The IRS has reminded taxpayers that the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act ( P.L. 116-136) can provide favorable tax treatment for withdrawals from retirement plans and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). Under the CARES Act, individuals eligible for coronavirus-related relief may be able to withdraw up to $100,000 from IRAs or workplace retirement plans before December 31, 2020, if their plans allow. In addition to IRAs, this relief applies to 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, profit-sharing plans and others.
Also, until September 22, 2020, individuals eligible to take coronavirus-related withdrawals may be able to borrow as much as $100,000 (up from $50,000) from a workplace retirement plan, if their plan allows. Loans are not available from an IRA. For eligible individuals, plan administrators can suspend, for up to one year, plan loan repayments due on or after March 27, 2020, and before January 1, 2021. A suspended loan is subject to interest during the suspension period, and the term of the loan may be extended to account for the suspension period.
To be eligible for COVID-19 relief, coronavirus-related withdrawals or loans can only be made to an individual if:
- the individual is diagnosed with COVID-19 by a test approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (including a test authorized under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act);
- the individual’s spouse or dependent is diagnosed with COVID-19 by such a test; or
- the individual, their spouse, or a member of the individual’s household experiences adverse financial consequences from: (1) being quarantined, furloughed or laid off, having work hours reduced, being unable to work due to lack of childcare, having a reduction in pay (or self-employment income), or having a job offer rescinded or start date for a job delayed, due to COVID-19; or (2) closing or reducing hours of a business owned or operated by the individual, the individual’s spouse, or a member of the individual’s household, due to COVID-19.
Taxpayers can learn more about these provisions in IRS Notice 2020-50, I.R.B. 2020-28, 35. The IRS has also posted FAQs that provide additional information.