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Subject:  Re: HELP! Excess Contributions Date:  2/25/2002  1:08 PM
Author:  TMFPixy Number:  33881 of 88033

JTR writes:

I'm confused. If you contributed the 2K to a Roth, and now find you're not eligible for the Roth, you can "recharacterize" to a Traditional IRA. I don't think it's too late - I think you can do this until filing time. There would be no penalty for this - it is done thru your Roth custodian, and you wouldn't have to sell your stocks or do anything other than the recharacterization, which is just a paper transaction.

TMF Pixy - correct me if any of the above is wrong.

You're absolutely correct. In my haste to address the withdrawal issue, I totally neglected to address recharacterization. A recharacterization of the contribution as one made to a tradtional IRA (probably a nondeductible one given other cited circumstances) avoids the penalty for an excess contribution as well as the withdrawal. While that may take place as late as October 15, 2002, it will entail the filing of Form 8606 for a nondeductible contribution. Arguably, then, the recharacterization should take place before taxes are filed to avoid the issue of filing an amended return.

Good catch, jtr!

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