Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)/Roth IRA Conversion


Greetings John,
 I am interested in converting my rollover Traditional IRA of $42,000 to a Roth IRA.  What is the best way to reduce my tax burden?  I waited until this year because I am in my last year as a full-time student and I didn't want to jeopardize my scholarship.  I have virtually no income this year and figured it would be best to do the conversion this year.  My question is, what are the Tax consequences given I have no income?  Should I transfer the full amount of 42K or would it be less costly to transfer 1/2 this year and then 1/2 next year?  I guess, I would like to know what are my taxes for each option?

Thanks for the help!


Thanks for your question.

I presume you are single since you did not mention it. Since I do not have full information and this is a volunteer forum, I cannot calculate your tax liability as stated in my instructions.

If you rolled it over this year in full with no other income, you would have approximately $31,000 subject to income tax.  Approximately $9,000 would be taxed at 10% with the remained at 15%

Next year, with other income, the rollover would be added to your earned income and the rate could be between 15 and 39.6%. Without marital status, income level, and deduction information, I couldn't calculate your liability.

Hope this helps.

John Stancil, CPA

Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)

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John Stancil, CPA


I can answer questions on personal income taxes, partnerships, and some corporate income taxes. I can deal with some state tax questions. Limited gift and estate tax questions. I am also familiar with ministerial and church tax reporting issues. I am Professor Emeritus at Florida Southern College. Sales taxes and property taxes are state and local issues so I am not likely be be able to give you an in depth answer on those types of taxes. I have maintained a CPA practice, specializing in tax, for over 35 years. I am a member of the National Association of Tax Professionals, The Florida Insititute of CPA's, The NCPE Fellowship. In addition I am a Certified Mentor for SCORE. Visit my website at I also offer seminars and consultations to churches and clergy on their tax issues at Also visit my blog, I am listed on Tax Connections at Prepare and file your own taxes at


I hold a doctorate in Accounting, and am a CPA. My certifications of CIA, CFM, and CMA are inactive. I passed all certification examinations on the first attempt, and received honorable mention for my scores on the CIA exam. I have operated a CPA firm for over 37 years and have taught accounting and tax at the college level for over 35 years.

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