If you have an IRA, it may be time to settle up with Uncle Sam

dollars in an Uncle Sam hat
dollars in an Uncle Sam hat

After a year's reprieve, if you are more than 70 1/2 in 2010, you have to ante up a required minimum distribution (RMD) from your IRA, 401(k) or 403(b) and pay Uncle Sam his due.You'll also owe an RMD if you inherited a taxable IRA, no matter what your age.

Last year, because even Uncle realized we were all in dire financial straights, we got a break, but not this year. Anybody born before July 1, 1939, with a tax-advantaged retirement account must withdraw the amount equal to the total balance of your retirement accounts as of Dec. 31, 2009, divided by the distribution period of your life expectancy. You must figure out what the IRS considers your life expectancy by using these tables.