A traditional IRA, or individual retirement account, helps people save money for retirement by offering a tax deduction for contributions made to the account and allowing the money to grow tax-free as long as it remains in the account. However, when you withdraw money from the account, you must include it as taxable income. Though the IRS does not prohibit people from taking out the money before retirement, if you withdraw the money before turning 59 1/2 years old, you will have to pay a 10 percent penalty in addition to the income taxes.
Complete the required paperwork available from your financial institution. Each financial institution has a slightly different form. The form will require you to provide your identifying information, such as your name, address and Social Security number, as well as your account information.
Receive a form 1099-R from your financial institution by the end of January of the following year. You will need this form to file your taxes, so if you have not received it by Feb. 1, contact your financial institution.
Report the total amount of your traditional IRA withdrawal, found in box 1 of your form 1099-R, on line 15a of form 1040 or line 11a of form 1040A.
Report the taxable portion of your withdrawal, found in box 2a of your form 1099-R, on line 15b of form 1040 or line 11b of form 1040A. Unless you made non-deductible contributions to your traditional IRA, the taxable amount will be the same as the total amount. If you are at least 59 1/2 years old, you are finished.
Complete form 5329 if you are not 59 1/2 years old when you take your IRA withdrawal. This form will either document your early withdrawal exception, which will allow you to avoid paying the additional 10 percent penalty on your distribution, or it will calculate how large the penalty will be. If you have an exemption, write the code for it in the space next to line 2. For example, if you are using this distribution for higher educational expenses, you would write "08." A complete list can be found in the form 5329 instructions (see resources). If you owe a penalty, report the amount on line 58 of your form 1040.
Things You'll Need
Form 1040 or 1040A
Form 5329 (for early withdrawals)