Hardship Withdrawal From IRAPosted on December 16th, 2010 William No comments
With a 401(k), you are limited in when you can withdraw money, but there are exceptions that allow withdrawals due to hardship. With an IRA, there are generally no limits on when you can take a distribution, so there is no provision for an IRA hardship withdrawal.
However, there are certain expenses that allow you to take early distributions without paying any extra taxes; specifically, you do not have to pay the early distribution tax if you withdraw money from an IRA to fund higher education or to finance the purchase of your first home (up to $10,000). (Sections 72(t)(2)(E),(F)) of the tax code). You can also make a withdrawal without penalty if you will use the money to pay for unreimbursed medical expenses (but only if they exceed 7.5% of your adjust gross income), to pay the premiums on your medical insurance if you have received unemployment benefits for more than 12 weeks, or to pay back taxes after the IRA places a levy against the IRA.
Remember that with a Roth IRA, you are free to withdraw your money at any time and for any reason, with no justification required; while this is generally a bad idea (as you likely won't be able to replace the money, and may owe a penalty if you touch the earnings or any deductible contributions), it does mean that the money is available in an emergency.