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For a Roth conversion to be taxed in 2019, does it have to be done by 12/31/19 or 4/15ish/2020?

We are trying to do conversions up through the 24% tax bracket but figuring out taxes can be tough to do in advance. Tracking income as it comes in best we can, but if it can wait until April, like a contribution can, that would be easier.

TIA,

IP
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For a Roth conversion to be taxed in 2019, does it have to be done by 12/31/19 or 4/15ish/2020?

Needs to be complete by 12/31/19

We are trying to do conversions up through the 24% tax bracket but figuring out taxes can be tough to do in advance. Tracking income as it comes in best we can, but if it can wait until April, like a contribution can, that would be easier.

Yes, that's the one thing that the TCJA did that made Roth conversions less palatable - you used to be able to recharacterize part of your Roth conversion, so if you ended up converting enough to push you into the next bracket, you could get a do-over and pull part of it back out. You are no longer allowed to do that, so you just have to go with your best guess, and if you end up with a few hundred dollars in the 32% bracket, you'll have to pay the extra $8 per hundred.

AJ
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Thanks AJ. Pretty much what I assumed, but great to have the confirmation.

IP
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We've been doing conversions for the past years, usually at the 11th hour (figuratively speaking, not literal).

We've found Etrade and Ameritrade to be very tolerant of my procrastination, and will make sure everything get converted in time. I wasn't so late that we ended up toasting in the New Year at their offices...but it was close.

But Vanguard?? Not so much. (I don't think they have any offices scattered around the country). If needed, you might want to get in touch with them before Christmas.
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We've found Etrade and Ameritrade to be very tolerant of my procrastination,

Fidelity allows the conversion to be done online providing that both accounts are already open and with them.
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We've found Etrade and Ameritrade to be very tolerant of my procrastination, and will make sure everything get converted in time. I wasn't so late that we ended up toasting in the New Year at their offices...but it was close.

But Vanguard?? Not so much. (I don't think they have any offices scattered around the country). If needed, you might want to get in touch with them before Christmas.


Vanguard allows you to do the conversion online, without having to call, if both accounts are at Vanguard. And no, they don't have any offices scattered around the country, so if you want to be able to go in and talk to someone face to face, you should probably choose another firm.

That said, especially if you are converting 'in-kind' (that is - moving shares of securities, rather than cash), you should be mindful of distribution dates for things like dividends and distributions. Especially in December, where there tend to be a lot of ETFs, mutual funds and companies that do distributions toward the end of the month - it's probably better to get your conversion done before the distribution occurs, so the distribution will land in the Roth account without any hassles.

AJ
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