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As a follow-up to this line of questioning, what if you converted a traditional ira to a roth ira (done august of 98) but don't have any 8606's from previous years? It sounds like I'd have to fill out an 8606 for this years, simply stating that I was putting money into the roth, right?

This is for my wife, who isn't good with money, and had her sister do her taxes in the years before we got
married - I was lucky to get any statements at all.

***There could be penalties imposed for not having filed the 8606. I have never seen them imposed and expect that, if they were, your wife could have them removed. However, she must be able to adequately substantiate her claims. There can be severe penalties for improperly claiming the amounts of non-deductible contributions.

In the past, the form was used to report only non-deductible contributions. This year it is being used to report conversions from traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs. If your wife's prior contributions were all deductible, there would have been no reason to file the Form 8606 with prior year's returns.

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