New Roth IRA Conversion Rules – Eight Things Investors Should Know by James Lange, CPA/Attorney – Fact 1 of 8

Although Roth IRAs have been available since 1997, starting in the year 2010 many financial firms and companies started marketing campaigns discussing Roth IRA conversions.

Prior to the year 2010 there were income limits to both contributing and converting to Roth IRAs. However, the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act (TIPRA) of 2005 made some modifications to those rules starting in 2010 that still apply today. For over a decade, Roth IRAs were available only for individuals under certain income limitations. Income restrictions still exist in terms of contributions to a Roth IRA; however, in 2010, changes have removed these restrictions for Roth IRA conversions. These changes have opened a window for investors who were previously excluded from converting to a Roth IRA to consider this conversion.

Many financial firms are capitalizing on these new rule changes with heavy marketing, but like every important financial decisions, this decision needs to be made with extreme care and is best determined case-by-case. For an investor that already has a traditional IRA or retirement plan it is best to discuss with a financial professional whether converting to a Roth IRA is the right move before making any decisions.

Here is Fact 1 of 8 that can help you weigh your decision.

Fact 1. The income limitations for Roth IRA conversions has been removed under previous IRS laws.
Prior to 2010, households with modified adjusted gross incomes exceeding $100,000 were not eligible for Roth IRA conversions. While restrictions still exist for contributing to a Roth IRA, there is no longer an income limit for who can convert an existing traditional IRA or employer plan to a Roth IRA. The IRS’s removal of these income limitations has created a marketing opportunity for financial companies to promote and encourage investors to explore this option. As we mentioned earlier, this is a major financial decision and it is typically in your best interest to discuss your situation with someone who understands all of the moving parts involved.


[1] As identified in IRS Notice 2000-39