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Roth IRA

Undoing Contributions and Conversions

Top of our guide to undoing, or recharacterizing, a Roth IRA conversion or contribution.

For one reason or another, you may want or need to undo a contribution or conversion to a Roth IRA. Fortunately there's a way to do that. In fact, more than one.

Page Descriptions

Excess Contributions
This page describes ways to handle excess contributions. If you've contributed too much to a Roth IRA, or made a contribution or conversion when you weren't allowed to do so, you've made an excess contribution. To avoid penalties, you have to correct the excess contribution by the return due date for the year in which it occurred.

Recharacterizing Contributions
You can correct certain types of excess contributions by having the contributions, together with any earnings, transferred to a different type of IRA. The IRS calls this a recharacterization. You can use this rule to change your mind about a contribution or conversion even if it isn't an excess contribution.

Recharacterization Rules
This page explains what contributions are eligible for switching, the deadline for making the switch, and other important rules.

Recharacterization Mechanics
This page lays out the specific steps you need to take when you want to switch IRAs.

Earnings Allocations
This page explains how to determine the amount of earnings to transfer when you switch a contribution from one IRA to another.

Reconversion to Save Taxes
Visit this page if you're using this switch to undo and redo a Roth IRA conversion to save taxes.

Extended Deadline for Recharacterization
An IRS notice explains how to do a recharacterization even after the deadline has passed.

Other Topics

Here are the other topics in our Guide to the Roth IRA:

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