The traditional IRA can be converted to a Roth IRA but it is taxable. When you have a traditional IRA, your contributions is taxable only when you make a withdrawal. It is the opposite of the Roth IRA. Your contributions to a Roth IRA are taxed right away but you don’t pay any tax when you make a withdrawal since you already paid taxes for your contributions. This can be both good or a bad thing depending on your current and future income.
The U.S. has a progressive tax system—meaning the more you earn, the more tax you’re going to pay. Since there is a likelihood that your income will be different when you retired which is often the case with many Americans, choosing the right individual retirement account can save you money.
Let’s say you contribute to a traditional IRA and all of a sudden, you know that you’re going to earn more in retirement. Because the money isn’t taxed already, you’re going to pay a larger portion of your income. This is assuming you move to a higher tax bracket. In this case, if you were to have a Roth IRA, you would save more money overall.
Speculating your earnings decades from now on can be challenging if not impossible. Luckily, you can always convert a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA.
Converting Traditional IRA to Roth IRA
Converting your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA is extremely easy. All you need to do is pay taxes on your contributions. You will receive a Form 1099-R showing your total contributions up until that point. After you pay taxes on this, you will receive a Form 1099-R every year for your contributions. When you convert, you are going to pay taxes fully on that money but in a longer period, it will worth to you more.
If paying too much tax for one year is the thing that making you shy over converting to a traditional IRA, don’t be. You will gain muıch more value over time. Another benefit of converting to a Roth IRA is you can change your provider. By any chance, if you’re unhappy with your provider, you will also have the option to switch.