Author Topic: Reclassifying Roth IRA to Traditional - MAGI too high?  (Read 782 times)


  • Bristles
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Reclassifying Roth IRA to Traditional - MAGI too high?
« on: February 20, 2017, 09:54:16 AM »
Hi all,

So I just completed my taxes for this year (didn't submit yet though) and it turns out my wife and I have finally crossed the barrier where we're starting to phase out Roth IRA eligibility.

TurboTax threw up a warning that of the $11k in Roth contributions we made ($5500 each), we're 'overcontributed' by ~2200 because our MAGI falls between that 184k-194k range where the phaseout begins.

I initially looked at increasing our deductions to see if we can get below the limit but to my untrained eye I'm pretty tapped out. We're itemizing since things still exceed our standard deduction, but our MAGI cuts off some possible additional deductions like 1098-T for my part time MBA tuition etc.

Their recommended course of action is to withdraw the contributions or reclassify as tIRA. Obviously we're well above the tIRA deduction limits.

I have a few questions / looking to get some opinions.

Our Roth IRAs are with Vanguard, does anyone have experience reclassifying with them? Is the process easy?
Is there any merit financially-speaking to withdrawing the contributions and buying an 80'' TV adding them to the taxable account instead of a tIRA?
Going forward, should we continue to contribute to the Roth IRAs?
I currently have Vanguard set to 'maximize' our contributions within the calendar year. I prefer this automated method, but I presume there is no way to easily account for your MAGI during the year. Should I hold off some level of contributions until I do my taxes in the following year?


Mods: Originally posted this in the Taxes subforum but after getting my thoughts out it definitely feels like a advice post instead of a tax question. I'll go and edit the post in the taxes forum. Apologies for the trouble


  • Bristles
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Re: Reclassifying Roth IRA to Traditional - MAGI too high?
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2017, 10:10:22 AM »
To solve the immediate problem, you can pretty easily recharacterize the ~$2200 worth of excess contributions from Roth IRA to Traditional IRA. Just call or send Vanguard a message and I think they will help you with the necessary paperwork. True, you won't be able to deduct those recharacterized contributions. But then you can look into the Backdoor Roth IRA strategy, which will allow you to get that Traditional IRA money back into your Roth IRA without penalty. This might be a necessary strategy going forward if you expect your MAGI to remain above the cutoff for direct Roth IRA contributions.