In 2010, the conditions were
ideal for converting traditional IRAs into Roth accounts. Previous restrictions
on conversions had been removed, and income triggered by conversions was taxed
at relatively low rates. Today, we are once again looking at excellent
conditions for Roth conversions.
It can be hard not to sound like
a broken record, but it’s also hard to let important messages fade away without
one more reminder. Such is the case with Roth IRA conversions.
If you were actively planning in
2010 and the years since, then you’ve heard much about the power of Roth IRA
conversions. Guess what … Roth IRA conversions are still remarkable and
A recent article in MarketWatch, titled “Roth IRA conversions: Still tax-smart,”
extolls the virtues of the conversion strategy and the math behind it. A Roth
IRA works like a backwards IRA by allowing you to pay the tax upfront rather
than delaying it until later, as with a traditional IRA. Moreover, a
traditional IRA can be converted to a Roth within certain restrictions.
This is a retirement planning
tool, but it also can also become a powerful estate and gift planning tool.
While an IRA can always be left to beneficiaries, every dollar withdrawn is
subject to ordinary income taxation. Distributions from an inherited Roth IRA,
on the other hand, are taken without any income tax bill. That’s pretty
The important and timely message
is that all of the relevant conversion rules and taxes are at fairly gentle
levels for the remainder of 2012, but the future beyond that is uncertain.
Accordingly, you should act now if you want to take advantage of this window of
opportunity before it closes.
Contact Meier Law Firm to discss all of your estate planning options.
(August 28, 2012) “Roth IRA conversions: Still tax-smart”