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Hello All

I just lost my job a few weeks ago and am thinking of ways to make lemonade from these lemons...

I have a rather sizable 401K that's going to get rolled into an IRA.

If two people are married, and one has a job, and the other doesn’t, but each have separate IRA’s…could they file taxes “married filing separately” and the unemployed person move their regular IRA to ROTH (under the taxable limit) without incurring taxes on that money?

Do you think that would put us any further ahead than married-filing-jointly?

Just thinking ahead.

SG
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I have a rather sizable 401K that's going to get rolled into an IRA.

If two people are married, and one has a job, and the other doesn’t, but each have separate IRA’s…could they file taxes “married filing separately” and the unemployed person move their regular IRA to ROTH (under the taxable limit) without incurring taxes on that money?


Sure.

Do you think that would put us any further ahead than married-filing-jointly?

Beats me. There are a bunch of things you have to think about when filing MFS including, but not limited to, uniform deduction method (standard vs joint) and the inability of either to make a Roth contribution or the nonworking spouse to make any kind of IRA contribution.

I'd suggest you start your analysis by figuring out your plan for 2014. Do you plan to be unemployed the whole year? Will you be getting any kind of severance? Unemployment?

Then you really need to prepare the returns both ways. Software is the easiest route. I know TaxAct has a demo version of 2013 available now for free. There are no major law changes for 2014, and you can fine tune for the inflation-adjusted numbers later. The changes from 2013 are slight.)

Phil
Rule Your Retirement Home Fool
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If two people are married, and one has a job, and the other doesn’t, but each have separate IRA’s…could they file taxes “married filing separately” and the unemployed person move their regular IRA to ROTH (under the taxable limit) without incurring taxes on that money?

The funds converted are taxable. If you convert a sizable 401K there will be income taxes.

You have been employed most of this year. Unless you are very low income, you already have taxable income for 2013. Also, remember that unemployment is taxable.

As previously recommended, run the numbers and see the results.
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There are no major law changes for 2014, and you can fine tune for the inflation-adjusted numbers later. The changes from 2013 are slight.)


Ever the optimist, Phil, believing that this deadlocked Congress won't find some way to screw things up for us before the end of the year. <g>

Ira
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