The Difference Between Qualified and Non-Qualified Distributions from a Roth IRA

Last Updated on 6th July 2022 by Jeffrey Camerda

Roth IRA withdrawals are very dependent on the precise moment they are made. No taxes or penalties will be owed when you withdraw your Roth IRA contributions. Roth contributions and profits may be withdrawn tax-free at the age of 59½ if the Roth account has been open for at least five years.

There are penalties, though, if you remove profits that are not eligible for distributions. All non-qualified monies withdrawn from your account will be taxed and subject to an early withdrawal penalty.


  • The contributions you make to your Roth IRA may be withdrawn at any time.
  • If you’re at least 59½ years old and the account has been open for at least five years, any gains you remove are deemed qualified distributions, which are tax- and penalty-free.
  • Taxes and penalties may be imposed on non-qualified withdrawals, as well.

Qualified Roth IRA Distributions

To avoid paying taxes and paying a 10% early withdrawal penalty, you may take a qualifying distribution from your Roth IRA. IRA profits must fulfil both of these conditions to qualify for a Roth IRA payout;

  1. In most cases, it happens at least five years after opening and funding your first Roth IRA account.
  2. One of the following scenarios applies when taking the distribution:
  • A minimum of 59½ years of age.
  • You have a disability.
  • After your death, your beneficiary or estate receives the money.
  • A first-time homebuyer’s withdrawal of up to $10,000 helps fund the purchase, construction, or reconstruction of a property.
  • Up to $5,000 may be taken out of a bank account for the birth or adoption of a new child.

Even if you’ve previously bought a house, you might still qualify as a first-time purchaser. For tax purposes, it is considered a first-time homeowner when you purchase your first property “For the two years before the date of acquisition of the house, you had no interest in owning a primary residence of your own. Your spouse must likewise fulfil this no-ownership criterion if you’re married to each other.”

If your kid, grandchild, or parent is a first-time homeowner, you may be able to utilize the funds in your Roth IRA to assist them. Under the first-time homebuyer exemption, you may take out a maximum of $10,000 in a single lifetime, regardless of who uses it.

 Non-Qualified Roth IRA Distributions

Non-qualified Roth IRA distributions are those that don’t meet the aforementioned conditions. Taxes and a 10% penalty are levied on dividends that are not tax-exempt. In certain cases, you may be exempt from paying the 10% fine because of the following:

  • The payments are part of a regular sequence of instalments that are about identical in value (SEPPS).
  • You owe more than ten per cent of your adjusted gross income on medical bills that have not been paid (AGI).
  • After quitting your employment, you have to pay medical insurance payments.
  • No more than your approved higher education expenditures may be deducted from the payout (for you or eligible family members).

The 10% penalty may be waived if the distribution is as follows:

  • In light of an IRS levy on the qualifying retirement program.
  • A reliable supply of trained reservists
  • A reputable catastrophe recovery aid distribution company is essential.

Non-qualified distributions from a Roth IRA are those that do not fulfil these requirements. All non-qualified monies withdrawn from your account will be taxed and subject to an early withdrawal penalty.

NOTE: Non-qualified distributions from your Roth IRA not only result in taxes and fees now, but they also reduce the amount of money you’ll receive in retirement if you do so. In addition, you might be squandering years of compounding.

Ordering Rules For  Roth IRA Withdrawals 

A Roth IRA’s withdrawals are handled in a certain way by the IRS. If you have more than one Roth IRA, you must take distributions in the following order:

  • Contributions are made regularly.
  • First-in, first-out (FIFO) conversions and rollover contributions
  • Earnings for making a donation

The fact that you may withdraw your contributions at any moment, without incurring taxes or a penalty, is a reminder to keep in mind. Your future withdrawals will come from your conversions and rollovers, as well as any profits you’ve accrued as a result. Taxes and penalties may apply if you don’t qualify for these withdrawals.

What Happens If I Take A Non-Qualified Roth IRA Distribution?

Distributions from an unqualified Roth IRA are subject to regular income tax. If you are under the age of 59½, you will also be subject to a 10% early withdrawal penalty.

What Is a Roth IRA?

It is possible to convert a traditional IRA or employer-sponsored retirement plan, such as a 401(k), into a Roth IRA. There will be a tax due on the money you convert, but you may take tax-free withdrawals from your Roth IRA after you reach the age of 59½.

Do Roth IRA conversions have their own set of rules?

There are stricter regulations for Roth IRA conversions even though contributions may be withdrawn tax and penalty-free at any time. Whenever you transfer money from one retirement account to the other, you’ll have to pay taxes on the difference.

A 10% early withdrawal penalty will be applied if you remove any of your converted money within five years of the conversion. A new five-year term starts at the time of each conversion, even if you are past the age of 59½.

Jeffrey Camerda

Dr. Jeffery Camerda, PhD, is a financial planner who specializes in wealth management and retirement planning. With a PhD in Economics and Financial Planning, Jeffery represents the highest level of financial planning expertise and achievement in the USA In addition to preparing you for a career in financial planning, a PhD in economics and finance also prepares you for academic pursuits, such as becoming a university professor in teaching or doing research. Here at the Wealth Builder, our financial advisory company was founded in 2007 and services all across the USA with over 16 years of expertise. In order to provide the finest advice and services, we pay close attention to the specific financial circumstances and requirements of each client. In order to guarantee that our clients don't get a sales pitch for insurance or investments, as well as a lack of conflict of interest from a prospective commission-bearing corporations, Jeffery focuses on fee-based services. Financial planning for wealth managers, financial well-being workshops, and personal financial planning packages are all part of the company's offering. Jeffrey Camarda, PhD, CFA, EA is also the founder of the Family Wealth Education Institute, is a member of the Financial Planning Association and serves as the Chairman of Camarda Wealth Advisory Group

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