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but, on the very bottom of page 56 it says that Roth IRA contributions don't have to be reported on the return. but then, there is information about excessive contributions on page 62.

so, i'm not sure what to think. how is the extent of the excess being assessed if it isn't reported on the return?

The Roth contribution doesn't get reported on the tax return. But your brokerage does report your contribution to the IRS. That's at least one way, the IRS can validate your earned income vs Roth contribution
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