Missing a required minimum distribution (RMD) is not laughing matter. The IRS will not let you off with a slap on the wrist or a small fine. In fact, they can actually be quite harsh and can include up to 50% of the missed amount. However, you can request relief from the IRS, which may or may not grant that request depending on the circumstances. If you find that you missed an RMD, the first thing you should do is to withdraw the RMD money from your account as the IRS won’t even consider your request for relief. Once you take out the amount of the RMD, you will need to file a Form 5329, which you can do along with your tax return for the year that the missed RMD money was finally withdrawn or as a standalone document. Make sure that you properly fill out the Form 5329, which includes reporting the amount that the missed RMD was and the amount that you withdrew. If you are seeking relief from the penalty, make sure that you also note that on the form along with the total amount of the penalty you want waived. You will also need to attach a statement explaining why you missed the RMD, what you did to remedy the situation, and the steps you will take to prevent such a mistake from happening again in the future. Oh, and DO NOT PAY THE PENALTY! These steps can be tricky and you may want to do some Internet research on how to properly file a Form 5329. Ideally, though, you will speak with a tax or retirement expert as soon as you realize that you missed an RMD so that you can ensure that you follow the proper steps to remedy the situation.