What are the Federal income tax consequences of an IRA rollover?
If you choose to make a direct rollover of all or any portion of your payment that can be rolled over, you will not be taxed on any portion of your payment until you later take it out of the Traditional Rollover IRA or qualified Employer Retirement Plan. In addition, no income tax withholding is required for any portion of your distribution for which you choose a direct rollover.
If you choose an indirect rollover from a retirement program, your payment can be rolled over. However, if the payment is made directly to you in cash, it will be subject to mandatory 20% income tax withholding. The payment is taxed in the year you receive it unless, within 60 days, you roll it over to a Traditional or Roth IRA or to another qualified Employer Retirement Plan that accepts rollovers. If you decide to roll over the payment, you must contribute all or some of the amount you received to a Traditional or Roth IRA or to another qualified Employer Retirement Plan within 60 days after you receive the payment. If you wish to roll over 100% of the payment (so that the entire payment will be tax-deferred) you must find other money within the 60-day period to contribute to the IRA or the qualified Retirement Plan to replace the 20% that was withheld.