New Member
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Retirement tax questions

I am not currently working but have money in a traditional IRA.  Can I take some out of there and put in my Roth?  I am confused what is meant by "earned income".  I would be paying taxes on the money removed from the traditional IRA and I did earn it from the past.  Thanks so much.
Level 6
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Retirement tax questions

Sure, you can always convert traditional IRA funds into Roth IRA funds, so long as you pay taxes on the distribution.  The amount converted is applied towards any minimum required distribution (MRD) as well.  The requirement on "earned income" only applies to putting new money into an IRA.  Conversion simply moves existing retirement account money around.

I recommend looking at IRS publications 590-A and 590-B for details.  They may be found by searching in

http://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs

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Level 15
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Retirement tax questions

That is not entirely true.. If you are required to take a minimum required distribution (MRD) in the year you convert to a Roth IRA, you must do so BEFORE converting.
Level 6
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Retirement tax questions

SweetieJean, thanks for the correction.  MRD's cannot be rolled over to another tax-advantaged account, so only up to a max of $6,500, and no more than bhananice actually earned from working in the current tax year (and not the year(s) the money was put into the traditional IRA originally) of that money could only be contributed to a Roth IRA. She/he is still welcome to convert part or all of any remaining traditional IRA balance to a Roth IRA, reporting, of course, additional income beyond the MRD.