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Author: CrawlingUpward Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 121147  
Subject: Re: Roth IRA Tax Shelter? Date: 1/21/2009 4:39 PM
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Contributions always come out of Roth IRA's in a specific order. See Publication 590, page 67: "Ordering rules for distributions".

Since the dollars went in after tax, only gains in an IRA (or conversions) are taxable when taken in a nonqualified distribution.

In my example there would be a $5k contribution, and a $6k distribution of past contributions, reducing the cost basis within the Roth. That distribution would be completely tax free.

this is not a contribution removal of any sort, it is a contribution and then a distribution. Perhaps you missed that there is already a cost basis in the account of $20k.
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