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<<I have taken a distribution from my traditional IRA as of 30 Dec 97. May it be rolled over or converted to a Roth IRA within the 60 day window which expires about 28 Feb 98 and pay the taxes on the distribution with my 1997 tax return? This would ordinarily not be a good choice but I am filing MFJ for 1997 but will have to file S for 1998, so the higher rates will occur at much lower thresholds. The IRS telephone personnel said it was ok but nothing in writing so I'm not sure and is not covered in their Pub 563.>>

This is a tough one. It boils down to a question of interpretation. The effective date of the Roth IRA provisions is January 1, 1998. Does that mean you can complete a rollover after that date if it was started before that date? Unclear. There's nothing directly addressing this in the statute or the committee reports or the Joint Committee Explanation ("Blue Book"). Based on the law as it stands now I'd say this is permitted, but the IRS won't necessarily take that view. If I get a chance I'll try to raise this with someone in Washington in the next day or two and report back what I learn.

KAT in Chicagoland
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