Q&A: Converting an IRA to a Roth

September 4, 2009
David J. Schiller, JD
David J. Schiller, JD

The author is a Norristown, PA tax and estate-planning specialist, and an editorial consultant to this magazine.

How can I convert my individual retirement account into a Roth IRA?

A: If your adjusted gross income exceeds $100,000, you are unable to convert IRA accounts or profit-sharing plan accounts into Roth IRA accounts. However, starting January 1, 2010, the AGI threshold will be eliminated, allowing anyone to convert to a Roth IRA. Converted amounts could come from pretax IRAs, after-tax IRAs, or profit-sharing plans. Although you will be taxed upon conversion on all pre-tax money converted, all future growth is tax-free as long as you follow the special distribution rules.