Q. Although I still work sporadically as a consultant, I must begin taking distributions from my IRA before April 1 of next year. If I convert to a Roth IRA now, can I avoid the taxable distribution? R.A., Duluth, Minn.
A. No. Unfortunately, someone who has reached age 70½—and therefore is required to begin taking minimum distributions from a traditional IRA—can’t avoid tax by converting a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA before receiving the required minimum distribution for the year. The required distribution is not eligible for the rollover of funds (Reg. 1.408A-4, Q&A 6).
Tip: Unlike a traditional IRA, you can continue to make contributions to a Roth IRA after attaining age 70½ if you have earned income.
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