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My cash is already in the stock. Can I just transfer the stock to my Roth IRA?

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No. A deposit to an IRA must be in cash. A conversion from traditional IRA to Roth can be "in kind" i.e. As a stock transfer. Last, any withdrawals can also be in stock or funds.

IRS Publication 590, so important, it's now in 2 sections Part A and Part B, addresses IRA issues such as this as well as most others.

By the way - now on page 7 - "Contributions, except for rollover contributions, must be in cash."

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    Joe, can you link the relevant publication?
    – littleadv
    Oct 10, 2011 at 3:45
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    Sorry, You don't have Pub 590 on your night table? Adding link to my answer. Oct 10, 2011 at 12:24

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