My income is too high to contribute to a Roth IRA, so my only choice is a Traditional IRA.

Is there some way I can in 2019 convert my 2018 Traditional IRA contributions into a Roth IRA? And then do that each year thereafter with the previous year's contributions?

  • The linked question specifies only nondeductible contributions. The present question is more general; conversions are also possible with prorated taxes owed on deductible contributions. Also, the other question just asks about the tax consequences, while this one asks how to do a conversion.
    – nanoman
    Oct 5, 2018 at 19:59
  • Not sure why you need to wait until the year after the contribution to convert -- you could convert immediately after the contribution if you want. Also, note that once a contribution is made, it is mixed in with all the other money in Traditional IRA. You can't just "convert the contribution" -- if you have both pre-tax and post-tax money in Traditional IRA in the year you convert, your conversion will consist of some of each in the same proportion as in the whole Traditional IRA (this is the "pro-rata rule").
    – user102008
    Oct 6, 2018 at 1:45

1 Answer 1


Yes, this is a common and often savvy move, sometimes known as a backdoor Roth IRA. There are many explanations.

You need to contact the IRA custodian (mutual fund company, bank, or brokerage) and request a conversion. You will owe prorated taxes on any traditional IRA contributions that were deductible, and on any gains to date.

The conversion is particularly beneficial if you don't qualify for direct Roth or deductible traditional contributions, since anyone with income can make nondeductible traditional contributions, and there is no income limit on conversions.

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