The paperwork associated with rolling over money from one IRA to another can vary, depending on where you have your retirement accounts and what type of accounts you hold. However, despite these small variations, there are a few things that will be the same no matter what the specific requirements of your existing accounts. By keeping these things in mind, you can make the entire process very simple.
The first piece of paperwork you’ll need to deal with is the paperwork necessary to initiate the IRA rollover. To find out exactly which forms need to be completed, you’ll need to contact the manager of your rollover IRA and ask what they need to begin a rollover. Each institution has different forms. Typically, though, they’ll all need information about your existing account, the account that will be receiving the IRA rollover and personal information about you. Most account managers are quite willing to help you complete this paperwork. Just because it is fairly straightforward, however, don’t fill it out hastily. Take your time to complete this paperwork properly and be sure to ask for a copy for your records.
At the very least, expect that you’ll have to give your signature to the account manager to start the rollover process. Sometimes it's as simple as that, although other institutions may need more information about the rollover – especially the amount you intend to rollover
The next piece of paperwork you’ll need to complete will depend on the kind of rollover you’re requesting. If, for some reason, you’re requesting an indirect rollover, expect to have to sign paperwork indicating that you understand the limitations and rules of the indirect rollover. With an indirect rollover, you have a limited amount of time in which to place your funds back into a qualified retirement account. Again the details of the paperwork will vary from institution to institution, but you likely won’t have to worry about this, as you should only be considering an indirect rollover in very specific circumstances and under the direct guidance of a financial professional.
Your better choice when executing a rollover is – in almost all cases – the IRA direct rollover. An IRA direct rollover is defined as a transfer out of the retirement account that goes directly from the manager of one retirement account to another. This type of transfer protects you from potential taxes and fees, so look for the phrase “direct rollover” on any paperwork you’re given to complete.
The IRS defines a direct rollover as a reportable event. The specific paperwork needed to file this report is set by the IRS and is handled almost entirely by your account managers. Although you won’t need to complete this paperwork, your account manager will let you know when these forms will be submitted to the IRS and what you can expect in terms of notices from the IRS. Be sure to hang on to that paperwork; you’ll want it at tax time, even if no taxes are due.