Am I ever required to take distributions from my Traditional IRA?
Traditional IRA distributions become mandatory beginning in the year that a Traditional IRA owner turns age 72. These mandatory distributions are called required minimum distributions (RMDs). IRA owners must begin taking RMDs by April 1 of the year following the year they turn 72. These distributions are based on the IRA balance divided by the applicable distribution period. Because IRAs were created to provide income during retirement—not to be a tax shelter— IRA owners failing to take their RMDs are subject to a 50 percent excess accumulation penalty tax on the assets that should have been distributed but were not.