This year has been challenging on many fronts, but one financial opportunity may have emerged from the economic turbulence. If you’ve been thinking about converting your traditional IRA to a Roth, now might be an appropriate time to do so.
Roth IRAs offer tax-free income in retirement. Contributions to a Roth IRA are not tax-deductible, but qualified withdrawals, including any earnings, are free of federal income tax. Such withdrawals may also be free of any state income tax that would apply to retirement plan distributions.
Generally, a Roth distribution is considered “qualified” if it meets a five-year holding requirement and you are age 59½ or older, become permanently disabled, or die (other exceptions may apply).
Regardless of your filing status or how much you earn, you can convert assets in a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. Though annual IRA contribution limits are relatively low ($6,000 to all IRAs combined in 2020, or $7,000 if you are age 50 or older), there is no limit to the amount you can convert or the number of conversions you can make during a calendar year. An inherited traditional IRA cannot be converted to a Roth, but a spouse beneficiary who treats an inherited IRA as his or her own can convert the assets.
Converted assets are subject to federal income tax in the year of conversion and may also be subject to state taxes. This could result in a substantial tax bill, depending on the value of your account, and could move you into a higher tax bracket. However, if all conditions are met, the Roth account will incur no further income tax liability and you won’t be subject to required minimum distributions. (Designated beneficiaries are required to take withdrawals based on certain rules and time frames, depending on their age and relationship to the original account holder, but such withdrawals would be free of federal tax.)
Comparatively low income tax rates combined with the impact of the economic downturn might make this an appropriate time to consider a Roth conversion.
If you have questions about converting your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA, contact the tax experts at Pinnacle CPA Advisory Group for help. Reach us by phone at (614) 942-1990, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by filling out the Contact Form at cpaagi.com/contact.
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