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Excellent - exactly the kind of feedback I was looking for. VERY helpful - thank you.

For 2005, I believe I will hold off so that I don't find myself in the same situation. The 2004 recharacterization sounds very appealling and the best solution even if it is not tax deductible.

One question - who determines if I had earnings on the excess Roth contributions? Does the brokerage house determine this or do I need to figure out if that particular contribution generated any return? If I was sitting on cash, then made the contribution, bought some stock, then sold some stock it seems murky as to whether or not that particular contribution generated a return, no? I have to take a closer look I guess and see just how clear cut this is.

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