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What are the tax implications of taking an immediate cash distribution from a defined contribution account?

Usually, the Plan will withhold 20% of the amount requested for distribution for Federal income tax purposes. This is a withholding and should not be considered actual tax paid. At the end of the year, the Alternate Payee may receive a refund of part of this withholding or may be required to pay an additional sum depending upon the annual tax obligation of the Alternate Payee.