IRA to ROTH after 70 and 1/2


A

alex turchina

I was told that recent new tax change now allows conversion
of IRA to Roth after 70 and 1/2.

First, is it so or not? Where I can find more info?

If yes to above, if my minimum IRA distribution is 75,000
can I take only 75k and covert them to Roth and be done with
the minimum required distribution, or do I need to take 75K
regardless and also an additional 75K to convert to Roth.

Thanks, alex
 
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H

Harlan Lunsford

alex said:
I was told that recent new tax change now allows conversion
of IRA to Roth after 70 and 1/2.

First, is it so or not? Where I can find more info?
I've never heard of any age minimums/maximums for conversion to
a Roth. You pay the tax and it's your money. Government comes
out ahead cause it gets all that tax "up front".
If yes to above, if my minimum IRA distribution is 75,000
can I take only 75k and covert them to Roth and be done with
the minimum required distribution, or do I need to take 75K
regardless and also an additional 75K to convert to Roth.
gulp! your minimum yearly distribution is 75,000$????

You did well, VERY well, with your IRA's, or even 401k
rollovers to IRA's over the years.

ChEAr$,
Harlan Lunsford, EA n LA
Sat, 8 Jan 2005
 
A

Alan

lex said:
I was told that recent new tax change now allows conversion
of IRA to Roth after 70 and 1/2.

First, is it so or not? Where I can find more info?

If yes to above, if my minimum IRA distribution is 75,000
can I take only 75k and covert them to Roth and be done with
the minimum required distribution, or do I need to take 75K
regardless and also an additional 75K to convert to Roth.
See http://fairmark.com/rothira/expand.htm
Yes you can convert after starting your RMD (MRD if you
prefer). You can not convert the RMD itself.
 
J

John Richards

alex turchina said:
I was told that recent new tax change now allows conversion
of IRA to Roth after 70 and 1/2.

First, is it so or not? Where I can find more info?

From IRS Pub 590:
Converting From Any Traditional IRA Into a Roth IRA You can
convert amounts from a traditional IRA into a Roth IRA if,
for the tax year you make the withdrawal from the
traditional IRA, both of the following requirements are met.

a.. Your modified AGI for Roth IRA purposes (explained in
chapter 2) is not more than $100,000.

b.. You are not a married individual filing a separate
return.
If yes to above, if my minimum IRA distribution is 75,000
can I take only 75k and covert them to Roth and be done with
the minimum required distribution, or do I need to take 75K
regardless and also an additional 75K to convert to Roth.

From IRS Pub 590:
Required distributions. You cannot convert amounts that
must be distributed from your traditional IRA for a
particular year (including the calendar year in which you
reach age 70½) under the required distribution rules
(discussed in this chapter).
Thanks, alex
Hope this helps,
John
 
H

Herb Smith

alex said:
I was told that recent new tax change now allows conversion
of IRA to Roth after 70 and 1/2.

First, is it so or not? Where I can find more info?
I think you misread or misunderstood this change in the tax
law. Conversion of a traditional IRA to a Roth after age
70-1/2 has always been possible - as long as you withdraw
your RMD amount first.
If yes to above, if my minimum IRA distribution is 75,000
can I take only 75k and covert them to Roth and be done with
the minimum required distribution, or do I need to take 75K
regardless and also an additional 75K to convert to Roth.
You have to take the RMD first, and cannot convert those
funds to a Roth IRA. After that is done, you can convert
additional withdrawals from the IRA to a Roth. Since your
ability to make a conversion is limited to your MAGI of
$100,000 (not counting the conversion amount), the tax law
was changed to also exclude the RMD amount from MAGI for
Roth conversion purposes. Both amounts are still taxable as
ordinary income, however.
 
C

cpabakem01

Many older Americans are relying on withdrawals from their
individual retirement accounts to cover living expenses. But
some seniors who don't want or need to dip into the mutual
funds and other securities in their IRAs now have a new
opportunity to leave bigger IRA nest eggs to their heirs.

Under a tax-law change that went into effect on Saturday,
more people past age 70 1/2, the age at which people are
generally required to begin taking annual distributions from
traditional IRAs, have the option to convert their existing
IRAs to Roth IRAs. That can be attractive because Roth
holders aren't required to pull money out in their lifetimes
and any withdrawals by Roth holders or their heirs are
generally tax-free.

Making the switch to a Roth can be "a great way to provide
an income-tax-free legacy for your children -- or
grandchildren, even," says Ed Slott, a Rockville Centre,
N.Y., accountant who specializes in IRAs. In contrast, with
a traditional IRA funded with tax-deductible contributions,
money withdrawn by the IRA holder or an heir is generally
taxed at ordinary income rates.

Still, there is a steep cost to convert from a traditional
IRA to a Roth: You owe tax at ordinary income rates on the
money that is moved. (There's an adjustment for any
after-tax or nondeductible contributions to the old IRA.)

Even though "normal tax planning is to postpone paying taxes
as long as possible," paying the tax bill sooner to convert
to a Roth can really pay off, says Kaye Thomas, a tax
attorney and tax-guide publisher in Lisle, Ill.

This month's tax-law change concerns an income test for Roth
conversions. As in the past, people can make the switch only
in a year when their modified adjusted gross income -- not
including income generated by the conversion itself --
doesn't exceed $100,000. But now, required minimum
distributions from traditional IRAs no longer count toward
that figure.

That means that a single person who collects $50,000 in
required IRA distributions and has another $60,000 in
taxable income would be able to convert, while previously he
or she couldn't. The cap is also $100,000 for a married
couple filing jointly. (Married people filing separately
can't do a Roth conversion.)

Tax specialists say a later-in-life Roth conversion
primarily makes sense for someone who has money outside the
IRA to pay the upfront tax bill and who also wants to
maximize IRA dollars to be left to heirs.

Making the switch pays off in two primary ways: By avoiding
future mandatory distributions, more money keeps growing
longer under the tax-favored IRA umbrella. Also, paying the
conversion tax bill from money outside the IRA "in a sort of
a hidden way increases the size of your retirement savings,"
says Mr. Thomas, whose Fairmark.com Web site offers
extensive Roth IRA guidance.

Look at it this way: If you assume a 30 percent tax rate,
$100,000 in a traditional IRA funded with pretax (that is,
deductible) contributions is worth $70,000 after tax. But
doing a Roth conversion and paying the tax from assets
outside the IRA leaves you with a Roth IRA worth the full
$100,000, since Roth withdrawals are generally tax-free.

The advantage of passing money to heirs in a traditional or
Roth IRA is that the money can continue to grow tax-deferred
or tax-free for many years. A spouse who is named as an IRA
beneficiary can simply merge the inherited IRA into his or
her existing IRA. Other individuals who are designated
beneficiaries are subject to different rules on pulling the
money out of an inherited IRA, but they can opt to stretch
those payments over many years based on life expectancy.

An inherited IRA can compound to particularly large sums
over time if the beneficiary is very young. A one-year-old
girl who inherits a $100,000 IRA and spreads the withdrawals
over her lifetime might be able to withdraw a total of over
$8 million, Mr. Slott notes in a new book called "Parlay
Your IRA into a Family Fortune."

One factor to consider in weighing a Roth conversion is
future tax rates -- both the general schedule of tax rates
and the particular brackets you or your heirs may be in.

If you believe the federal government is going to raise tax
rates over time, for instance, that is a reason to consider
a Roth conversion now. And converting to a Roth can be "a
big win" if you are in a low tax bracket and expect to pass
your IRA to beneficiaries whose incomes make them subject to
higher rates, says Stuart Ritter, a financial planner with
fund company T. Rowe Price Group in Baltimore. That is
because paying the tax bill at your lower rate will
ultimately produce more cash for your heirs than if you left
them a traditional IRA and they paid the tax.

But converting to a Roth may not be a good idea if you are
in a high tax bracket and you believe your beneficiaries
will generally be in lower brackets. Also, Anthony Luciano,
a vice president for retirement products at Fidelity
Investments, notes that if you are converting a large IRA to
a Roth, some of that conversion income could end up being
taxed at higher than your usual tax rate.

One way to get around that bump-up in tax bracket -- and to
reduce the immediate tax bill -- is to convert only a
portion of your traditional IRA each year. Investors who
convert to a Roth also have the option of reversing the
transaction up until Oct. 15 of the following calendar year.

If you are required to take annual distributions from your
traditional IRA, you must take this year's payout before
converting any or all of the remaining balance to a Roth.
IRA specialists also say investors should discuss their
plans for their IRAs with their attorneys as part of the
overall estate-planning process.

While the latest tax-law change may prompt some additional
Roth conversions, IRA specialists generally don't expect a
huge volume. Most people just don't like to pay tax before
they have to, "even if you can convince them it's a better
deal," says Justin Ransome, a senior tax manager in the
Washington office of accountants KPMG LLP.

Milt Baker CPA Michigan
 
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A

Arthur L. Rubin

Many older Americans are relying on withdrawals from their
individual retirement accounts to cover living expenses. But
some seniors who don't want or need to dip into the mutual
funds and other securities in their IRAs now have a new
opportunity to leave bigger IRA nest eggs to their heirs.

Under a tax-law change that went into effect on Saturday,
more people past age 70 1/2, the age at which people are
generally required to begin taking annual distributions from
traditional IRAs, have the option to convert their existing
IRAs to Roth IRAs.
What Saturday is that? One in 1999?
 
C

cpabakem01

Arthur said:
(e-mail address removed) wrote:
What Saturday is that? One in 1999?
THIS MONTH'S TAX LAW CHANGE (1-1-2005) concerns an income
test for Roth conversions. As in the past, people can make
the switch only in a year when their modified adjusted gross
income -- not including income generated by the conversion
itself --doesn't exceed $100,000. BUT NOW, REQUIRED MINIMUM
DISTRIBUTIONS FROM TRADITIONAL IRAs NO LONGER COUNT TOWARD
THAT FIGURE.

The Full text of this was posted earlier by me in this
discussion. The last post was somehow cut short in
transmission.

Milt Baker CPA Michigan I like your retort? <grin>
 
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P

Phil Marti

alex turchina said:
I was told that recent new tax change now allows conversion
of IRA to Roth after 70 and 1/2.

First, is it so or not?
You have always been able to convert from traditional to
Roth at any age.
Where I can find more info?
IRS Publication 590
If yes to above, if my minimum IRA distribution is 75,000
can I take only 75k and covert them to Roth and be done with
the minimum required distribution, or do I need to take 75K
regardless and also an additional 75K to convert to Roth.
You cannot convert your required minimum distribution.

Phil Marti
Clarksburg, MD
 

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