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Greetings, Ski540, and welcome. You asked:

<<Instead of selling shares of stock, can you transfer the stock out of the ira and pay the taxes out of pocket?>>

Yes, you can. You may ask the broker to transfer those shares to a taxable account. On transfer, you will have a taxable distribution from the IRA that equals the market value of those shares on the day of the transfer plus any fee the broker may assess. Your basis for future capital gains purposes becomes that sum, and it is also the income you must report for ordinary taxation purposes that year.

Regards..Pixy
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