Get Ready to Resume RMDs From Inherited IRAs in 2023

Book with Required Minimum Distributions written on it

What You Need to Know

The IRS is expect to publish final regulations in 2023 on how beneficiaries must draw down inherited IRAs.
Most (but not all) beneficiaries will have a 10-year window for making such withdrawals.
Income experts say advisors and their clients should gather necessary information and prepare for the final regulations.

After a regulatory reprieve in 2021 and 2022, the odds are that required minimum distributions from inherited individual retirement accounts will be required this year, according to two EquiTrust experts.

Speaking on a webinar held earlier this week, Heather Kane, EquiTrust vice president of sales and marketing, and Jeff Barnes, regional vice president of sales, said they expect the Internal Revenue Service to soon publish final regulations regarding the distribution requirements applying to inherited IRAs. As such, they urged financial planning professionals to study up on the substantial new restrictions placed on the use of “stretch IRAs.”

According to the duo, while the use of stretch IRAs has indeed been substantially limited thanks to the passage in late 2019 of the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (Secure) Act, there are still key opportunities to use the strategy on behalf of certain beneficiaries. And for those who aren’t eligible to stretch their inherited IRAs, there are other planning opportunities to consider.

The Regulatory Situation

In October, the Internal Revenue Service published Notice 2022-53, in which the agency clarified that it soon intends to publish a final regulation on the distribution of tax-sheltered assets held in inherited IRA.

The notice informed financial planners and their clients that they did not need to take distributions from such inherited accounts for 2021 or 2022, regardless of whether or not the original owner had started RMDs. This essentially gave planning professionals and their clients a free pass for skipping RMDs while awaiting the final regulations .

Notice 2022-53 says the as-yet forthcoming final regulations will apply “no earlier than the 2023 distribution calendar year.”

As Kane and Barnes reminded listeners, before the Secure Act, any heirs who inherited traditional IRAs could “stretch” the account’s tax-deferring power by basing the calculation of their RMD amounts on their own life expectancy. They could thus enjoy decades of tax-free asset appreciation that often would see the inherited account’s value grow substantially rather than shrink, thanks to the modest RMD payments.

Under proposed IRS regulations issued earlier in 2022, most inherited IRA beneficiaries must instead fully draw down the account’s value over a 10-year period, and they must take required minimum distributions in years one through nine if the account owner died after their own required beginning date.