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Roth IRA Workaround: 2010 Conversion Limit Loophole

Can’t contribute to a Roth IRA? There’s a workaround.

I was speaking my accountant a few weeks ago when we began discussing retirement options. One of the ideas we discussed was to contribute to a non-deductible Traditional IRA with the plan of converting it into a Roth IRA in 2010. Prior to 2010, if you earned more than $100,000 MAGI, you cannot convert a Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. This limit is the same whether you’re married or single (boo!). Starting in 2010, that rule disappears so anyone of any income can convert (more on the 2010 traditional IRA conversion income limit loophole [3]).

Right now, my wife and I cannot contribute to a Roth IRA and so we lose access to one of the greatest retirement vehicles available. Fortunately she has access to a 401(k) and I have access to a SEP-IRA, so we do have pre-tax retirement accounts; we just don’t have post-tax vehicles like the Roth IRA. So how do we get some? Use that loophole!

Here is our strategy to take advantage of the 2010 rule change, we will both contribute to non-deductible Traditional IRAs and then convert them, nearly tax free, to Roth IRAs in 2010. It’s nearly tax free because we would still be responsible for taxes on any appreciation the IRAs saw. In talking with my accountant, this strategy works but he gave me some pointers to ensure we don’t run into any headaches.

Now we have to hope that the rule doesn’t change or those non-deductible Traditional IRA dollars will be taxed again… in 40-something years.

Has anyone else looked into this?

(Photo: dawnzy [5])