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My investment guy told me about two years ago if I converted my regular IRA to a Roth IRA I could split the tax cost over two years. It was some sort of special 2-year deal. Last year's taxes was the first year of the 2 years (which I am sure you guys know). Anyway, my tax guy said that was a ploy by the gov't (IRS?) to get money now. And it worked. He said I would have been better off to wait until I had to get the money, then do it in smaller amounts. It wasn't even that much, about $25K I think. Half of that put me into another tax bracket, and this year's taxes will be the same. It cost me almost $3k in taxes each year.

A pity you didn't check here before doing the conversion. You were ill served by your investment guy, who seems to have been hooked by the "Blue Light Special" hype surrounding 2010 conversions. Shame on him.

You pretty much have the story right, except for the culprit. It was Congress, which needed money in fiscal 2012-13 to squeeze one of the "Bush tax cuts" through the required 10-year budget forecasts without increasing the deficit.

Rule Your Retirement Home Fool
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