IRA Contributions as Gifts to Minors
You can contribute funds directly to your child's or grandchild's IRA. However, it must not exceed the $6,000 ($7,000 for ages 50 and older) limit per year or the child's earned income, whichever is lower. The funds deposited in the IRA do not need to be the child's own funds.
Possible taxes are income taxes or gift taxes. You cannot transfer a Roth IRA to another person during your lifetime, so a gift to your wife is not possible. You can, however, name her as the beneficiary of the Roth IRA, and she would have free access to it once you pass away.
Parents or loved ones will often contribute on their behalf, up to the amount that the minor has earned. A spousal Roth IRA offers the opportunity for a nonworking spouse to invest in a Roth IRA using the earned income of their spouse. To qualify, they must file joint taxes.
Roth IRAs can be transferred to a new custodian tax- and penalty-free if you follow IRS rules. A direct transfer between two custodians—or financial institutions—is the safest way to move Roth IRA funds from one retirement account to another. A transfer must be deposited in the new account within 60 days.
The Roth IRA five-year rule says you cannot withdraw earnings tax-free until it's been at least five years since you first contributed to a Roth IRA account. This five-year rule applies to everyone who contributes to a Roth IRA, whether they're 59 ½ or 105 years old.
Anyone who inherits a Roth individual retirement account (Roth IRA) from a parent eventually will have to withdraw all of the money from the account. In most cases, withdrawals will be tax free.
Roth contributions are made with after-tax money, and any distributions that you take are tax free as long as you are at least 59½ years old and have had a Roth IRA account for at least five years. Your beneficiaries can continue to enjoy this tax-free status for a period of time after they inherit the account.
A Roth IRA doesn't offer an upfront tax deduction like traditional IRAs, but withdrawals from a Roth are tax-free in retirement. If you inherit a Roth IRA, it is completely tax-free if the Roth IRA was held for at least five years (starting Jan. 1 of the year in which the first Roth IRA contribution was made).
A contribution to a Roth IRA for Kids can be made if a minor has earned income during the year. Eligible income can include formal employment income or self-employment income. Activities like babysitting or mowing lawns can qualify a minor for Roth IRA contributions.
If you inherit a Roth IRA, you're free of taxes. But with a traditional IRA, any amount you withdraw is subject to ordinary income taxes. For estates subject to the estate tax, inheritors of an IRA will get an income-tax deduction for the estate taxes paid on the account.
The passage of the SECURE Act changed how the distribution time period is determined for an inherited IRA. If your loved one died in 2020 or later, then you don't have to take required minimum distributions, or RMDs, but you need to withdraw the entire amount of the IRA within 10 years.
Following the passage of the SECURE Act, the general consensus in the planning community has been that with beneficiaries subject to the so-called 10-year rule, the law requires the funds to be exhausted within 10 years of the year following the participant's death.
For 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021, the annual exclusion is $15,000. For 2022, the annual exclusion is $16,000.
In 2021, you can give up to $15,000 to someone in a year and generally not have to deal with the IRS about it. In 2022, this increases to $16,000. If you give more than $15,000 in cash or assets (for example, stocks, land, a new car) in a year to any one person, you need to file a gift tax return.
Funds withdrawn from an inherited Roth IRA are generally tax-free if they are considered qualified distributions. That means the funds have been in the account for at least five years, including the time the original owner of the account was alive.
If you've inherited a Roth IRA, you can take tax-free distributions, provided five years have passed since the original owner opened the account depending on whether you're a spousal or non-spousal beneficiary.
One key disadvantage: Roth IRA contributions are made with after-tax money, meaning that there's no tax deduction in the year of the contribution. Another drawback is that withdrawals of account earnings must not be made until at least five years have passed since the first contribution.
Since the money used to fund Roth IRAs has already been taxed, distributions from inherited Roth IRAs are tax-free. However, the beneficiary will still have to deplete the account within ten years after becoming an adult.
A backdoor Roth IRA is not an official type of individual retirement account. Instead, it is an informal name for a complicated method used by high-income taxpayers to create a permanently tax-free Roth IRA, even if their incomes exceed the limits that the tax law prescribes for regular Roth ownership.
Roth IRA owners don't need to take RMDs during their lifetimes, but beneficiaries who inherit Roth IRAs must take RMDs.
Death and the Traditional IRA
However, distributions from an inherited traditional IRA are taxable. This is referred to as “income in respect of a decedent.” That means if the owner would have paid tax, the income is taxable to the beneficiary.
One of the main advantages of assuming an IRA, as opposed to inheriting it, is that you don't have to immediately begin taking annual distributions. You will not have to take any money out of your assumed IRA until April 1 after you turn 70 1/2, per IRS regulations.
If you already have an IRA, you can roll over the inherited assets to another traditional IRA in your name or convert the assets to a Roth IRA. The simplest way to do that is through a direct, trustee-to-trustee transfer from one account to the other or between one IRA custodian and another.
Your child has to have earned income during the tax year in order to contribute to a Roth IRA. Any earned income qualifies. The income can be babysitting money, full time employment, or even being paid for chores. For this reason, your 14-year-old's babysitting money would qualify as earned income.