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At this point, we have NO traditional IRA accounts, including SEPs, SIMPLEs and rollovers from employer plans.

OK, here's what I would suggest as a plan.

As has been mentioned, the only critical close date is Monday April 18. You and your wife can each open a traditional (not Roth) IRA for $5,000 each for tax year 2010, but it must be done tomorrow. Your 2010 income is too high for Roth contributions, but there is no income limit for traditional IRA contributions. (Pub 590)

Tomorrow is also the deadline for filing and paying your 2010 tax. I would recommend that you file Form 4868 to get an automatic extension to October 17. It would also leave open the possibility of SEP contributions for tax year 2010, which can be made through the extended due date of your return. (I'm not sure whether you can make SEP contributions beyond the due date if you haven't secured an extension.)

If an extension doesn't appeal to you go ahead and file, including Forms 8606 (one for each of you) showing the contributions as nondeductible in Part I. You can then do a "Suze Ormond" and convert to Roth with no tax consequence. An alternative would be to deduct your IRA contributions on your 2010 return. Since neither of you was covered by a retirement plan in 2010 your contributions are fully deductible if you so choose. If you later decide to convert the conversion would be taxable income in the year of conversion. (You can amend your return later to change the treatment of the IRA contributions, so your decision now is not irreversable.)

Once the immediate time pressure is off I recommend you spend some time thinking about the future. I gather from your posts that your business is finally perfoming in a way that gives you some cash to invest. If you're like most people you're going to need more than what you can accumulate in IRAs to have a comfortable retirement. I suggest you spend some time boning up on the retirement plan options available to small businesses in Publication 560. Then a session with a fee-based financial planner with nothing to sell, to give you some advice on how to set and reach your goals for retirement and any major events before then.

Rule Your Retirement Home Fool
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