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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/excess-roth-ira-contributions-20423155.aspx

Subject:  Excess Roth IRA contributions Date:  3/2/2004  10:13 PM
Author:  brxkic Number:  70309 of 120812

Hello Fools:

I contributed the full amount to 2 different Roth IRA acoounts ($1200 to a brokerage account and $1800 to a TIAA-CREF mutual fund), for a total of $3000. I separated from my husband in Feb 2003. We only lived together for 15 days in Jan 2003, but I'm sure in the IRS's eyes, I am way above the $10000 AGI limit for Roth Contribution for my filing status (married filing separately.)

I think the following are my options--please correct me if I am incorrect:

(1) Have all the $3000 plus earnings returned to me, and pay the extra 10% tax on the earnings on top of the regular rate. Related question is: I contribute every month last year (DRIPing), and have dividends distributed from 2003 contributions and also from previous tax year distributions. How do I figure out my earnings?

(2) Recharacterize it to a nondeductible Traditional IRA? Related question is: I am already planning on closing the particular brokerage account (that is the costodian for the $1200 Roth contribution in question) later this year. I also have other investments through them, but I generally don't like their selection of stocks. If I recharacterize the $1200 in this brokerage account, that means I have to open up another traditional IRA account with them, and there will be two separate fees for closing out and transferring IRA accounts when I want to switch. Is there something that is a transfer out and recharacterization procedure all combined in one? Note that I have 2003's and previous years' Roth contributions with this brokerage account. So it's more like recharacterizing part of the Roth account and transferring out the whole account. Is this going to be a nightmare?

(3) I am also planning on purchasing a house this year, so I also thought if I could use this excess Roth IRA withdrawal as the first-time home purchase funds. But I probably don't qualify because I made my frist Roth contribution for the tax year 2000?

Please advice!!!!
Annie <sigh>

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