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<< I've had a Roth IRA for 2 years. Last year I only converted from a traditional IRA and elected to spread the payments out over 4 years. For 1998 I only had to report 25% of this amount on my 1040. >>

I assume by "last year" you mean 1998, since the 4-year spread was only available for conversions done then. Your 1999 portion of that conversion income will go on line 15b of the 1040.

<< During 1999, I converted another traditional IRA into my Roth and made contributions to the Roth. No distributions at all. I've read over the Form 8606 instructions a couple of times but am not certain about where to enter the amount of my (non- rollover) contributions. >>

If you're talking about Roth IRA contributions, they aren't reported anywhere. (You should track them should the information someday be needed. There's a worksheet in the 8606 instructions for tracking.) BTW, the conversion from traditional IRA to Roth IS a distribution from the traditional, reported on line 15a, with the taxable portion included on 15b.

<< Can someone tell me? Also are there any good web sites that explain how to fill out the 8606 in plain English? For example, what is a 'basis'? >>

This is probably the best site you're going to find for explanations. If you're now asking for a definition of basis, I wonder how you did the 8606 for your 1998 conversion, since the definition hasn't changed. "Basis" in your traditional IRA is nondeductible contributions to it. Since you evidently had more than one traditional IRA account, remember that you lump them all together when completing Part I of the 8606, if you need to do Part I.

Phil Marti
Tax Preparer
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