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Author: TMFPixy Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 74759  
Subject: Re: Dumping the '4-year spread' ? Date: 4/11/1999 11:02 AM
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Mkraft writes:

<<I hope you're wrong about that. I haven't heard a peep, received anything in the mail or seen any mention at any website of a 'recharacterization' deadline. I'll know Monday.

In any event, I believe a filing extension would also extend the recharacterization deadline. That's my reading of the Form 8086 instructions.>>

The recharacterization must be complete by your filing due date with extensions. That's definitely a deadline. For most folks, the deadline for a recharacterization for 1998 would be April 15, 1999. OTOH, if you request an extension, the deadline for recharacterization would be August 16, 1999, for the first extension, and perhaps October 15, 1999, with a second.

<<However, in my post, I wasn't referring to recharacterizing for '98. I was referring to a change of heart at some point in the future: e.g., in 1999 or 2000 -- i.e.,. any year that's under the '4-year spread' contract.

Is there any flexibility at all for modifying the 'equal amounts' of additional income (based on the ROTH conversion) that have to be added to other regular income for each of the 4 years?>>

Sorry if I misunderstood the question. If at some point in the future you desire to "opt out" of the four-year spread of income, then you will be sadly out of luck. You either have to declare all the income in 1998 or spread it equally over the years 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001. "The election is made on Form 8606 and cannot be made or changed after the due date (including extensions) for filing the 1998 Federal income tax return." (Source: Federal Register Vol. 63, No. 171, 26 CFR Part 1, Roth IRAs 63 FR 46937) Thus, if you want to opt out of the four-year spread, you must recharacterize or not use it all.

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