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Author: letranger One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 121482  
Subject: Roth IRA & "earned income" Date: 11/18/1998 10:29 PM
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This year I opened a Roth IRA with $2000. The problem is, between being a full-time student most of the year, and taking time off for travel and other stuff the rest of the year, it looks like I won't have made $2000 in "earned income" by the end of the calendar year. I will have made plenty in capital gains, but (as I understand it) I'm not allowed to contribute any of that to my IRA.

What exactly is Uncle Sam going to do to me if I've contributed more to my IRA than I've made in "earned income"? To meet the "earned income" requirement, would I necessarily need to make that money before Dec. 31, or is it possible to count income made in the first quarter of 99 as having been earned in 98 for tax purposes? (This question isn't as weird as it sounds: I know that it would have been possible to contribute money to a Roth IRA in 97, for tax purposes, anytime during the first quarter of 98.)

-jason
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