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Author: TMFTaxes Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 121263  
Subject: Re: SEP to Roth Date: 3/22/1999 1:30 AM
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[[I have searched, but haven't hit on this exactly. My wife and I are self-employed;
all my IRA contributions are non-deductible.]]

I guess that my question would be: WHY? Just because you are self employed? Nope. Perhaps your question will lead into this point.

[[ Please confirm that I have this right:

I understand I can convert my SEP to a Roth, take the hit, then enjoy years of
tax-exempt Foolish gains! Since these gains are quite Foolish, having them
tax-exempt quickly out-paces any Traditional-vs-Roth comparisons of the
original contribution.]]

Not necessarily true. If you run the numbers, you may find that your SEP plan isn't that bad. You get current tax advantages. Right now. With tax deferral. So it's not as clear cut as you make it out to be.

[[ Doesn't this give me a way of getting more money into a Roth than the $2K
($4K married) limit? More in means more gains means more tax-exempt gains,
yes?]]

Basically yes. But you would have to open and close your SEP accounts on a yearly basis. That could cost you some money also. But it would certainly build up your Roth quickly...at least more quickly than the $2k per year that is otherwise allowed. But it would also cost you your annual tax savings.

[[ As for details, I read mixed messages on whether the SEP can convert right to a
Roth, or whether it has to convert to a 'regular' IRA first. ]]

Check with your broker. It appears that you can take a SEP directly to a Roth. But many brokers have different rules.

For a more complete discussion on Roth IRAs, check out my post on them in the Taxes FAQ area.

TMF Taxes
Roy

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