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Subject:  Re: Penalty for early distribution from Simple I Date:  9/13/2011  11:45 AM
Author:  Patzer Number:  113954 of 133017

But I also have about $5200 of debt on one of my credit cards. It occurred to me to instead take an early withdrawal and use the proceeds to pay off the credit card.

I now that if I do that, I have to pay taxes AND a penalty, but how much is the penalty?

If the penalty is small, it might be less than the interest I'll end up paying on the credit card.

The penalty is 10%. You end up paying it even if your total income, including the IRA withdrawal, is low enough that you don't have a federal income tax liability.

You also need to be aware that the proposed $5100 of IRA withdrawal is not earned income. Depending on how the numbers shake out, it could have a negative impact on any EIC you might qualify for.

Is there a reason you haven't considered, or have rejected, the idea of either leaving the Simple IRA in place or rolling it to a traditional IRA for no tax impact?

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