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How often can I make a "backdoor" conversion from my 401(k) to a Roth? I was under the impression that it's only once a year.

Okay, let's make sure you know the definition of a "backdoor" conversion from a 401(k) to a Roth, since you put it in quotes. There are actually 2 different versions:

1) Moving after tax contributions in the 401(k) into a Roth subaccount that's still in the 401(k).
2) Moving after tax contributions in the 401(k) into a Roth IRA at a brokerage.

In either case, any earnings that the after-tax contributions have generated are also moved (on a pro-rata basis) at the same time - either into a Traditional account, which will not generate a taxable event, or into the Roth account, which will generate a taxable event.

Please note - movement of any pre-tax money into a Roth account (either in your 401(k) or an IRA) is NOT a "backdoor" conversion - it's just a conversion.

How often you can do a backdoor conversion is dependent on your 401(k) plan rules. Some plans will automatically do a type 1 conversion for every paycheck contribution if you set it up to do so. Moving money out of the plan into an IRA is often more limited - sometimes those conversions are just allowed annually or quarterly, which has a greater chance of creating a taxable event.

AJ
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