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Greetings, Gunship, and welcome. You asked:

<<Do IRA contributions have to be directly from a taxable contribution source (wages, tips, etc..) or can they be from any source such as a closed out mutual fund. (as long as I have a taxable contribution source, i.e a job.)>>

As long as you have the earned income (wages, tips, etc.) to support the contribution, the contribution may come from anywhere (i.e., gift, taxable account, etc.). All that's important is that you have the earned income otherwise.

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