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Greetings, Jason, and welcome. You asked:

<<Can I make a $2K contribution to this traditional IRA before making a Roth conversion, and then sometime before tax time 2001, contribute another $2K into my new Roth for the 2000 tax year?>>

No, you can't. The maximum combined contribution to your traditional and Roth IRAs is $2K per year. If you put it all into the traditional, then you can't do so again in the Roth. However, you may put $2K into the Roth for 2001. You just can't add to it for 2000.

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