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I have a few IRA related questions that I cannot seem to locate clear answers on.

1. In 1999 I will be employed by a company that provides a 401K plan, my wife's company does not. This being the case can I make tax deductible contributions to an IRA for my wife only? Non-deductible for myself? If so what are the income limitations?

2. If we decide to make Roth IRA contributions this year (we should be under the limit), can we do this in addition to the regular IRA contributions above, or is it one or the other?

3. If we make Roth contributions and end up over the limit, I understand we can redesignate those as traditional IRA contributions. What is the timeframe for having this done by? Would my wife's still be deductable at that point?

4. What websites are out there that provide clear answers to these types of questions? I have had a hard time locating any that address this in detail.

Thanks!
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Greetings, Wkb, and welcome. You asked:

<<1. In 1999 I will be employed by a company that provides a 401K plan, my wife's company does not. This being the case can I make tax deductible contributions to an IRA for my wife only? Non-deductible for myself? If so what are the income limitations?>>

You definitely can contribute up to $2K per year to a deductible traditional IRA for your wife. A deductible contribution for you is still possible provided your joint Adjusted Gross Income is $51K or less. The deduction phases out between an AGI of $51K to $61k, and disappears entirely at an AGI greater than $61K. See IRS Publication 590, Individual Retirement Arrangements, for details. You can get that at www.irs.gov. Also, you might want to read my comments on IRAs in general in my Foolish Retirement Plan Primer at http://www.fool.com/Retirement/Retirement.htm . Both will give you a good overview of deductible/nondeductible traditional and Roth IRAs. And BTW....If you must use a nondeductible IRA, then almost certainly the Roth is the one to consider.

<<2. If we decide to make Roth IRA contributions this year (we should be under the limit), can we do this in addition to the regular IRA contributions above, or is it one or the other?>>

You can do both, BUT.... your individual combined contribution to both cannot exceed $2K in total. So, you alone could put $1K in your traditional IRA and another $1K in your Roth IRA. You just can't put $2K in each for a total of $4K in your own IRAs

<<.3. If we make Roth contributions and end up over the limit, I understand we can redesignate those as traditional IRA contributions. What is the timeframe for having this done by? Would my wife's still be deductable at that point?>>

When you say "over the limit," I assume you mean you exceeded the $160K AGI limit for a Roth contribution and do not mean you contributed more than $2K to the IRA. If that happens, then you can (as you noted) redesignate the contribution as one made to a traditional IRA. That redesignation would be deductible for your wife, but yours would not be.

<<4. What websites are out there that provide clear answers to these types of questions? I have had a hard time locating any that address this in detail.>>

I rather thought we do a pretty good job of that. Just poke about a bit and you'll find a wealth of material on IRAs within the confines of Fooldom.

Regards....Pixy
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I said:

<<.3. If we make Roth contributions and end up over the limit, I understand we can redesignate those as traditional IRA contributions. What is the timeframe for having this done by? Would my wife's still be deductable at that point?>>

When you say "over the limit," I assume you mean you exceeded the $160K AGI limit for a Roth contribution and do not mean you contributed more than $2K to the IRA. If that happens, then you can (as you noted) redesignate the contribution as one made to a traditional IRA. That redesignation would be deductible for your wife, but yours would not be.


I should have added that you have until the time you file taxes for 1999 (4/15/99 for most folks) to complete the redesignation.

Regarrds....Pixy
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<<I should have added that you have until the time you file taxes for 1999 (4/15/99 for most folks) to complete the redesignation.>>

I shoulda quit when I was ahead. That date should be 4/15/00 for 1999 tax filing time.

Pixy
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