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Greetings, Joeli, and welcome. You asked:

<<Finally, this brings me to the question: I assume that this transfer will count against my 2001 Roth contributions, but *what* exactly will count--the market value of the securities at the time of transfer, or my cost basis for the securities?>>

It's a shame you have run into such problems, but unfortunately that's not uncommon with IRA providers when it comes to IRAs for minors.

You do not have an IRA at the present time. Therefore, when you open your IRA in a few months, the contribution to that IRA must by law be made in cash. That means you cannot transfer shares. Instead, sufficient shares must be sold to raise the cash for the contribution. You will be subject to income tax on any gains from that sale as well.

If the agent tells you shares will be transferred, ensure you understand what's involved. Legally, that cannot be done. So in effect what will probably occur is a sale from the custodial account with an immediate repurchase within the IRA. That's the only way shares can get into the IRA under existing tax law.

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