Washington (April 17, 2002) -- The Internal Revenue Service announced that simplified rules for required retirement plan distributions will take effect next year. The rules incorporate many suggestions made after the IRS proposed them in January 2001."These rules won praise last year for making it easier for retirees to take funds from their retirement plans," said IRS commissioner Charles O. Rossotti. "The comments we received helped us to simplify the rules even more. This shows how people can benefit when stakeholders work with us to improve tax administration."

A section of the regulations dealing with annuity payments has been substantially changed and has been issued as a temporary regulation, giving taxpayers a chance to offer additional feedback. The final regulations also include the new life expectancy tables called for in the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001. Taking current longevity into account, these tables provide for distributions to occur over a longer period than previous tables.

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