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For TY2010, I used "H&R Block At Home" software to calculate my taxes. I realize that tax laws change from one year to the next, but I wonder if I could just re-calculate last year's taxes using the rollover vs. withdrawal scenarios?

It won't be precise, but if this year is similar to last year that would give you a ball park estimate. Of course, if Congress makes significant changes all bets are off. It's still a little early to predict what foolishness Congress will add to the tax code for 2011.

The fact that I expect my income this year to be very low makes now seem like the ideal time to do this. Superficially, it won't seem like any money out of my pocket, since EIC and child tax credits are so big, doing a Roth Rollover (tax only) or taking it as a distribution (tax + penalty) will most likely only reduce the (relatively massive) 'refund' I'll get.

Absent a major impact on credits, and assuming sufficient financial resources to cover the tax, this would be the year to do the Roth conversion. The conversion has no penalty, so you're only looking at the change in taxable income and any impact on EIC and any other low income credits you might get.

I hope and expect my income next sear to be at least a 3x multiple over this year's income.

With that expectation, I wouldn't dream of liquidating retirement assets to pay off the credit card. That $5.2K balance will become much more manageable on the increased income you expect.

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