Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Many taxpayers elected in 2010 to convert their regular IRA to a Roth and either pay the tax in 2010 or spread it out over 2011 and 2012. If you converted your Roth as long as you timely filed your income tax return or got an extension to October 15, 2011, you have until October 17th “unwind” the conversion and treat it as if it never happened.

The primary reason for considering this is the drop in stock prices from 2010 until now. By unwinding the conversion, you may be able to then redo the conversion and save substantial tax this year.

For example, let’s assume a taxpayer had $500,000 in his IRA on June 1, 2010 when he converted it into a ROTH. Now, let’s assume the value of the ROTH is only $300,000. By unwinding the ROTH conversion, the taxpayer does not pay tax on the difference between the $500,000 last June and the $300,000 value now. At the highest tax bracket including applicable state income taxes, the total tax savings could approach $100,000.

Remember, you only have until October 17, 2011 to unwind this conversion