All distributions from Roth 401(k) plans are either qualified distributions or non-qualified distributions. If the distribution is a qualified distribution, the early distribution tax does not apply. The early distribution tax applies only to those distributions that are subject to income tax. Because all qualified distributions from Roth 401(k) Plans are tax free, they are also exempt from the early distribution tax as well.
A “qualified distribution” from a Roth IRA is excluded from gross income. To be qualified, a distribution must satisfy both of the following requirements:
- It must not occur before the fifth taxable year following the year for which a Roth IRA contribution was first made by the taxpayer or the taxpayer’s spouse.
- It must be made after the account owner reaches age 59 1/2 or becomes disabled, be made to the owner’s beneficiary or estate after the owner’s death, or be a “qualified special purpose distribution.”