What Happens If You Miss Your RMD Deadline
If the RMD amount is not distributed by the deadline, then the IRS assesses a 50% excise tax on the amount not withdrawn. This is referred to as an excess-accumulation penalty. If you withdraw only a portion of the RMD amount, the penalty is assessed on the balance. For example, say your calculated RMD amount for 2004 is $10,000 and you withdrew $5,000. You will be assessed a 50% excise tax on $5,000.
All Is Not Lost… Maybe
Should you find yourself in the unfortunate predicament of having to pay this excise tax due to an error, you may request a waiver from the IRS. Generally, to consider the waiver, the IRS requires that you have taken or are taking steps, such as taking the RMD amount as soon as possible, to correct the error. You must pay the excise tax and then submit a letter of explanation asking for a waiver with your income tax return. The excise tax is reported on IRS Form 5329, which may be obtained at www.irs.gov. If your request is approved, the IRS will return the excise tax amount to you.