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Greetings, Tigerb8, and welcome.

<<If I opened a traditional IRA for the year 1997 can I now convert that to a Roth IRA so that I could contribute 2000.00 for 1998 and have a total of 4000.00 in my Roth IRA? Thanks>>

Nothing in the law prohibits that, but you'll need to check with your Roth provider to ensure that agency will allow contributions to a Conversion Roth IRA. The IRS has recommended that conversion Roths and contributory Roths be kept as separate accounts to allow for easy tracking of the source of any future withdrawals for penalty tax purposes. Many -- if not most -- Roth providers are therefore prohibiting contributions to a conversion account. Even if yurs does, though, there's another approach you can take. Make your traditional IRA contribution prior to April 15, add another $2K to that for 1998, and then convert to a Roth. That way you'll have $4K in the account and time to wait for next year when all IRS guidance and rules will be out. By then, maybe Roth providers won't be so strict and you can contribute for 1999.

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