You are subject to tax on the distribution, as well as a penalty for premature distribution. Qualified retirement plans have restrictions on the ability to take distributions before retirement, mainly only permitting distributions due to hardship. Although purchasing a personal residence qualifies as a hardship exception for taking the distribution, it does not permit the taxpayer to avoid paying tax on the distribution. The distribution is also subject to penalty unless the taxpayer meets one of the exceptions provided in §72(t). The exception from the penalty for first-time homebuyers only applies to distributions from IRAs, not distributions from qualified retirement plans.