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To summarize much of what has correctly been offered, you have 2 choices:

1. Withdraw the excess Roth contribution along with any earnings. The earnings will be ordinary income and subject to the 10% early withdrawal penalty unless one of the exceptions applies (age 59.5 the most common exception). You have until Oct 15, 2019 (or designated day if oct 15 falls on a weekend) to do this.

2. Leave in the RIRA and designate it for part or all of your 2019 RIRA contribution. You will be assessed a 6% penalty you'll pay when you file (form 5329), but the penalty is only on the excess contribution, not the contribution + earnings. But you must be otherwise eligible to make the RIRA contribution in 2019. This may be a better option if your RIRA holding this excess contribution has high investment returns for 2018.

The most common cause, at least in my travels, for an excess RIRA contribution is the contributors MAGI unexpectedly went over the max for making a RIRA contribution. For this group there is a 3rd alternative: recharcterize it and its earnings to a TIRA assuming the contributor is not yet age 70.5 or older. No tax and no penalty. But this, unfortunately, wouldn't apply to you.

BruceM
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