When Can Someone Withdraw Money from a Roth IRA Without Owing Income Taxes?

You can withdraw money that you have contributed to a Roth IRA (i.e., your own money) at any time because the account was funded with after-tax dollars on which income taxes were already paid.

You can withdraw the earnings from a Roth IRA tax free in the following situations:

1. You have reached the age of 59½, and at least five years have passed since your Roth IRA account was opened. Earnings can be withdrawn tax-free beginning on the first day of the fifth taxable year after the year the Roth IRA was established. That means January 1, 2022 for Roth IRAs established in 2017.

2. You want to use the money to become a “first-time homeowner,” which means someone who has not owned a house during the past two years. Withdrawals of up to $10,000 are allowed.

3. You are disabled. In addition, if a Roth IRA owner dies, his or her named beneficiaries can make tax-free withdrawals.

For more information about Roth IRAs, see http://www.irs.gov/Retirement-Plans/Roth-IRAs.

We would like your feedback on this Personal Finance Frequently Asked Question.