Asked March 16, 2019, 11:31 AM EDT

Can my RMD withdrawal be treated (tax wise), as long term capital gains since it has been in my account for decades? Treating the total amount as normal income does not seem to be fair taxation.

Oakland County Michigan

2 Responses

RMDs are usually taxed as ordinary income. This means that withdrawals will count toward your total taxable income for the year. They will be taxed at your applicable individual federal income tax rate and may also be subject to state and local taxes. See https://www.fidelity.com/viewpoints/retirement/smart-ira-withdrawal-strategies

Taxable withdrawals from your IRA account are reported on your federal income tax return as ordinary income and must be added to all of your other income from any source — wages, salaries, tips and interest income. The taxable withdrawals are taxed at your normal income tax rate, which could be as high as 37 percent, compared to the maximum long-term capital gains tax rate of 20 percent for higher-income taxpayers, with most taxpayers paying a lower capital gains rate of 15 percent. See https://finance.zacks.com/ira-withdrawal-ordinary-income-capital-gain-7292.html.

Thank you for the detailed response.

Wish I could claim RMD as a long term capital gain because the money has been in the IRA account for more than 50 years!

Thanks Again,

Gary L Clement PhD