Can I Convert and How Does That Work?
If you have a Traditional IRA, then it is now possible to convert your account into a Roth IRA, where the future dividends can be earned tax-free. As of this writing, there are no penalties for converting funds from a traditional account into a Roth plan regardless of your Adjusted Gross Income. However, on the amount of money converted, taxes must be paid ‘out of pocket’ by an individual based on their current federal income tax rate. Needless to say, this may create quite a large additional tax burden for an individual all at once. The solution for such an individual might be what is known as a partial conversion strategy.
What is a Partial Conversion?
One way to reduce the amount of taxes that you will have to pay is by doing partial conversions. You are allowed to convert as much or as little Traditional money to Roth as you want. For instance, let’s say you have a $40,000 Traditional IRA that you wish to convert to a Roth. Instead of converting the full $40,000 and having to pay all the taxes in that year, you could convert just $10,000 per year for the next four years, reducing the amount of taxes you have to pay for the given year.
What Are The Likely Candidates For a Conversion?
It is possible to convert your Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA, but as previously mentioned it is not always a good idea because of possible tax consequences. Here is a list of likely candidates for such a transaction:
- Younger individuals with smaller balances
- Individuals in a lower income tax bracket
- Individuals who need flexible access to their retirement plan assets
- Individuals who have a large amount of basis (non-deductible Traditional IRA contributions)
- Individuals who are not eligible to contribute to a Roth IRA