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WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service has published new life expectancy tables used to determine minimum distributions from retirement plans into a separate publication. The life expectancy tables were part of final so-called minimum distribution rules that were issued in April. The rules set the minimum amount of money people over age 70 1/2 must take out of their 401(k)s, IRAs and other retirement accounts annually. The new rules are effective Jan. 1, 2003, but the IRS said people can begin using the new life expectancy tables beginning this year if they wish to. Until Jan. 1, people can also use the proposed rules published last year, which are similar to the final rules, or rules issued in 1987. Previously there were eight minimum distribution choices; the rules narrow those to two. One set of rules is for people with spouses who are more than 10 years younger than they are and the other category is for everyone else. Publication 590 Supp, “Supplement to Publication 590, Individual Retirement Arrangements,” is available on the Internet at www.irs.gov. The document can also be ordered by phone after mid-July at 1-800-TAX-FORM. “This publication will be more convenient for taxpayers who want to use the new distribution rules this year,” said IRS Commissioner Charles Rossotti.

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