I have fallen behind on paying my taxes & I currently owe the Feds, the state of California, & the state of Missouri. The total amount I owe is approximately $26,000. I have a 401K through my job. I have borrowed the max I can from this fund (50%). The remaining balance in this 401K is more than the taxes I owe. Is there a process I could go through to use the money remaining in my 401K to pay my taxes?
Country relating to Question: United States
State (if USA): Missouri
I currently have a payment plan with the feds & California to pay off my taxes in installments. These payments and the payment to repay my 401K are the primary reasons I continue to fall further behind each year.
Hi,First, there is a bit of a misinterpretation that employees have about borrowing from a 401(k) plans. You are not borrowing from your employer -- you're borrowing from yourself. If you don't pay the money back, then you will have to pay the 10% additional tax to the IRS, and taxes on the amounts withdrawn -- but, you're not liable for the unpaid Loan balance to anyone, because it was your money that you borrowed.I'm mentioning this so that you don't have to have this additional perceived obligation hanging over your head. Yes, it could be expensive from a tax standpoint to not pay back the loan, but not as expensive as would be the case were you to have to pay back the underlying balance.Re paying your tax from the remaining 401(k) proceeds, there is no provision for doing so directly. A 401(k) plan may (but is not required to) permit hardship distributions where there is a heavy and immediate financial need. The distribution, if allowed by the plan administrator, is subject to the 10% penalty tax, and the proceeds are taxable income to the participant in the year of distribution.Hope this helps. NOTICE: My goal here is to entertain while educating the public about the law. Your positive feedback to the website is appreciated. If you need to contact me again, please put my user id at the beginning of your question ("To Socrateaser"), and the system will send me an alert. Please Click the following link for IMPORTANT LEGAL INFORMATION. Thanks and best wishes!
Thank you. That was quite helpful. One last question. How do I go about stopping the repayments I currently have going to my 401K. I have 2 automatic deductions from my salary each month. If I stop repaying these loans now, will the 10% additional tax and the amount withdrawn be added to my 2012 income, or will it be due immediately?
You will have to discuss this with your employer. If you revoke your agreement to permit payroll deductions, your employer can terminate your employment in response (though, I have no idea why it would do so, because it doesn't cost the employer anything to loan you the money in the first place -- as I said, it's your money). Regardless, the plan provisions control, and the employer may refuse to discontinue payments, even if you provide a written revocation of your consent to the deductions. Which would mean that you would have to sue your employer to force it to stop taking deductions (which would almost certainly result in you being terminated), or you would have to quit your employment -- which would also mean termination from employment). Assuming that the employer agrees to terminate the deductions without a battle, then your employer would withhold 20% of the loan from your remaining 401(k) balance, and remit that amount to the IRS to satisfy the employer's withholding obligation. You will owe the additional 10% at year end.Hope this helps. NOTICE: My goal here is to entertain while educating the public about the law. Your positive feedback to the website is appreciated. If you need to contact me again, please put my user id at the beginning of your question ("To Socrateaser"), and the system will send me an alert. Please Click the following link for IMPORTANT LEGAL INFORMATION. Thanks and best wishes!
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