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We were once handed a check to transfer on our own, told it was not a problem as long as we got it into another account within 60 days.

The transfer is tax free as long as you complete it within 60 days, but the usual problem with the check is the issuer usually deducts withholding tax.

You don't get the withholding back until tax time, but you must replace those funds in the transfer or the withholding amount becomes a penalty distribution.

That is why direct custodian to custodian transfers are usually preferred.
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