IRA Rollovers and the One-Per-Year Rule
September 16, 2015 – Under federal law, you can only conduct one IRA-to-IRA rollover per year. If you try to exceed this limit, it is considered a distribution, which is subject to significant taxes and penalties. In the past, this has meant that taxpayers cannot roll over the same IRA within a year, but the IRS allows a 60-day rollover once a year from separate IRAs. Essentially, if someone has four different IRAs, that person could initiate four rollovers in the same year.
However, the U.S. Tax Court recently ruled that this is wrong, and that the one-year-period rule applies to a person’s aggregate IRAs. The IRS said it would begin enforcing this interpretation of the rule January of this year, and only for roll-overs made in 2015 and thereafter.
The one year period is not a calendar year it is once every 365 days. If you took money from another IRA this year and paid it back within 60 days you cannot do another 60-day rollover until 12 months have passed since the distribution.
One way to circumvent this issue is to move funds with a direct trustee-to-trustee transfer. As long as funds are moved directly to a second institution rather than paid to the consumer first, the disbursement is not considered a rollover.
Nicholson, Holly. “Money matters: Understanding changes to the 60-day rollover rule for IRAs.” The News & Observer. NewsObserver.com, 22 August 2015. Web. 11 September 2015.