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Our income for 2011 does not allow us to make *any* contribution to the Roth IRA. As noted above, we have already contributed $5,000 each for myself and my wife to the Roth IRA, and we need to fix this.

From publication 590, it looks like we are still eligible to contribute to the traditional IRA (though we can't deduct the amount on form 1040). If so, I think we would like to move the amount contributed from the Roth to the traditional IRA, instead of taking it back in the form of cash. We already have traditional IRA accounts with the same brokerage firm, so hopefully, this will be a simple transfer.

It should be. The magic word is "recharacterize." Each of you tells the Roth custodian that you want to recharacterize your tax year 2011 contributions from Roth to Traditional.

As for what gets moved, the amount is a result of a calculation the custodian will perform, but it's explained in Pub 590 if you want to follow along. The amount will not be the $5,000 that was contributed. What you need to tell the custodian is what you want moved in, if you will, a pecking order of first to last until they reach a current value equal to the calculated amount that goes to the traditional IRA.

Finally, each of you needs to file Form 8606 showing the $5,000 2011 nondeductible traditional IRA contribution with your 2011 return. I think you also need to attach an explanation about the recharacterization. Check the 8606 instructions.

Rule Your Retirement Home Fool
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