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In the Business Section of the September 10, 1998 LA Times, there was an article that an investor can undo and redo a conversion from a Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA multiple times. The article encourages investors to undo and redo their conversion if they did it earlier in the year to take advantage of the down market and thus have a lower tax penalty.

Is this true? I thought once you do the conversion; you're stuck with the Roth IRA. If you can do the conversion, what is the process to undo and redo the conversion?
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yasuda writes:

In the Business Section of the September 10, 1998 LA Times, there was an article that an investor can undo and redo a conversion from a Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA multiple times. The article encourages investors to undo and redo their conversion if they did it earlier in the year to take advantage of the down market and thus have a lower tax penalty.

Is this true? I thought once you do the conversion; you're stuck with the Roth IRA. If you can do the conversion, what is the process to undo and redo the conversion?


I reply:

It's true all right. As discussed extensively on several occasions in the Tax Strategies folder (which I think you'll find interesting), it's the result of a July 1998 amendment to last year's tax bill, which was motivated by the predicament of people who discovered, to their surprise, that their 1998 income will disqualify them from a Roth conversion. Just write or call your IRA custodian for the forms. Good luck! --Bob
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Greetings, Yasuda, and welcome. You wrote:

In the Business Section of the September 10, 1998 LA Times, there was an article that an investor can undo and redo a conversion from a Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA multiple times. The article encourages investors to undo and redo their conversion if they did it earlier in the year to take advantage of the down market and thus have a lower tax penalty.

Is this true? I thought once you do the conversion; you're stuck with the Roth IRA. If you can do the conversion, what is the process to undo and redo the conversion?


Yep, it's true. The law doesn't specify how many times the conversion to a Roth may be reversed by transferring the converted money back into a traditional IRA. All that matters is that the conversion to a Roth be completed by 12/31 of the year for which it pertains and the transfer of that money back to a traditional IRA be completed by 4/15 of the following year. It does not specify how many times these gyrations may occur in the interim.

Regards…..Pixy
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