also known as amounts not received as an annuity. They include all payments other than periodic payments and corrective distributions.taxmap/pub17/p17-054.htm#en_us_publink100032926
Generally, if the contributions made for you during the year to certain retirement plans exceed certain limits, the excess is taxable to you. To correct an excess, your plan may distribute it to you (along with any income earned on the excess). For information on plan contribution limits and how to report corrective distributions of excess contributions, see Retirement Plan Contributions under Employee Compensation in Publication 525.taxmap/pub17/p17-054.htm#en_us_publink100032927
How you figure the taxable amount of a nonperiodic distribution depends on whether it is made before the annuity starting date or on or after the annuity starting date. If it is made before the annuity starting date, its tax treatment also depends on whether it is made under a qualified or nonqualified plan and, if it is made under a nonqualified plan, whether it fully discharges the contract, is received under certain life insurance or endowment contracts, or is allocable to an investment you made before August 14, 1982.taxmap/pub17/p17-054.htm#en_us_publink100087453
The annuity starting date is either the first day of the first period for which you receive an annuity payment under the contract or the date on which the obligation under the contract becomes fixed, whichever is later.taxmap/pub17/p17-054.htm#en_us_publink100087454
If you receive a nonperiodic payment from your annuity contract on or after the annuity starting date, you generally must include all of the payment in gross income.taxmap/pub17/p17-054.htm#en_us_publink100087455
If you receive a nonperiodic distribution before the annuity starting date from a qualified retirement plan, you generally can allocate only part of it to the cost of the contract. You exclude from your gross income the part that you allocate to the cost. You include the remainder in your gross income.
If you receive a nonperiodic distribution before the annuity starting date from a plan other than a qualified retirement plan, it is generally allocated first to earnings (the taxable part) and then to the cost of the contract (the tax-free part). This allocation rule applies, for example, to a commercial annuity contract you bought directly from the issuer.
For more information, see Figuring the Taxable Amount, under Taxation of Nonperiodic Payments, in Publication 575.taxmap/pub17/p17-054.htm#en_us_publink100032928
A lump-sum distribution is the distribution or payment in 1 tax year of a plan participant's entire balance from all of the employer's qualified plans of one kind (for example, pension, profit-sharing, or stock bonus plans). A distribution from a nonqualified plan (such as a privately purchased commercial annuity or a section 457 deferred compensation plan of a state or local government or tax-exempt organization) cannot qualify as a lump-sum distribution.
The participant's entire balance from a plan does not include certain forfeited amounts. It also does not include any deductible voluntary employee contributions allowed by the plan after 1981 and before 1987. For more information about distributions that do not qualify as lump-sum distributions, see Distributions that do not qualify under Lump-Sum Distributions in Publication 575.
If you receive a lump-sum distribution from a qualified employee plan or qualified employee annuity and the plan participant was born before January 2, 1936, you may be able to elect optional methods of figuring the tax on the distribution. The part from active participation in the plan before 1974 may qualify as capital gain subject to a 20% tax rate. The part from participation after 1973 (and any part from participation before 1974 that you do not report as capital gain) is ordinary income. You may be able to use the 10-year tax option, discussed later, to figure tax on the ordinary income part.
Use Form 4972 to figure the separate tax on a lump-sum distribution using the optional methods. The tax figured on Form 4972 is added to the regular tax figured on your other income. This may result in a smaller tax than you would pay by including the taxable amount of the distribution as ordinary income in figuring your regular tax.taxmap/pub17/p17-054.htm#en_us_publink100032929
If you receive a lump-sum distribution, you may have the following options for how you treat the taxable part.
- Report the part of the distribution from participation before 1974 as a capital gain (if you qualify) and the part from participation after 1973 as ordinary income.
- Report the part of the distribution from participation before 1974 as a capital gain (if you qualify) and use the 10-year tax option to figure the tax on the part from participation after 1973 (if you qualify).
- Use the 10-year tax option to figure the tax on the total taxable amount (if you qualify).
- Roll over all or part of the distribution. See Rollovers, later. No tax is currently due on the part rolled over. Report any part not rolled over as ordinary income.
- Report the entire taxable part of the distribution as ordinary income on your tax return.
The first three options are explained in the following discussions.taxmap/pub17/p17-054.htm#en_us_publink100032930
You can choose to use the 10-year tax option or capital gain treatment only once after 1986 for any plan participant. If you make this choice, you cannot use either of these optional treatments for any future distributions for the participant. taxmap/pub17/p17-054.htm#en_us_publink100032931
The taxable part of a lump-sum distribution is the employer's contributions and income earned on your account. You may recover your cost in the lump sum and any net unrealized appreciation (NUA) in employer securities tax free. taxmap/pub17/p17-054.htm#en_us_publink100032932
In general, your cost is the total of:
- The plan participant's nondeductible contributions to the plan,
- The plan participant's taxable costs of any life insurance contract distributed,
- Any employer contributions that were taxable to the plan participant, and
- Repayments of any loans that were taxable to the plan participant.
You must reduce this cost by amounts previously distributed tax free.
The NUA in employer securities (box 6 of Form 1099-R) received as part of a lump-sum distribution is generally tax free until you sell or exchange the securities. (For more information, see Distributions of employer securities under Taxation of Nonperiodic Payments in Publication 575.)taxmap/pub17/p17-054.htm#en_us_publink100032934
Capital gain treatment applies only to the taxable part of a lump-sum distribution resulting from participation in the plan before 1974. The amount treated as capital gain is taxed at a 20% rate. You can elect this treatment only once for any plan participant, and only if the plan participant was born before January 2, 1936.
Complete Part II of Form 4972 to choose the 20% capital gain election. For more information, see Capital Gain Treatment under Lump-Sum Distributions in Publication 575.taxmap/pub17/p17-054.htm#en_us_publink100032935
The 10-year tax option is a special formula used to figure a separate tax on the ordinary income part of a lump-sum distribution. You pay the tax only once, for the year in which you receive the distribution, not over the next 10 years. You can elect this treatment only once for any plan participant, and only if the plan participant was born before January 2, 1936.
The ordinary income part of the distribution is the amount shown in box 2a of the Form 1099-R given to you by the payer, minus the amount, if any, shown in box 3. You also can treat the capital gain part of the distribution (box 3 of Form 1099-R) as ordinary income for the 10-year tax option if you do not choose capital gain treatment for that part.
Complete Part III of Form 4972 to choose the 10-year tax option. You must use the special Tax Rate Schedule shown in the instructions for Part III to figure the tax. Publication 575 illustrates how to complete Form 4972 to figure the separate tax.