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<<<< My question is: Can I convey my $2,000 contribution to the IRA in the form of already-owned stock? Would it be
considered a sale (complete with capital gains) and a subsequent purchase or would my basis in the stock be the
purchase price I paid before I set up the IRA? >>

It's a change in ownership, from you to the IRA custodian for your benefit. Sorry, you'd have to recognize the gain.>>

As pointed out in a previous post, you can't transfer stock in order to make an IRA matter how you treat it.

Contributions must be made in cash...greenback dollars. Not stock conversions or transfers. Sorry.

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