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I have a roth ira that is currently at a loss. All securities are valued below what I purchased them for. I have not made a contribution in a while, probably over year. I have most of my retirement savings in a separate company 401k and am not interested in keeping the roth ira. I would like to close the ira and put the $ towards paying for school. Before doing that, I would like to know what to expect as far as penalties go. What penalties would apply? What tax would apply? Can I get taxed even if there was no gains on the investment? Contrarily, I have read somewhere that the loss can sometimes even be written off as a tax deduction. Is this true?

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