The steps to borrowing money are pretty simple. The problems set in if they are not followed exactly. The first thing the IRA owner needs to do is simply withdraw the money. They should not worry about having taxes withheld, since if done properly there will be no tax implications. The money can be used for whatever they need, and as long as the exact amount is put back in within 60 days, there will be no penalties paid. So if the money is requested on July 1st, and the check is issued July 2nd, the 60 days starts from the second. There are no grace periods, so if the 60 days lands on a weekend or holiday, it is necessary to get the money back in before the time is up. In order to prevent people from taking multiple free mini-loans the government has made a one-year rule. From the time the money is requested from the IRA, there may be no other requests within 1 year. If there are, it is counted as a distribution and the owner will owe taxes, and if they are under 59.5 years old, a 10% penalty. The one year is measured from the time the loan is taken, not the time it is repaid.
It is very important not to go one day past the 60 days. The IRS will not budge, and one day late will cause the loan to be treated as a distribution. This means federal income taxes are due, state if applicable and that nasty 10% penalty for those under 59.5 years of age. In order to make sure the sixty days is not anywhere close, many mutual fund companies will allow the investor to put the money back in, without paying new sales charges, as long as it is within 30 days.
These loans are not really free at all. The money is out of the stock market, and if the market goes up, the investor will lose out on any gains made during that time. Technically the loan is a rollover. And it will need to be declared on taxes (as a rollover, not a distribution, so therefore no taxes will be required). If it was done correctly, there will be no problems. If done incorrectly, it would have been better to get a personal loan from the bank and not pay the 10% penalty.
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