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Greetings, Alda469, and welcome. You asked:

<<It's now September and I turned 70 inMay of this year. I want to begin taking the MRD from my IRA account. When do I compute the value of the account? Can I change the time when I compute the value from year to year? >>

You must always use the market value of the account as of December 31 or the year prior to the year for which you are taking the MRD. You will be 70 1/2 in November of this year. Therefore, you must take an MRD for 2000 even though you may wait until April 1 of 2001 to do so. The MRD will be computed based on the value of the account on 12/31/99 and the life expectancy factor for the withdrawal method you choose to use. Details are spelled out in IRS Publication 590 (Individual Retirement Arrangements) available at

If you choose to wait until April 1, 2001, to take that first MRD, bear in mind that your second MRD will be based on the account's market value on 12/31/00 less the first MRD. And the second MRD must be taken no later than 12/31/01. That means, if you choose to wait, you would have to pay income taxes on two MRDs in 2001.

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