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Now what's that all about if Roth withdrawals are supposed to be tax free? Why would basis matter? I suspect the revenue camel is sticking his nose under the tent.

Nothing nearly so nefarious.

If you make an early withdrawal from a Roth, your basis matters very much. Only your basis can be withdrawn tax free in an early distribution. Earnings included in an early distribution are taxed and penalized. The forms merely need a place to work that basis into the calculations.

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