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Understanding the Pro-Rata Rule

The pro-rata rule is an important, though commonly misunderstood, rule that affects the taxation of IRA money. It only comes into play when your traditional IRA consists of both pre-tax and after-tax monies. These after-tax dollars can come from non-deductible IRA contributions or rollovers of after-tax funds from employer plans. Either way, once those monies are in the account, subsequent distributions or conversions are subject to the pro-rata rule. The pro-rata rule does not apply to Roth IRA assets. Instead, Roth IRA distributions are subject to their own set of ordering rules.

5 Roth IRA Facts That May Surprise You

Do you think you understand all the rules that govern your Roth IRA? Not so fast! There are many misconceptions as to how these complicated accounts work. Here are 5 Roth IRA facts that might surprise you.

Bitcoin as an IRA Investment: 6 Things to Know

Bitcoin is receiving a surge of publicity as a possible IRA investment, and a number of new firms have recently started targeting the "Bitcoin IRA" market. Read about six things to know when investing IRA funds in Bitcoin.

Is 2018 the Year for Your Roth IRA Conversion?

Roth IRAs have been around for 20 years now. Lots of taxpayers have taken advantage of the tax-free benefits of these accounts by converting their traditional IRAs or employer plans to Roth IRAs. But many have hesitated. Maybe you are among those who held back. The year 2018 may be the year to change your mind.

Fix Beneficiary Forms to Get the Most Financial Payoff for the Least Planning Effort

What is the simplest mistake you can make to cause major harm to your intended estate plan - and to the people you wish to provide for through that plan? It is having outdated (or missing entirely) beneficiary designation forms for your IRAs, employer-provided retirement savings plans, life insurance policies and other valuable financial accounts.

This Week's Q&A Mailbag: Two RMD Questions

This week's Q&A mailbag answers two reader questions about RMDs.

What Tax Reforms Means for Your "Back-Door" Roth IRA Conversion

You may be interested in contributing to a Roth IRA but think your income is too high. You are probably aware that there are income limits that apply to Roth IRA contributions. For 2018, if you are married, your ability to make Roth IRA contributions phases out when your Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) is between $189,000 - $199,000 and between $120,000 - $ 135,000 if you are single. Are you out of luck if you are a high earner? The answer is "no" and tax reform makes this clearer than ever.

6 IRA Actions in 2018 Guided by Your 2017 Tax Return

As you prepare your 2017 tax return, use the information you collect both to make the best IRA contribution choices for 2017, and to plan IRA strategies for 2018. Here are six ways to consider:

Roth Recharacterization Update from IRS

It has been widely reported that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminated the ability to recharacterize Roth IRA conversions as of January 1, 2018. On the other hand, it kept the ability to recharacterize IRA and Roth IRA contributions. Despite all of the above, an unanswered question on Roth IRA conversions done in 2017 lingered. At the time of those conversions the taxpayer had the ability to recharacterize the conversion up to October 15, 2018. Was that option still available to them?

Tax Reform and Your IRA – 5 Things You Need to Know

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act made sweeping changes to the tax laws. Brackets have been changed, deductions have been eliminated, and retirement plans have been affected. You may be wondering what the new law means for your IRA. Here are 5 things you need to know.


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