Thursday, September 8, 2011

Market downturn can mean tax savings

Some serious stuff this time: Their may be a silver lining in the recent slide in the stock market. If you took advantage of the relaxed IRA/Roth Conversion rules last year and converted your regular IRA to a Roth, listen up! You probably paid tax on that conversion, and you have an opportunity until October 17, 2011 to undo that transaction and retrieve the taxes paid for 2010.

Why would you want to do that? Well, if your Roth value has eroded due to market declines to a point below what it was when you initially converted, you can recharacterize back to a regular IRA, and recoup the taxes you paid on the conversion. If you wait at least 30 days and then reconvert back to a Roth again, you push the tax into 2011, and if the value has declined, you pay tax on the lesser amount. So you reduce your taxes and delay them one year.

It’s a bit of a hassle, but if you qualify you can get reduced taxes and a deferral. Best of both worlds.

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