i had excess contribution for my roth ira listed on my 2015 income tax form 5329. i also had excess contributions in 2016 and 2017. i paid the necessary taxes due to the excess contributions. now for the 2018 income tax, i want to take the roth ira withdrawal to correct the excess contributions for the 3 years prior. how do i correct this mess?
Since the excess has not yet been corrected, you have another 6% penalty for 2018 unless you can apply the excess as a contribution for 2018. If you can't apply the excess as a 2018 contribution, the excess has now carried into 2019. To resolve the excess and avoid another 6% penalty for 2019, take a regular Roth IRA distribution of exactly the amount of the excess, with no adjustment for earnings or loss, by the end of 2019.