Medicare beneficiaries who convert to a Roth IRA should plan for an unexpected cost: higher Part B premiums. ... If the conversion pushes your taxable income above a certain threshold, you'll pay an income-adjusted surcharge on Medicare premiums for a year or two.
The year you do a Roth conversion, your taxable income will rise, which could cause a portion of your Social Security benefit to be taxed or push you into a situation where more of your benefit is taxed.
The 3.8% Medicare surtax
The amount you convert from a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA is treated as income—just like all taxable distributions from pretax qualified accounts. ... This may cause you to incur the additional Medicare surtax on your investment income.
If your income is on the threshold of qualifying for IRMAA treatment, a Roth Conversion could force you to start paying premiums as a percentage of your higher income. There is a two-year look-back that determines IRMAA. So, even if you perform a Roth Conversion in 2019, you may not see the impact until 2021.
IRA Withdrawals Could Affect Your Medicare Premiums
In addition to taxes, the RMD and other IRA withdrawals can affect Medicare payments. While the standard Part B premium for 2020 is $144.60 a month, those with higher incomes could pay significantly more.
Your MAGI is your total adjusted gross income and tax-exempt interest income. If you file your taxes as “married, filing jointly” and your MAGI is greater than $182,000, you'll pay higher premiums for your Part B and Medicare prescription drug coverage.
For example, when you apply for Medicare coverage for 2022, the IRS will provide Medicare with your income from your 2020 tax return. You may pay more depending on your income. In 2022, higher premium amounts start when individuals make more than $91,000 per year, and it goes up from there.
If you start a Roth IRA with a conversion and earn a lot of investment gains and then decide to empty the account within five years of setting up your first Roth IRA, you will not owe ordinary income taxes on the converted money because you already paid those in the conversion.
Your MAGI is your total adjusted gross income and tax-exempt interest income. If you file your taxes as “married, filing jointly” and your MAGI is greater than $170,000, you'll pay higher premiums for your Part B and Medicare prescription drug coverage.
With a Roth, withdrawals of your original contributions are never taxable income, so taking them back out doesn't affect your MAGI.
One key disadvantage: Roth IRA contributions are made with after-tax money, meaning there's no tax deduction in the year of the contribution. Another drawback is that withdrawals of account earnings must not be made before at least five years have passed since the first contribution.
The IRS requires any conversion to have occurred at least five years before you access the money. “If you have not kept assets in your Roth IRA for five or more years, you may be charged taxes and/or penalties on withdrawals,” says Keihn.
The first five-year rule states that you must wait five years after your first contribution to a Roth IRA to withdraw your earnings tax free. The five-year period starts on the first day of the tax year for which you made a contribution to any Roth IRA, not necessarily the one you're withdrawing from.
You can reduce your MAGI by earning less money, but a lot of people prefer to look for deductions instead. Consider the available deductions on your tax return that are above the line that shows your AGI (this used to be Line 37 on the regular 1040; it's now Line 11).
To request a reduction of your Medicare premium, call 800-772-1213 to schedule an appointment at your local Social Security office or fill out form SSA-44 and submit it to the office by mail or in person.
A Roth IRA conversion can be a very powerful tool for your retirement. If your taxes rise because of increases in marginal tax rates—or because you earn more, putting you in a higher tax bracket—then a Roth IRA conversion can save you considerable money in taxes over the long term.
How Much Tax Will You Owe on a Roth IRA Conversion? Say you're in the 22% tax bracket and convert $20,000. Your income for the tax year will increase by $20,000. Assuming this doesn't push you into a higher tax bracket, you'll owe $4,400 in taxes on the conversion.
Backdoor Roth IRAs are worth considering for your retirement savings, especially if you are a high income earner. A Backdoor Roth conversion can be something to consider if: You've already maxed out other retirement savings options. Are willing to leave the money in the Roth for at least five years (ideally longer!)
Medicare premiums are based on your modified adjusted gross income, or MAGI. That's your total adjusted gross income plus tax-exempt interest, as gleaned from the most recent tax data Social Security has from the IRS.
In 2022, individuals with modified adjusted gross income of $91,000 or more and married couples with MAGIs of $182,000 or more will pay additional surcharges ranging from an extra $68 per month to an extra $408.20 per month on top of the standard Part B premium.
MAGI is adjusted gross income (AGI), determined in the same way as for personal income taxes, plus three types of income that AGI omits: excluded foreign income, tax-exempt interest, and the non-taxable portion of Social Security benefits. ... (Social Security benefits don't count toward these thresholds.)
You can expect to pay more for your Medicare Part B premiums if your MAGI is over a certain amount of money. For 2021, the threshold for these income-related monthly adjustments will kick in for those individuals with a MAGI of $88,000 and for married couples filing jointly with a MAGI of $176,000.
Here is the formula: MAGI = Adjusted Gross Income (AGI line 37) + Tax-Exempt Interest income (line 8b). If the MAGI is more than $85,000 per individual or $170,000 per couple, clients will pay more for Medicare Parts B and D based on a five-tier MAGI cliff bracket hierarchy.
Since you were already collecting Social Security when you turned 65, you were automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A (which is free) and Medicare Part B (for which you pay a premium), which is why your Medicare premium increased at that time.