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[[I understand the $100 limit for converting.]]

I'm just sure that you ment to type the "$100,000" limit, right?

[[ I'm getting nailed by that one and also understand that I
need to 'recharacterize' back to a regular IRA.]]

Right...if you are over the $100k limit, you are not available for a Roth IRA conversion whatsoever.

[[ But, if I do that before 4/15/99, can I then turn right
around (for the 1999 tax year) and convert my regular IRA to a Roth? ]]

Sure...but if your AGI exceeds $100k for 1999 you'll also not be able to make the conversion, and you'll be in this same position again in April 2000.

[[I understand that I lose the
ability to spread the tax owed over 4 years but is that about the only gotcha?]]

Yup. Other than the 4 year spread, the conversion rules are the same from year to year.

[[ In fact, can anyone
tell me why there is the $100K limit for 1998 and not thereafter? What was the government
rationale?]]

NO...that's not it at all. The $100k limitation will remain in the law...it's not just for 1998. It will continue on for 1999, 2000, etc., etc., etc.

So if your income continues to exceed $100k, you can kiss your Roth conversion goodbye. Until (or unless) the AGI limitation is moved upward, you'll not be able to make a conversion.

Sorry to ruin your day...
TMF Taxes
Roy

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