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Do the fees you owe your broker for trades have to come out of the funds in your Roth? I can put $2000 each year into my Roth to invest. When I buy stocks, I owe commissions to my discount broker. Can I not pay those fees from cash in another non-IRA account? Otherwise, I'm not really getting to investing the full $2000; I'm investing $2000 – commissions.
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Greetings, Fool4CRM, and welcome. You wrote:

<<Do the fees you owe your broker for trades have to come out of the funds in your Roth? I can put $2000 each year into my Roth to invest. When I buy stocks, I owe commissions to my discount broker. Can I not pay those fees from cash in another non-IRA account? Otherwise, I'm not really getting to investing the full $2000; I'm investing $2000 – commissions.>>

Yes, the commissions must come from your annual $2K limit OR from money already in the account. If you pay the commissions from outside money, then the amount you pay will be counted as a contribution to your IRA. If you have already contributed your annual limit of $2K, then the payment will constitute an over-contribution, and that leads to whole new set of problems with the IRS you don't want to incur. Therefore, resign yourself to the fact that your commissions on trades will come from money in the IRA or from your annual contribution.

Regards..Pixy
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You can prove to yourself that, unfortunately, Pixy is exactly right.

http://www.irs.ustreas.gov/forms_pubs/pubs/p5900104.htm is the government source on IRA's. It says, in part,

Brokers' commissions. Brokers' commissions paid in connection with your traditional IRA are subject to the contribution limit and are not deductible as a miscellaneous deduction on Schedule A (Form 1040).

(The same is true of the Roth IRA, I believe, but I couldn't find a reference for you.)

Worse than that, it seems to me, is that the $2000 annual limit is not indexed for inflation. Someone in congress may be talking about raising the limit to $5000. You know in advance that the critics of that plan will say that it benefits "only the rich", as if investments don't produce jobs.

Chips, all for seeing sources if possible
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