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Greetings, Toogie, and welcome. You asked:

<<I'm getting ready to set up my Roth IRA, and I'm not sure how much of a hurry I should be in.

I heard somewhere that there are some changes in the rules that will effect those who start their IRA after Dec. 31, 1998. Unfortunately, I can't find out what those changes are.

Does anyone have any information on the pros and cons of starting a Roth IRA before Dec 31?>>

The December 31, 1998, date is important only to those folks who want to convert a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA and take advantage of spreading the taxable income resulting from that conversion over four tax-years. To use that four-year spread, the conversion must occur no later than 12/31/98. You may make your 1998 annual contribution to a Roth as late as the due date of your tax return, which is 4/15/99 for most people. Therefore, if you are converting an existing traditional IRA to a Roth IRA and wish to use the four-year income spread, the 12/31/98 date is important. If all you're doing is opening a Roth IRA with a deposit coming out of your wages, then you have until 4/15/98 to do that.


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