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Dear Fools,

I opened a joint account last year after landing my first job out of college. My intentions were to simply invest in some stocks while waiting to get into my employer's 401k. In retrospect, I probably should have opened an IRA instead.

My first question is, can I simply convert this joint account into an IRA or do I have to open another account (an IRA), thereby having to maintain two separate accounts thereafter? Question number two, however I transfer my money, is it the original cost basis on the stocks purchased that is used to calculate my $2000 maximum tax deduction (as opposed to the current value)? Finally, is it possible to correct my '99 tax return to reflect the $2,000 I contributed to my joint account in '99 that I now hope to transform into an IRA? (Our combined AGI is under $150,000.) If so, what tax forms do I need to fill out?

Any guidance would be extremely appreciated.

Mark Pearson
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