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Hi Mariam,

I did the same thing (didn't file 8606s), and only discovered the error in 2000 after I had retired. After calling the IRS, and explaining my dumb error, they said I would have to do the following: (1) provide an explanation of why I didn't file the 8606s, (2) fill out back copies of the 8606s, (3) provide proof of purchase of the IRAs - copies of OMB No. 1545-0747, Form 5498, and (4) provide proof that deductible IRAs had not been claimed in those years - copies of form 1040.

After I had done that, they said they might not charge me with a penalty - if I was up front, honest and nice about the whole issue. I guess I must have met their goal for niceness or at least had my packet of material received on one of their better days - as I was not penalized for my omission.

If I were you I would start with a call to the IRS and explain the situation. Good luck.

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