MLR

Lack of rollover documentation costs Lockheed Martin employee

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A Lockheed Martin employee who participated in the company’s retirement plan was ordered to pay tax on distributions because he couldn’t provide documentation that he had rolled over the account in time.

Balvin A. McKnight was required to include in income two early distributions from his qualified retirement plan because he could not prove to the Tax Court that he had actually rolled that money over into another account within 60 days of the distributions.

McKnight was a participant in the Lockheed Martin Salaried Savings Plan, a qualified retirement plan. State Street Retiree Services was the custodian of McKnight’s account.

During 2011, State Street Retiree Services issued to McKnight two Forms 1099-R, Distributions from Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit-Sharing Plans, IRAs, Insurance Contracts, etc.

The first Form 1099-R reported a gross distribution of $4,984, which was also the taxable amount. There was no federal withholding on this amount. The distribution was classified as an early distribution, with no known exception.

The second Form 1099-R reported a gross distribution of $206,515, which was also the taxable amount. Federal income tax of $48,303 was withheld. The distribution was classified as an early distribution, with no known exception.

When McKnight filed his 2011 Form 1040 return, he listed retirement distributions of $206,516 and $48,304 as the taxable amounts.

The IRS examined his return and determined that the first distribution amount of $4,984 was not picked up as income on his return. They also determined that the entire amount of both distributions, which equaled $211,499, was taxable.

Under IRS code, any amount distributed from an employee’s trust account is taxable to the person who receives the distribution. The facts establish that $211,499 was actually distributed to McKnight in 2011 by State Street Retiree Services, the custodian for Lockheed Martin’s employee retirement trust account. This amount is taxable unless an exclusion applies.

An IRS code section provides a “rollover” exception to the general rule. It excludes from gross income any portion of a distribution that is transferred to an eligible retirement plan made within 60 days of the distribution.

McKnight claims that he rolled over $95,000 of the distribution but was unable to provide the IRS or the court with any documentation of this rollover.  Because McKnight didn’t offer the court any proof of the rollover, the entire distribution of $211,499 was determined to be taxable income (Balvin Anthony McKnight v. Commissioner, U.S. Tax Court, T.C. Memo 2015-47, 109 T.C.M. 1224, March 16, 2015).