Can Non-Citizen Spouse Withdraw IRA Over Her Lifetime?

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non-citizen spouse IRA beneficiary

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I am a US Citizen, age 87, with an IRA invested a US mutual fund. My wife is a not a US citizen (she’s Thai), is 45 and is the named beneficiary on my IRA. She has a tax identification number (TIN) as we file our taxes jointly and she will need to start taking funds from that IRA upon my death. Can she take these funds over her life time or is there a ten-year limit?


Since your question involves non-citizen tax issues, I forwarded it to Rita Ryan of Wolf & Company, P.C. She had good news for you, or rather for your wife. Here’s Rita’s response:

international tax

Rita Ryan

“Spouses are considered eligible designated beneficiaries, even non-citizens spouses. As such your spouse can use the lifetime distribution rules rather than the 10-year limit. Further, it sounds like your wife is a U.S. tax resident so the distributions to her would not be subject to non-resident withholding.”

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