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<<Does Ameritrade's rationale make sense?>>

I'm not a tax professional (nor do I play one on TV). I don't know if it's completely analogous, but I know that annual fees charged by an IRA custodian may be paid from outside the account.

<< Do other brokers charge such a fee? I was planning to make a number of partial conversions over the coming years.>>

I can only speak for Waterhouse, who charges NO FEEs of any kind (except $25 to close an account). IMHO, Ameritrade is saying "we don't really want your IRA business."

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