Section 2202 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), enacted on March 27, 2020, provides for special distribution options and rollover rules for retirement plans and IRAs and expands permissible loans from certain retirement plans.
Q1. What are the special rules for retirement plans and IRAs in section 2202 of the CARES Act?
A1. In general, section 2202 of the CARES Act provides for expanded distribution options and favorable tax treatment for up to $100,000 of coronavirus-related distributions from eligible retirement plans (certain employer retirement plans, such as section 401(k) and 403(b) plans, and IRAs) to qualified individuals, as well as special rollover rules with respect to such distributions. It also increases the limit on the amount a qualified individual may borrow from an eligible retirement plan (not including an IRA) and permits a plan sponsor to provide qualified individuals up to an additional year to repay their plan loans. See the FAQs below for more details.
Q2. Does the IRS intend to issue guidance on section 2202 of the CARES Act?
A2. The Treasury Department and the IRS are formulating guidance on section 2202 of the CARES Act and anticipate releasing that guidance in the near future. IRS Notice 2005-92 (PDF), issued on November 30, 2005, provided guidance on the tax-favored treatment of distributions and plan loans under sections 101 and 103 of the Katrina Emergency Tax Relief Act of 2005 (KETRA) as those provisions applied to victims of Hurricane Katrina. The Treasury Department and the IRS anticipate that the guidance on the CARES Act will apply the principles of Notice 2005-92 to the extent the provisions of section 2202 of the CARES Act are substantially similar to the provisions of KETRA that are addressed in that notice.
Q3. Am I a qualified individual for purposes of section 2202 of the CARES Act?
A3. You are a qualified individual if –
• You are diagnosed with the virus SARS-CoV-2 or with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) by a test approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;
• Your spouse or dependent is diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 or with COVID-19 by a test approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;
• You experience adverse financial consequences as a result of being quarantined, being furloughed or laid off, or having work hours reduced due to SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19;
• You experience adverse financial consequences as a result of being unable to work due to lack of child care due to SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19; or
• You experience adverse financial consequences as a result of closing or reducing hours of a business that you own or operate due to SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19.
Under section 2202 of the CARES Act, the Treasury Department and the IRS may issue guidance that expands the list of factors taken into account to determine whether an individual is a qualified individual as a result of experiencing adverse financial consequences. The Treasury Department and the IRS have received and are reviewing comments from the public requesting that the list of factors be expanded.
Q4. What is a coronavirus-related distribution?
A4. A coronavirus-related distribution is a distribution that is made from an eligible retirement plan to a qualified individual from January 1, 2020, to December 30, 2020, up to an aggregate limit of $100,000 from all plans and IRAs.
Q5. Do I have to pay the 10% additional tax on a coronavirus-related distribution from my retirement plan or IRA?
A5. No, the 10% additional tax on early distributions does not apply to any coronavirus-related distribution.
Q6. When do I have to pay taxes on coronavirus-related distributions?
A6. The distributions generally are included in income ratably over a three-year period, starting with the year in which you receive your distribution. For example, if you receive a $9,000 coronavirus-related distribution in 2020, you would report $3,000 in income on your federal income tax return for each of 2020, 2021, and 2022. However, you have the option of including the entire distribution in your income for the year of the distribution.