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Friday, May 27, 2011

Traditional IRAs and most employer-sponsored retirement plans are tax-deferred accounts, which means they are typically funded with pre-tax or tax-deductible dollars. As a result, taxes are not payable until funds are withdrawn, generally in retirement.

Withdrawals from tax-deferred accounts are subject to income tax at your current tax rate. In addition, withdrawals taken prior to age 59½ are subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty.

If you made nondeductible contributions to a traditional IRA, you have what is called a “cost basis” in the IRA. Your cost basis is the total of the nondeductible contributions to the IRA minus any previous withdrawals or distributions of nondeductible contributions. The recovery of this basis is not seen as taxable income.


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