Roth IRA Conversion Could Trigger Tax Underpayment Penalty

August 27th, 2008  |  Published in Retirement  |  2 Comments

If you convert a Traditional IRA into a Roth IRA this year, remember that the balance you convert will be considered income and so you may be penalized for underpaying your taxes. There are several safe harbor conditions that would save you from the underpayment penalty (for example, if you did not owe taxes last year, then you would not be subject to the underpayment penalty this year) so check with a tax professional to ensure you are adequately paying your taxes to avoid this penalty.

There is no safe harbor simply because the underpayment was the result of a Roth IRA conversion so be sure to review it.

  

Responses

  1. Tax Carnival #41: TaxtoberFest 2008 | My Journey to Millions says:

    October 6th, 2008 at 9:20 pm (#)

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  2. Britt (Your Roth IRA) says:

    June 10th, 2009 at 9:47 am (#)

    This is a good point to remember. Since contributions to your Traditional IRA were most likely tax deductible when made, the IRS views a conversion to the non-tax deductible Roth IRA as income. Make sure you pay the applicable income taxes.

    Also, make sure you adhere the Roth IRA 5 year holding period before attempting to make any qualified distributions. Even if you’re over age 59.5, the IRS views the conversion date as identical to the Roth IRA creation date, so you still need to wait 5 tax years before making qualified distributions.