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If I contributed let's say $4000 of after-tax money to my ROTH IRA early in 2021 and withdrew $3000 later in the year, am I correct in thinking this is not taxable income and I don't need to report it on my tax return?

I found multiple sources stating something like "You can always withdraw your original contributions from your Roth IRA tax-free."

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Assuming this is not a correction of excess contributions, which is handled differently, but which you didn't say, your numbers don't suggest, and if it were it should have included allocable earnings:

Yes, (normal) distribution from Roth of amounts up to your contributions (treated as taken first), at any time (even before age 59.5 or exception, or before 5 years) is nontaxable. However, if early and thus 'nonqualified' you do have to report it on form 8606 part III to show its nontaxability; see the instructions here (also downloadable in PDF, go up one level at the top of the page or to https://www.irs.gov/forms-instructions where the form is also available).

Amounts converted from a trad IRA or rolled-over from a trad (non-Roth) empployer plan, which were subject to normal tax at the time converted or rolled-over, are also distributable without normal tax, but they are accounted separately on 8606, because if they are early and within 5 years of the conversion/rollover they are subject to the 10% additional tax, see pub 590-B at Additional Tax on Early Distributions and its link to Appendix C.

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The withdrawal of your original amount is always tax-free and penalty-free. However, as per this IRS article you may still need to fill Form 1040 although your distributions will not add to your taxable income.

As per this Schwab article -

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This Investopedia article gives some additional information regarding earnings (which I realize is redundant info for your question), particularly this section (it may not be clear in the article but what they mean by held their accounts for at least five years actually means the amount being withdrawn was contributed five years ago or earlier) -

People over 59½ who've held their accounts for at least five years old can withdraw contributions and earnings with no tax or penalty. Special exceptions apply for those who are under 59½ or don't meet the five-year rule if make withdrawals for a first-time home purchase, college expenses, or other situations.

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  • How is the section you quoted related to the OP?
    – littleadv
    Commented Feb 9, 2022 at 2:17
  • That same Investopedia article states the following "Account-holders can always withdraw the money they contribute without incurring taxes or penalties.". To me this means I can withdraw my contributions tax free even if I'm under 59 1/2... correct?
    – Dean Kuga
    Commented Feb 9, 2022 at 2:19
  • @littleadv added additional info to make it more relevant
    – Chait
    Commented Feb 9, 2022 at 2:41
  • @DeanKuga you're right, the contributions are always tax-free and penalty-free, only what I mentioned applies to earnings only - I updated my answer to reflect that
    – Chait
    Commented Feb 9, 2022 at 2:42
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So, in H&R Block software I entered the 1099-R I received from Fidelity for the withdrawal from my ROTH IRA. Distribution Code was J which is early withdrawal. This significantly reduced my return amount because taxes and penalty were assessed.

However, per advice here I searched for form 8606 and found this:

Form 8606

I chose to go through the Interview and at one point there was a question on how much money I contributed to my ROTH IRA since it was opened, excluding rollovers, and after entering the amount which was greater than the distribution my return amount was modified to what it was prior to entering 1099-R.

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