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Author: Mark0Young 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 76237  
Subject: Re: Roth to Traditional IRA Date: 2/20/2004 11:12 PM
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Is it possible to withdraw contributions to a Roth IRA to fund a traditional IRA and receive the corresponding tax deduction for the current tax year?

An easier way is to recharacterize your Roth IRA contributions and corresponding earnings as a Traditional IRA contribution. Your Roth IRA custodian should have forms for Recharacterizations and there are forms to file with one's tax returns to record the recharacterization.

Alternatively, if you remove your Roth IRA contributions and corresponding earnings by the due date for making contributions, it will be considered as if the contributions had never been made. (Pg. 59 of Publication 590, Tax Year 2003.) Any withdrawn gains under this provision would have to be considered income for the year for which contributions were made, but one doesn't benefit from a net loss.

Either way (recharacterization, or withdrawal of contribution and earnings to reinvest), the Roth IRA custodian should be informed because it will affect what the Roth IRA custodian reports to the IRS and what forms you would have to send the custodian and file with your taxes.

The 5-year withdrawal rule doesn't apply to Regular Contributions. Page 59 has this passage (ephasis added):

Are Distributions Taxable?

You do not include in your gross income qualified distri-
butions or distributions that are a return of your regular
contributions
from your Roth IRA(s). ...


That passage is consistent with the worksheet on page 62. The worksheet takes into account return of excess contributions, past non-qualified distributions, etc., but put in zeroes in the correct places and it falls through that return of regular contributions are not taxable.
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