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Author: jrr7 Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 75540  
Subject: Re: 401k to Roth Question Date: 12/3/2001 12:58 PM
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Doug,

No, you can only roll a 401K into a traditional IRA. It doesn't matter whether the contributions were pre or post tax.

However, be sure to keep good records of how much aftertax money you put into your 401K. If you roll to a traditional IRA, you will have a "basis" in your IRA -- how much money you've already paid tax on and don't have to again. When you convert your traditional IRA to a Roth, you'll owe tax, but not on your basis.

Do note that if you leave the money in a Traditional IRA or a 401(k) then there are special rules about how withdrawals are taxed.

So, translated, your question was "Can I choose which dollars to [move when I convert from a traditional IRA with a basis] to a Roth?"

And the answer is no, because of the special rules regarding withdrawals from a traditional IRA. If you have a traditional IRA worth $10,000 with a $1000 basis, if you convert $1000 to a Roth IRA, it will be $900 of pretax money and $100 of post-tax money. Your income will go up by $900.
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