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Greetings Keith,

1. Can I still write off commissions I pay to E*Trade for buying and selling in my Roth account?

Not unless you can somehow get the commissions charged to a taxable account which I doubt.

2. Does the one year rule apply to stocks I trade within the Roth?

What "one year rule" are you talking about? Some mechanical strategies involve trading each year but somehow I don't think you mean that.

In general I am a LTBHer, but if I bought and sold a stock within a year, do I have to pay taxes on earnings, or can I trade all I want with no worry of paying taxes on any earnings?

Trade all you want with no worry of paying federal taxes on the earnings. I'm not sure how state or local income taxes may come into play here.

3. Can I write off capital losses I incur when selling a loser?

Maybe. From,1,148349,00.html :
"Claiming a Loss on Your Roth IRA
It is possible to take a deduction for a loss on your Roth IRA, but it may not make sense in every situation. The loss you can take revolves around your "basis," or the amount you've invested with aftertax money. You must withdraw the entire amount in your Roth to be eligible to claim a loss. Since the money you withdraw is a qualified distribution (a return of your own contributions) you would not owe a 10% penalty.

This type of loss is not like a capital loss on a taxable investment. With taxable capital losses you can deduct up to $3,000 against ordinary income and carry the rest of your loss forward indefinitely. With a Roth loss, you must use it in the year you generate it. So if you sell your Roth in 2005 and realize a loss, you would claim it on your 2005 tax return. It goes on Schedule A and is subject to the 2% miscellaneous itemized-deduction threshold.

Think carefully before you liquidate your Roth IRA, however. For example, if your Roth is worth $20,000 and you pull it all out to recognize a loss, you'll only be able to put back $4,000 this year--the Roth contribution limit for 2005 ($4,500 for people over age 50). You would lose the advantage of having accumulated a greater balance in your account.

The same principle of taking a loss applies to nondeductible traditional IRA contributions, but not tax-deductible contributions. For more information, see IRA Publication 590."

Link to IRS Publication 590 ->

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