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<< It is only "excess" becasue of the phase-out, so is there some reason it (the amount that is excessive vis-a-vis Roth IRA and 150k to 160k AGI) could not be recharacterized as a regular IRA contribution, although perhaps not deductible? If I understand the rules WRT recharacterization, then income earned on the investment would still be within the IRA and not need to be recognized for 1999 or 2000. >>

This is far and away the easiest way of dealing with Roth contributions that turn out to be unallowable. Your custodian can handle the recharacterization, and you file Form 8606 to account for the nondeductible contribution.

Phil Marti
Tax Preparer
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