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Did he enter his Roth IRA contributions into Turbo Tax? It has to assume zero unless the amount is entered. If he taken previous distributions, then the amount would be the total contributions minus previous distributions.

Contributions can be withdrawn without penalties at any time. There is a waiting period for conversions.

Look at the tax forms, and not just the refund amount.

I used Turbo Tax one year to handle a ROTH IRA distribution. It wasn't intutive how to enter the contributions.
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