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Author: TMFPixy Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 76418  
Subject: Re: Roth conversion question Date: 6/7/2005 5:27 PM
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Greetings, pastohr, and welcome. You asked:

I have a Roth conversion account that I created with a rollover from a traditional IRA back in 1998 when the Roth was created. I also have a regular Roth account that was opened at the same time and has been receiving my yearly contribution since.

I have long since paid taxes on the capital gain from the original conversion transaction. My question now is whether or not I can close the conversion account and consolidate it with my other account.


There's absolutely no need to keep these accounts separate. The only possible reason to do so would be to make it "easier" for you to keep track of your regular/annual versus your traditional IRA conversion contributions to Roth IRAs. But that really makes no difference when it comes to distributions from Roth IRAs. The IRS views all Roth IRAs as one when it determines whether or not to tax and/or penalize distributions from one or more Roth IRAs, and those distributions have a particular order in which they are considered taken under the law regardless of the specific Roth IRA from which they actually are withdrawn.

The distribution ordering rules are:

a. First from annual contritions, which may be taken at any time for any purpose free of income tax and penalty.

b. Next from conversion contributions, which may be taken after five tax-years free of penalty (the income taxes have already been paid).

c. Last from earnings, which may be taken free of taxes only after a Roth account has been open for five tax-years AND the owner is older than age 59 1/2. Prior to age 59 1/2, unless the withdrawal meets one of the qualified exceptions for an early distribution, earnings will be taxed and penalized. If the owner meets one of the exceptions, then the distribution will still be taxed, but not penalized.

Hope that helps.

Regards ... Pixy
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