2

Problem

I have a Roth IRA that I setup as a teenager. I contributed in my teens and early 20s, then focused on my 401k and personal accounts; I picked back up investing in the Roth IRA my late 30s.

My understanding is that I can withdraw any money I invested in the Roth IRA at any time without penalty, but that I cannot touch growth.

I would like to know how much money I can withdraw without penalty.

Attempted Solutions

So far, I have come up with the following ideas that have been unsuccessful:

Contact my brokerage for help

My account was with Schwab, then TD Waterhouse, then TD Ameritrade, then Fidelity. I may have gotten one wrong or skipped a few. In short, my current brokerage has minimal history, and my brokerage from my initial investments is long gone. Fidelity recommended that I look at past tax statements

Tax Statements

I looked at my previous tax statements and found contributions from 2019, 2020, and 2021. There were no contributions before that going back to 2007, and I have lost my tax information from pre-2007. The total from 2019+ is 9% of my account balance, so I know I'm missing a lot.

Google

Hey, it was worth a shot. I hoped the government might have a spiffy portal like they do for social security, but did not find anything.

1
  • When you say you found it in previous tax statements can you be more specific about which form(s)? That might be useful for people who still have their old statements.
    – JohnFx
    Feb 4, 2022 at 20:04

1 Answer 1

4

My understanding is that I can withdraw any money I invested in the Roth IRA at any time without penalty, but that I cannot touch growth.

Yes, for direct contributions. For conversions (including "back door") there's a 5 years waiting period in some cases. See full rules here.

I would like to know how much money I can withdraw without penalty.

That's a tough one given what you've tried already. You'll have the burden of proving that the distribution is non-taxable.

One way I can think of is by trying to track forms 5498. These are the forms used by IRA custodians to report contributions to the IRS. You may be able to get the IRS give you copies. They seem to have it (at least for me) for at least 10 years back through the online account (You'll need the "Record of Account" transcript). You may be able to get older ones by requesting them with form 4506.

3
  • Form 8606 tracks this, and keeps a cumulative record of Roth deposits as well as non-deducted traditional IRA deposits. It would seem that whoever did this person‘s taxes hasn’t done a particularly good job. Feb 5, 2022 at 15:19
  • 1
    "After 5 years, IIRC." If by "money I invested in the Roth IRA" they mean the contributions, they can withdraw any amount up to the amount of their contributions at any time without tax or penalty. They do not need to wait until a certain age or a certain number of years after they open a Roth IRA.
    – user102008
    Feb 5, 2022 at 17:31
  • Yeah, the 5 years is for conversions
    – littleadv
    Feb 6, 2022 at 0:46

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .