What are the Tax Implications?

If you receive retirement funds pursuant to your divorce from your ex spouse, there should be no taxes on the transfer if you transfer the funds to an IRA or other qualified retirement plan.1040

If you are to receive a part of a defined contribution plan (eg 401(k)), once the Plan receives the Court approved QDRO, the Plan will set up an account for you and transfer your portion of the funds into your account.  If you leave it there, or transfer it to an IRA or another similar retirement plan, then you will not pay any tax.

If you receive a check (and do not deposit it into a qualified retirement plan within 60 days), then you will be liable for income tax on the amount that you took out.  Normally the Plan will withhold 20% of what you request in cash for taxes, so if your intent is to roll over the entire amount, you will need to find the 20% to deposit into your new plan because the Plan will have transferred the funds to the IRS for your potential tax liability.

If you are under 59 1/2 and you take the cash and do not move it to a retirement fund, then you will be taxed income tax rates and will also be charged a 10% tax penalty. If you are over 59 1/2 or meet other special circumstances, you will not be charged the 10% penalty, but will have to pay tax on withdrawals.


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