How to Undo a Roth Conversion

You can recharacterize your account and get a refund of the taxes you paid when you converted.

I converted my IRA to a Roth in 2011, but now I need the money that I paid in taxes. Is it too late to undo the conversion and get the money back?

No, it isn’t too late. You have until October 15, 2012, to undo a Roth conversion made in 2011. The process is simple: Ask your IRA administrator to recharacterize the account (the term for undoing the conversion), then file an amended return with the IRS (Form 1040X), and you’ll get a refund of the taxes you paid. See the Instructions for Form 1040X for more information about filing an amended return.

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Kimberly Lankford
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

As the "Ask Kim" columnist for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Lankford receives hundreds of personal finance questions from readers every month. She is the author of Rescue Your Financial Life (McGraw-Hill, 2003), The Insurance Maze: How You Can Save Money on Insurance -- and Still Get the Coverage You Need (Kaplan, 2006), Kiplinger's Ask Kim for Money Smart Solutions (Kaplan, 2007) and The Kiplinger/BBB Personal Finance Guide for Military Families. She is frequently featured as a financial expert on television and radio, including NBC's Today Show, CNN, CNBC and National Public Radio.