[[Hello TMF Taxes!]]Yo!! Nelson!!![[ Here's my situation: I'm a 29-year old single male]]Sweet fancy Jesus!!! I envy you already. But let's move on....[[and I opened a new Roth IRA in 1998 that contains $2000 in contributions and about $500 in earnings. Is it true that I may withdraw the $2000 contributions at ANY time without penalty or taxes?]]Yup. I don't know exactly how your Roth IRA got to this place, though. Your contribution (I assume) was $2k originally. So if the current value is now $2k, it really contains your original contributions. Any other gains or losses would really offset one another.So I'm still not clear how you can make a $2k contribution, and now the FMV of the Roth IRA is $2k, but you say that it contains $500 of earnings. It would seem to me that the Roth IRA would contain your original $2k contribution. Nothing more. Nothing less.But...that aside, you are correct. You can remove your $2k at any time, without taxes or penalties. You are doing nothing more than removing your original contribution, for which you received no tax benefit in the first place.[[ The five tax year period and the four classifications of a "qualified" distribution that you list do not apply in this case because I'm only taking out the Roth IRA contributions, correct?]]Correctamundo...[[ Thanks,]]You are very welcome...TMF TaxesRoyWant to learn more about taxes and investing? Then we have a deal for you!! The Motley Fool Investment Tax Guide is now available through Fool Mart. Be the first one on your block to own this masterpiece. There is still time available to do that tax planning (and tax saving) before the end of the year. So just click on this link (http://www.foolmart.com/market/product.asp?pfid=MF+013+I) to read more about this amazing collection of tax information. (Apologies for the shameless plug…but it is a pretty good book…if I do say so myself). In addition, if you would like to visit the Taxes FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) area, click on http://www.fool.com/school/taxes/taxes.htm and you'll be right at the home page. Pay special attention to the "archives" section. Check it out. Finally, if you need to get to the IRS web site, click on http://www.irs.ustreas.gov to go directly there.
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