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Q. Regarding your recent article, Any tax impact if I don't take IRA distributions in '09, I question why you would pay income tax quarterly when the RMD is taken in the last quarter. Is your answer accurate? T.F.W., Green Bay, Wis.

Yes. When tax is withheld from a required minimum distribution (RMD), it’s treated as if it had been paid evenly throughout the year. Thus, you might normally take a late-year distribution from an IRA to help cover estimated tax liability from other sources. However, if you don’t plan on taking an RMD in 2009 due to the one-year waiver, you could encounter estimated tax problems for income from other sources. You won’t be able to rely on the RMD to pick up the slack, so you may have to make quarterly payments this year.

Tip: If you intend to take a taxable distribution this year anyway, you may avoid quarterly estimated payments like you would in a normal year.

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