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Greetings, Sukotto, and welcome. You asked:

I had no income last year, can I open an IRA? Do I have to file a tax return first?
How much money can I put in it for 2000 (assuming I can get one)?

You cannot contribute to an IRA for tax-year 2000 unless you had wages reported in Box 1 of your W-2 for that year and you file a US tax return based on those wages. You will have US wages for this year, though, and that makes you eligible for a contribution for 2001.

Does an IRA conflict with a 401k plan? Do I have to choose one or can I have both? (It seems like I can have both but I'm unsure)

You may use both, but the 401k may affect your ability to deduct a contribution to a traditional IRA. For details, see our IRA area at To see which IRA may be best for you (traditional or Roth), see our IRA eligibility calculator at

If/when I stop working in the states and move home to Canada, what happens to my IRA or 401k (in the case that I do so before I retire)? Can I keep it/them even though I'm no longer a resident?

That varies with the provider. Many will want a US mailing address for that purpose.

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