Ask The Experts: Money Matters

By Mike Miles

Taxed twice at 59 1/2?

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Q. In January 2011, I was forced into retirement at age 62 due to a surgery that left me visually impaired. I took a partial withdrawal to pay off personal expenses. The Thrift Savings Plan deducted 20 percent for federal taxes before the distribution was made. However, when federal taxes were filed jointly, I owed $16,000 in taxes due to the TSP money. Why did I pay taxes twice when I met the 59½ age rule?

A. That’s a question that only your tax-preparer can answer, although I doubt you paid taxes twice, and there would have been no early withdrawal penalty because of your age.

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