February 12, 2013

Taxation of Roth IRA


Does a Roth IRA need to be taxed as income?


A Roth IRA is an individual retirement plan which is subject to the same rules as a Traditional IRA with a few exceptions. Unlike a Traditional IRA, contributions to a Roth IRA are not deductible, but distributions from a Roth IRA may be tax free.

IRS Publication 590 explains when distributions from a Roth IRA are tax free:

"You do not include in your gross income qualified distributions or distributions that are a return of your regular contributions from your Roth IRA(s). You also do not include distributions from your Roth IRA that you roll over tax free into another Roth IRA."

If an employer were to make a contribution directly to an employee's Roth IRA account, the amount of the contribution must be treated as taxable compensation just as if cash compensation had been provided to the employee and the employee had subsequently contributed it to a Roth IRA.

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