To relieve some tax burden in light of the COVID-19 crisis, IRS has waived the obligation for people over the age of 72 to take a 2020 required minimum distribution (RMD) from any retirement accounts, and pay the associated taxes. To make it fair to those who had already taken their RMD when this announcement was made, IRS is allowing taxpayers to return the RMD to their retirement account(s), tax-free, at any time before August 31, 2020.

If you took an RMD at any time after January 1, 2020, and have decided that you would rather put the money back into the account and let it grow rather than keep it and pay taxes on it, you have until the end of the month to do so. You can return distributions for multiple RMDs, RMDs for inherited accounts (make sure it goes back to the same account!), and 2019 RMDs that were deferred for a valid reason to 2020. Returning the RMD will not prevent taxation if you took out money before age 72, or in excess of the required amount.

At this point, it seems that minimum distributions will be required as usual for 2021, though like all IRS deadlines at this point, that could change. On a side note, remember that you always can take out and return money from retirement accounts without being taxed--provided you return the money to the same or another retirement account within 60 days (this is considered an indirect rollover). Contact me if you have any questions.