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Anyone (especially if you're a Brown & Co. customer and you've converted, in whole or in part, a traditional IRA to a Roth) please comment:

I'm going to convert part of my IRA to a Roth. Brown charges a $25 fee to do this. I called and asked if I can pay the fee separately, without it counting as an IRA contribution. They said I couldn't, that the fee would have to come out of the existing IRA. But they also told that if I had a non-IRA account (I don't) they'd take the fee out of that instead. In other words, I can't pay the fee by check - it must be taken out of one or another account.

This doesn't make sense to me. If they're willing to take the fee out of a non-IRA account and not count it as an IRA contribution, why aren't they willing to accept a check in the same manner? I asked this, but the phone drone just reiterated that I couldn't pay the fee by check. I know other brokerages who charge a fee for Roth conversions accept payment that isn't treated as a contribution - why won't Brown? Seems to me that for tax purposes this fee should be treated the same way account maintenance fees are at brokerages who charge them - outside the IRA contribution limit.

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