10-Year Averaging

Today TaxMama hears from Ramesh, who has a long memory: “There used to be income averaging, that I know was discontinued. But I remember seeing something about a 10-year averaging that was grandfathered for seniors. I now qualify; but all I can find is something for farmers. Can you please find it for me?”

Dear Ramesh

Believe it or not, I do know what you’re talking about. And I understand why you would think it’s an income averaging opportunity.

Sadly, it’s not.

You’re correct about grandfathering in this provision. Well done! It applies to folks born before 1/02/1936.

It appears you got two out of three right – the 10-year income averaging and the grandfathered concept.

But you missed the third part. This relates only to one thing – lump-sum distributions from pension plans. You would use Form 4972, if this applied to you.

There’s a good explanation here, at the TaxAlmanac http://www.taxalmanac.org/index.php/Lump-Sum_Distributions

I hope that clarifies it. And I wish it really were a 10-year averaging when you finally hit a time when you’re making real money.

And remember, you can find answers to all kinds of questions about income averaging and other tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At TaxMama.com

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