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IRS.gov Website
Publication 575
taxmap/pubs/p575-004.htm#en_us_publink1000226891

Rollovers(p27)

rule
If you withdraw cash or other assets from a qualified retirement plan in an eligible rollover distribution, you can generally defer tax on the distribution by rolling it over to another qualified retirement plan or a traditional IRA. You do not include the amount rolled over in your income until you receive it in a distribution from the recipient plan or IRA without rolling over that distribution. (For information about rollovers from traditional IRAs, see chapter 1 of Publication 590.)
If you roll over the distribution to a traditional IRA, you cannot deduct the amount rolled over as an IRA contribution. When you later withdraw it from the IRA, you cannot use the optional methods discussed earlier under Lump-Sum Distributions to figure the tax.
Self-employed individuals are generally treated as employees for the rules on the tax treatment of distributions, including the rules for rollovers.
See Designated Roth accounts, later, for information on rollovers (including in-plan Roth rollovers) related to those accounts. Also, see Rollovers to Roth IRAs, later, for information on rollovers from a qualified retirement plan to a Roth IRA.
taxmap/pubs/p575-004.htm#en_us_publink1000226895

Qualified retirement plan.(p27)

rule
For this purpose, the following plans are qualified retirement plans.
taxmap/pubs/p575-004.htm#en_us_publink1000226896

Eligible rollover distribution.(p27)

rule
An eligible rollover distribution is any distribution of all or any part of the balance to your credit in a qualified retirement plan except:
  1. Any of a series of substantially equal distributions paid at least once a year over:
    1. Your lifetime or life expectancy,
    2. The joint lives or life expectancies of you and your beneficiary, or
    3. A period of 10 years or more,
  2. A required minimum distribution (discussed later under Tax on Excess Accumulation),
  3. Hardship distributions,
  4. Corrective distributions of excess contributions or excess deferrals, and any income allocable to these distributions, or of excess annual additions and any allocable gains (see Corrective distributions of excess plan contributions, at the beginning of Taxation of Nonperiodic Payments, earlier),
  5. A loan treated as a distribution because it does not satisfy certain requirements either when made or later (such as upon default), unless the participant's accrued benefits are reduced (offset) to repay the loan (see Loans Treated as Distributions, earlier),
  6. Dividends paid on employer securities, and
  7. The cost of life insurance coverage.
In addition, a distribution to the plan participant's beneficiary generally is not treated as an eligible rollover distribution. However, see Qualified domestic relations order (QDRO), Rollover by surviving spouse, and Rollovers by nonspouse beneficiary, later.
taxmap/pubs/p575-004.htm#en_us_publink1000226904

Rollover of nontaxable amounts.(p27)

rule
You may be able to roll over the nontaxable part of a distribution (such as your after-tax contributions) made to another qualified retirement plan that is a qualified employee plan or a 403(b) plan, or to a traditional or Roth IRA. The transfer must be made either through a direct rollover to a qualified plan or 403(b) plan that separately accounts for the taxable and nontaxable parts of the rollover or through a rollover to a traditional or Roth IRA.
If you roll over only part of a distribution that includes both taxable and nontaxable amounts, the amount you roll over is treated as coming first from the taxable part of the distribution.
Any after-tax contributions that you roll over into your traditional IRA become part of your basis (cost) in your IRAs. To recover your basis when you take distributions from your IRA, you must complete Form 8606, Nondeductible IRAs, for the year of the distribution. For more information, see the Form 8606 instructions.
taxmap/pubs/p575-004.htm#en_us_publink1000226905

Withholding requirements.(p27)

rule
If an eligible rollover distribution is paid to you, the payer must withhold 20% of it. This applies even if you plan to roll over the distribution to another qualified retirement plan or to an IRA. However, you can avoid withholding by choosing the direct rollover option, discussed later. Also, see Choosing the right option at the end of this discussion.
taxmap/pubs/p575-004.htm#en_us_publink1000226908
Exceptions.(p27)
An eligible rollover distribution is not subject to withholding to the extent it consists of net unrealized appreciation from employer securities that can be excluded from your gross income. (For a discussion of the tax treatment of a distribution of employer securities, see Figuring the Taxable Amount under Taxation of Nonperiodic Payments, earlier.)
In addition, withholding from an eligible rollover distribution paid to you is not required if:
taxmap/pubs/p575-004.htm#en_us_publink1000226910

Direct rollover option.(p27)

rule
You can choose to have any part or all of an eligible rollover distribution paid directly to another qualified retirement plan that accepts rollover distributions or to a traditional or Roth IRA.
There is an automatic rollover requirement for mandatory distributions. A mandatory distribution is a distribution made without your consent and before you reach age 62 or normal retirement age, whichever is later. The automatic rollover requirement applies if the distribution is more than $1,000 and is an eligible rollover distribution. You can choose to have the distribution paid directly to you or rolled over directly to your traditional or Roth IRA or another qualified retirement plan. If you do not make this choice, the plan administrator will automatically roll over the distribution into an IRA of a designated trustee or issuer.
taxmap/pubs/p575-004.htm#en_us_publink1000226911
No tax withheld.(p28)
If you choose the direct rollover option, or have an automatic rollover, no tax will be withheld from any part of the distribution that is directly paid to the trustee of the other plan. If any part of the eligible rollover distribution is paid to you, the payer must generally withhold 20% of it for income tax.
taxmap/pubs/p575-004.htm#en_us_publink1000226912

Payment to you option.(p28)

rule
If an eligible rollover distribution is paid to you, 20% generally will be withheld for income tax. However, the full amount is treated as distributed to you even though you actually receive only 80%. You generally must include in income any part (including the part withheld) that you do not roll over within 60 days to another qualified retirement plan or to a traditional or Roth IRA.
If you are under age 591/2 when a distribution is paid to you, you may have to pay a 10% tax (in addition to the regular income tax) on the taxable part (including any tax withheld) that you do not roll over. See Tax on Early Distributions, later.
taxmap/pubs/p575-004.htm#en_us_publink1000226914
Partial rollovers.(p28)
If you receive a lump-sum distribution, it may qualify for special tax treatment. See Lump-Sum Distributions, earlier. However, if you roll over any part of the distribution, the part you keep does not qualify for special tax treatment.
EIC
Rolling over more than amount received. If you decide to roll over an amount equal to the distribution before withholding, your contribution to the new plan or IRA must include other money (for example, from savings or amounts borrowed) to replace the amount withheld.
taxmap/pubs/p575-004.htm#en_us_publink1000226917

Example.(p28)

You receive an eligible rollover distribution of $10,000 from your employer's qualified employee plan. The payer withholds $2,000, so you actually receive $8,000. If you want to roll over the entire $10,000 to postpone including that amount in your income, you will have to get $2,000 from some other source to add to the $8,000 you actually received.
If you roll over only $8,000, you must include the $2,000 not rolled over in your income for the distribution year. Also, you may be subject to the 10% additional tax on the $2,000 if it was distributed to you before you reached age 591/2.
taxmap/pubs/p575-004.htm#en_us_publink1000226918

Time for making rollover.(p28)

rule
You generally must complete the rollover of an eligible rollover distribution paid to you by the 60th day following the day on which you receive the distribution from your employer's plan.
The IRS may waive the 60-day requirement where the failure to do so would be against equity or good conscience, such as in the event of a casualty, disaster, or other event beyond your reasonable control.
taxmap/pubs/p575-004.htm#en_us_publink1000226919

Example.(p28)

In the previous example, you received the distribution on June 30. To postpone including it in your income, you must complete the rollover by August 29, the 60th day following June 30.
taxmap/pubs/p575-004.htm#en_us_publink1000226920
Frozen deposits.(p28)
If an amount distributed to you becomes a frozen deposit in a financial institution during the 60-day period after you receive it, the rollover period is extended. An amount is a frozen deposit if you cannot withdraw it because of either:
The 60-day rollover period is extended by the period for which the amount is a frozen deposit and does not end earlier than 10 days after the amount is no longer a frozen deposit.
taxmap/pubs/p575-004.htm#en_us_publink1000226921

Retirement bonds.(p28)

rule
If you redeem retirement bonds purchased under a qualified bond purchase plan, you can roll over the proceeds that exceed your basis tax free into an IRA or qualified employer plan. Subsequent distributions of those proceeds, however, do not qualify for the 10-year tax option or capital gain treatment.
taxmap/pubs/p575-004.htm#en_us_publink1000226922

Annuity contracts.(p28)

rule
If an annuity contract was distributed to you by a qualified retirement plan, you can roll over an amount paid under the contract that is otherwise an eligible rollover distribution. For example, you can roll over a single sum payment you receive upon surrender of the contract to the extent it is taxable and is not a required minimum distribution.
taxmap/pubs/p575-004.htm#en_us_publink1000226923

Rollovers of property.(p28)

rule
To roll over an eligible rollover distribution of property, you must either roll over the actual property distributed or sell it and roll over the proceeds. You cannot keep the distributed property and roll over cash or other property.
If you sell the distributed property and roll over all the proceeds, no gain or loss is recognized on the sale. The sale proceeds (including any portion representing an increase in value) are treated as part of the distribution and are not included in your gross income.
If you roll over only part of the proceeds, you are taxed on the part you keep. You must allocate the proceeds you keep between the part representing ordinary income from the distribution (its value upon distribution) and the part representing gain or loss from the sale (its change in value from its distribution to its sale).
taxmap/pubs/p575-004.htm#en_us_publink1000226924

Example 1.(p29)

On September 4, 2013, Paul received an eligible rollover distribution from his employer's noncontributory qualified employee plan of $50,000 in nonemployer stock. On September 24, 2013, he sold the stock for $60,000. On October 3, 2013, he contributed $60,000 cash to a traditional IRA. Paul does not include either the $50,000 eligible rollover distribution or the $10,000 gain from the sale of the stock in his income. The entire $60,000 rolled over will be ordinary income when he withdraws it from his IRA.
taxmap/pubs/p575-004.htm#en_us_publink1000226925

Example 2.(p29)

The facts are the same as in Example 1, except that Paul sold the stock for $40,000 and contributed $40,000 to the IRA. Paul does not include the $50,000 eligible rollover distribution in his income and does not deduct the $10,000 loss from the sale of the stock. The $40,000 rolled over will be ordinary income when he withdraws it from his IRA.
taxmap/pubs/p575-004.htm#en_us_publink1000226926

Example 3.(p29)

The facts are the same as in Example 1, except that Paul rolled over only $45,000 of the $60,000 proceeds from the sale of the stock. The $15,000 proceeds he did not roll over includes part of the gain from the stock sale. Paul reports $2,500 ($10,000 ÷ $60,000 × $15,000) as capital gain and $12,500 ($50,000 ÷ $60,000 × $15,000) as ordinary income.
taxmap/pubs/p575-004.htm#en_us_publink1000226927

Example 4.(p29)

The facts are the same as in Example 2, except that Paul rolled over only $25,000 of the $40,000 proceeds from the sale of the stock. The $15,000 proceeds he did not roll over includes part of the loss from the stock sale. Paul reports $3,750 ($10,000 ÷ $40,000 × $15,000) capital loss and $18,750 ($50,000 ÷ $40,000 × $15,000) ordinary income.
taxmap/pubs/p575-004.htm#en_us_publink1000226928

Property and cash distributed.(p29)

rule
If both cash and property were distributed and you did not roll over the entire distribution, you may designate what part of the rollover is allocable to the cash distribution and what part is allocable to the proceeds from the sale of the distributed property. If the distribution included an amount that is not taxable (other than the net unrealized appreciation in employer securities) as well as an eligible rollover distribution, you may also designate what part of the nontaxable amount is allocable to the cash distribution and what part is allocable to the property. Your designation must be made by the due date for filing your tax return, including extensions. You cannot change your designation after that date. If you do not make a designation on time, the rollover amount or the nontaxable amount must be allocated on a ratable basis.
taxmap/pubs/p575-004.htm#en_us_publink1000226929

Qualified domestic relations order (QDRO).(p29)

rule
You may be able to roll over tax free all or part of a distribution from a qualified retirement plan that you receive under a QDRO. (See Qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) under General Information, earlier.) If you receive the distribution as an employee's spouse or former spouse (not as a nonspousal beneficiary), the rollover rules apply to you as if you were the employee.
taxmap/pubs/p575-004.htm#en_us_publink1000226931

Rollover by surviving spouse.(p29)

rule
You may be able to roll over tax free all or part of a distribution from a qualified retirement plan you receive as the surviving spouse of a deceased employee. The rollover rules apply to you as if you were the employee. You can roll over the distribution into a qualified retirement plan or a traditional or Roth IRA. For a rollover to a Roth IRA, see Rollovers to Roth IRAs, later.
A distribution paid to a beneficiary other than the employee's surviving spouse is generally not an eligible rollover distribution. However, see Rollovers by nonspouse beneficiary next.
taxmap/pubs/p575-004.htm#en_us_publink1000226933

Rollovers by nonspouse beneficiary.(p29)

rule
If you are a designated beneficiary (other than a surviving spouse) of a deceased employee, you may be able to roll over tax free all or a portion of a distribution you receive from an eligible retirement plan of the employee. The distribution must be a direct trustee-to-trustee transfer to your traditional or Roth IRA that was set up to receive the distribution. The transfer will be treated as an eligible rollover distribution and the receiving plan will be treated as an inherited IRA. For information on inherited IRAs, see What if You Inherit an IRA? in chapter 1 of Publication 590.
taxmap/pubs/p575-004.htm#en_us_publink1000226934

How to report.(p29)

rule
Enter the total distribution (before income tax or other deductions were withheld) on Form 1040, line 16a; Form 1040A, line 12a; or Form 1040NR, line 17a. This amount should be shown in box 1 of Form 1099-R. From this amount, subtract any contributions (usually shown in box 5 of Form 1099-R) that were taxable to you when made. From that result, subtract the amount that was rolled over either directly or within 60 days of receiving the distribution. Enter the remaining amount, even if zero, on Form 1040, line 16b; Form 1040A, line 12b; or Form 1040NR, line 17b. Also, write "Rollover" next to the line.
taxmap/pubs/p575-004.htm#en_us_publink1000226936

Written explanation to recipients.(p29)

rule
The administrator of a qualified retirement plan must, within a reasonable period of time before making an eligible rollover distribution, provide you with a written explanation. It must tell you about all of the following.
taxmap/pubs/p575-004.htm#en_us_publink1000226937
Reasonable period of time.(p29)
The plan administrator must provide you with a written explanation no earlier than 90 days and no later than 30 days before the distribution is made. However, you can choose to have a distribution made less than 30 days after the explanation is provided as long as the following two requirements are met. Contact the plan administrator if you have any questions regarding this information.
taxmap/pubs/p575-004.htm#en_us_publink1000226938

Designated Roth accounts.(p30)

rule
You can roll over an eligible rollover distribution from a designated Roth account into another designated Roth account or a Roth IRA. If you want to roll over the part of the distribution that is not included in income, you must make a direct rollover of the entire distribution (see Direct rollover option, earlier) or you can roll over the entire amount (or any portion) to a Roth IRA. Also, if you are a plan participant in a 401(k), 403(b), or 457(b) plan, your plan may permit you to roll over amounts in those plans to a designated Roth account within the same plan (in-plan Roth rollover). The rollover of any untaxed amounts are included in income. See In-plan Roth rollovers below.
A qualified distribution from a designated Roth account is not includible in income. (A qualified distribution is defined earlier in the discussion of designated Roth accounts under Taxation of Periodic Payments). Generally, you cannot have a qualified distribution within the 5-tax-year period beginning with the first tax year for which the participant made a designated Roth contribution to the plan. If a direct rollover is made from a designated Roth account under another plan or an in-plan Roth rollover is made, the 5-tax-year period of participation begins on the first day of your tax year for which you first had designated Roth contributions made to the account either making the distribution or receiving the distribution, whichever was earlier.
If you roll over only part of an eligible rollover distribution that is not a qualified distribution and not paid as a direct rollover contribution, the part rolled over is considered to be first from the income portion of the distribution.
taxmap/pubs/p575-004.htm#en_us_publink1000226941

Example.(p30)

You receive an eligible rollover distribution that is not a qualified distribution from your designated Roth account. The distribution consists of $11,000 (investment) and $3,000 (income earned). Within 60 days of receipt, you roll over $7,000 into a Roth IRA. The $7,000 consists of $3,000 of income and $4,000 of investment. Since you rolled over the part of the distribution that could be included in gross income (income earned), none of the distribution is included in gross income.
taxmap/pubs/p575-004.htm#en_us_publink1000254011

In-plan Roth rollovers.(p30)

rule
If you are a participant in a 401(k), 403(b), or 457(b) plan, your plan may permit you to roll over any vested amounts from those plans to a designated Roth account within the same plan. The in-plan Roth rollover must be an eligible rollover distribution (defined earlier under Eligible rollover distribution). Any untaxed amounts included in the in-plan Roth rollover must be included in income in the year you receive the distribution.
You can make the in-plan Roth rollover by direct transfer of the amount from the non-Roth account to your designated Roth account within the same plan. The 20% mandatory withholding does not apply to in-plan Roth rollovers made by direct rollover. You can also effect the in-plan Roth rollover by receiving an eligible rollover distribution from your 401(k), 403(b), or 457(b) plan and within 60 days deposit it into a designated Roth account in the same plan.
Your plan must provide a written explanation of the consequences of making an in-plan Roth rollover. In-plan Roth rollovers cannot be undone. Unlike rollovers to Roth IRAs, you cannot later recharacterize an in-plan Roth rollover.
Tax Tip
If you received employer securities as a part of your in-plan Roth rollover distribution the rollover is treated as a distribution for the purpose of net unrealized appreciation (NUA). See Distributions of employer securities, earlier.
taxmap/pubs/p575-004.htm#en_us_publink10004434
20% Mandatory withholding.(p30)
A payor must normally withhold 20% when a rollover distribution is paid to you. However, some part of your distribution may not be subject to the mandatory 20% withholding. Otherwise nondistributable amounts are not subject to the mandatory 20% withholding. An example of otherwise nondistributable amounts are employer matching contributions in a 401(k) plan. See Payment to you option, earlier.
EIC
You cannot roll over amounts from your Traditional TSP to your Roth TSP. See Publication 721 for more details.
taxmap/pubs/p575-004.htm#en_us_publink1000265454
How to report.(p30)
Enter the total amount of the distribution before income tax or deductions were withheld on Form 1040, line 16a; Form 1040A, line 12a; or Form 1040NR, line 17a. This amount should be shown in box 1 of Form 1099-R. From this amount, subtract any contributions (usually shown in box 5 of Form 1099-R) that were taxable to you when made. Enter the remaining amount, even if zero, on Form 1040, line 16b; Form 1040A, line 12b; or Form 1040NR, line 17b.
EIC
If you must include any amount in your gross income, you may have to increase your withholding or make estimated tax payments. See Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax.
taxmap/pubs/p575-004.htm#en_us_publink1000226942

Rollovers to Roth IRAs.(p30)

rule
You can roll over distributions directly from a qualified retirement plan (other than a designated Roth account) to a Roth IRA. You must include in your gross income distributions from a qualified retirement plan (other than a designated Roth account) that you would have had to include in income if you had not rolled them over into a Roth IRA. You do not include in gross income any part of a distribution from a qualified retirement plan that is a return of contributions to the plan that were taxable to you when paid. In addition, the 10% tax on early distributions does not apply.
Any amount rolled over into a Roth IRA is subject to the same rules for converting a traditional IRA into a Roth IRA. For more information, see Converting From Any Traditional IRA Into a Roth IRA in chapter 1 of Publication 590.
taxmap/pubs/p575-004.htm#en_us_publink1000265461
How to report.(p31)
Enter the total amount of the distribution before income tax or deductions were withheld on Form 1040, line 16a; Form 1040A, line 12a; or Form 1040NR, line 17a. This amount should be shown in box 1 of Form 1099-R. From this amount, subtract any contributions (usually shown in box 5 of Form 1099-R) that were taxable to you when made. Enter the remaining amount, even if zero, on Form 1040, line 16b; Form 1040A, line 12b; or Form 1040NR, line 17b.
EIC
If you must include any amount in your gross income, you may have to increase your withholding or make estimated tax payments. See Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax.
taxmap/pubs/p575-004.htm#en_us_publink1000226945

Choosing the right option.(p31)

rule
Table 1 may help you decide which distribution option to choose. Carefully compare the effects of each option.

Table 1. Comparison of Payment to You
Versus Direct Rollover

Affected itemResult of a payment to youResult of a direct rollover
WithholdingThe payer must withhold 20% of the taxable part.There is no withholding.
Additional taxIf you are under age 591/2, a 10% additional tax may apply to the taxable part (including an amount equal to the tax withheld) that is not rolled over. There is no 10% additional tax. See Tax on Early Distributions, later.
When to report
as income
Any taxable part (including the taxable part of any amount withheld) not rolled over is income to you in the year paid.Any taxable part is not income to you until later distributed to you from the new plan or IRA. However, see Rollovers to Roth IRAs, earlier, for an exception.
taxmap/pubs/p575-004.htm#en_us_publink1000226949

Qualified settlement income.(p31)

rule
If you are a qualified taxpayer and you received qualified settlement income in connection with the Exxon Valdez litigation, you can contribute all or part of it to an eligible retirement plan. This includes a qualified retirement plan. The amount contributed cannot exceed $100,000 (reduced by the amount of qualified settlement income contributed to an eligible retirement plan in prior tax years) or the amount of qualified settlement income received during the tax year. Contributions for the year can be made until the due date for filing your tax return, not including extensions.
Qualified settlement income that you contribute to a qualified retirement plan will be treated as having been rolled over in a direct trustee-to-trustee transfer within 60 days of the distribution. The amount contributed is not included in your taxable income and it is not considered to be investment in the contract.
You are a qualified taxpayer if you are:
Qualified settlement income is any interest or punitive damage awards which are: Qualified settlement income can be received as periodic payments or as a lump-sum. See Publication 525, Taxable and Nontaxable Income, for information on how to report Exxon Valdez settlement income.
taxmap/pubs/p575-004.htm#en_us_publink1000226950
Special rule for Roth IRAs and designated Roth accounts.(p31)
Qualified settlement income that is contributed to a Roth IRA or a designated Roth account will be: