I see a lot of people miscalculate their gross distribution from their IRAs when they have a specific net /after tax amount they need.
For example, you want to take a net/after tax distribution of $5,000 from your IRA, and you are in the 28% tax bracket. You want to calculate how much your gross distribution should be so that you end up with a net/after tax distribution of $5,000.
A 28% tax would be represented in decimals as 0.28.
First subtract 1 -(minus) 0.28 on your calculator and you get = 0.72
Take the net distribution you would like so in this case $5,000 and divide it by 0.72 = $6,944.44
So if you take a distribution from your IRA for $6,944 and have 28% or $1,944.32 withheld for taxes, you would net $5,000 after tax from your IRA.
$6,944 was the gross distribution-$1,944.32 was the 28% tax withholding =$5,000 Net IRA distribution after tax.
Here is the formula for this scenario:
1-0.28 = 0.72
$5,000/0.72 = $6,944.441 – tax bracket converted to a decimal = X
Net distribution/X = gross distribution.
A lot of people start with the net distribution ($5,000 in this example) and multiply it by the tax rate (28% in the example). If you do this you get $1,400.
They then add the $1,400 plus the $5,000 to come up with $6,400.
The problem is if you request a gross distribution of $6,400 multiplied by 28% it equals $1,792, and you end up with a net distribution of $4,608 which was not the desired outcome.
You might also be interested in reading Is Your IRA a Tax Time Bomb?