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So- let's say I have $3000 to put in an IRA this year- can I put it in my SIMPLE IRA and combine the money? <?i>

For at least the first 2 years, the SIMPLE can only contain the deferral contributions and their earnings (positive, we hope). Make your other IRA contributions to another account. (The special rollover rules for SIMPLEs are in Pub 590.)

To be honest, I'm not sure whether you can withdraw money from a SIMPLE without penalty for a home purchase. Once the SIMPLE is 2 years old, you can roll funds from it into a traditional IRA, from which you can use the first-time homeowner provisions.

Phil Marti
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