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The Top 5 Laws, Rulings, and Decisions from 2018 Affecting IRAs

In my last installment, I talked about one of my two favorite beginning of the year topics when it comes to retirement planning: New Year’s Resolutions (https://www.irahelp.com/slottreport/easy-new-year’s-resolutions-your-retirement). Here, I want to talk about the second topic, the most important laws, regulations, rulings, and decisions from 2018 that affect IRAs going forward. We’ve seen plenty of activity over the past year, on all fronts, so I boiled the discussion down to a top 5 (with an “and-1” tacked onto the end). Recharacterization of Conversions Eliminated – Technically, this law was passed in 2017, but no list would be complete without it. Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”), the ability to recharacterize conversions was eliminated for any conversion completed on or after January 1, 2018. This change is a big deal. That means there are no do-overs when it comes to conversion, which in turn, also means that if you are doing a conversion, you need to be absolutely certain of two things: (1) That you accurately account for the income tax effect; and (2) that have the money (in non-tax deferred accounts) to pay the extra taxes. As a result, it’s safest to execute a conversion closer to the end of the year. Read More

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