How do I figure out the taxable amount on two IRAs with my husband as beneficiary?

by John D. Rossi III, CPA | Apr 11, 2017
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We live in Wisconsin, and I don’t know which worksheet I am supposed to use. My husband was the beneficiary for two IRAs (no basis) his father left to him. My husband is 52, and both his mother and father have died. Both IRAs’ 1099-Rs had the “2b” box checked (“Taxable amount not determined”). One was $33,200 and the other was $16,700. Federal and state taxes were taken out of the larger one. We don’t have any IRAs to roll them into, so we just cashed them in.

Your husband can only roll over an IRA from you. For anyone else it is considered "income in respect to a beneficiary" with a basis of zero. He has two options:

  1. Take it as a lump sum.
  2. Take it as a beneficial IRA (over time).  

The taxable amount (no penalty regardless of his age) is reported on Form 1099-R.  

Check out PICPA’s Money & Life Tips, Ask a CPA, or CPA Locator for more resources.
Answered by: John D. Rossi III, CPA, is president and CEO of JR3 Virtuoso Solutions Inc. in Northampton, Pa. He is also an associate accounting professor at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pa.
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