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Distribution codes for QBAD's, Terminal illness, PLESA's, Domestic Abuse, etc.

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I'm finding this subject confusing, particularly due to the fact that some vendors/recordkeepers are handling the process differently, or their information is contradictory/confusing, etc.

So, it is very clear that a QBAD is reported on a 1099 as a Code 1.

A PLESA (which I hope never to encounter anyway) is treated as a qualified Roth distribution, and reported as such.

For other SECURE/2.0 special distributions, it seems like a Code 2 is possible if the "AND YOU KNOW" clause in the 1099 Code 2 instructions is satisfied. Are you allowed to use a Code 1, even if you "know" - or if the employee certification doesn't convince you - you are allowed to rely on it, but are you allowed to REPORT as a Code 1, or MUST you report as a code 2 if you ostensibly "know" it qualifies? 

Other observations? Floundering a bit on this...


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About the instructions’ use of the phrase “you know” for a code 2 “early” distribution that gets an exception under § 72(q)-(t)-(u)-(v), perhaps it’s fair to interpret that use according to the plan’s provisions for the distribution to be reported. For example, if the plan provided the distribution because the administrator followed the participant’s self-certifying statement, the payer (or the plan’s administrator that instructs the payer) “knows” that the distribution is of the kind the plan allowed.

I don’t see that a payer ought to review, for tax-reporting, the plan administrator’s claims decision.

Peter Gulia PC

Fiduciary Guidance Counsel

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania



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Looking for conversation/thoughts/opinions, if you are interested.

Expanding upon this question a bit, re reporting for QBAD's, Emergency Personal Expense (the "$1,000 one"), Terminal illness, Domestic abuse.

As I understand things, maybe incorrectly...

None are Eligible Rollover Distributions for withholding purposes, so withholding is voluntary - 10% default, but can elect out of it - or elect more if desired.

1099-R - QBAD is Code 1. For the other 3, it seems there is a choice between 1 and 2 depending upon age/facts and circumstances.

No premature distribution tax on any of them, if they qualify. May require them to report properly on their 1040.

Thanks for any input!

Mom always said I'd come to a bad end - this business is starting to look like it qualifies as such!:lol:




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