Backdoor Roth IRA 2022: A Step by Step Guide with Vanguard – Physician on FIRE

In 2022, I made my tenth pair of “ backdoor Roth ” IRA contributions with Vanguard. It ’ s a capital means for high-income professionals to contribute to a Roth IRA when earning “ excessively a lot ” to contribute immediately to a Roth IRA. As of January 5, 2022, the action is complete on both my wife ’ s reciprocal fund IRA account and my brokerage IRA account .
It ’ mho important to note that if legislation proposed in September, 2021 become police, the back door Roth could soon cease to be an choice for high-income households. Although the Build Back Better bill stalled in December of 2021, it could be passed in 2022, and there is some case law for modern tax laws to be retroactive to the beginning of the year .
My best think is that any changes will be more likely delayed until 2023 or not enforced until the bill were to become law. I personally decided to make my back door Roth contribution and conversion early in 2022, but I do so knowing that there ’ s a possibility I may have to somehow unwrap it if Congress forces my hand .

I ’ ll give you a brief overview, accurate bit-by-bit instructions on how to do this yourself, and a associate to a backdoor Roth FAQ that should answer any linger questions you have .
This position has been updated with fresh screenshots from our 2022 contributions and will soon be updated with the conversions .
I transitioned to a “ brokerage house IRA history ” as requested by Vanguard a few years back, while my wife ’ south history remains a “ reciprocal fund IRA account. ” The latter makes things immediate and easier, although now, there only seems to be a one-day difference between the two different processes for the unlike bill types .
I like to get ours done early in the year to start the tax-exempt earnings ampere soon as possible, but, barring any fresh laws in early 2022, you have until Tax Day in mid-april, 2022 to complete a 2021 Backdoor Roth contribution .
Vanguard is the company I use, and it ’ s matchless that tends to be favored among many index store investors, so that ’ s what you ’ ll watch here. The process should be exchangeable with other brokerages, but the screenshots will obviously look unlike .


Backdoor Roth IRA: An Overview

Money contributed to Roth accounts does not result in a tax subtraction, unlike contributions to tax-deferred accounts. Both Roth and tax-deferred accounts benefit from tax-exempt growth, unlike a taxable report that is subject to tax drag ( which can be minimized ). The Roth dollars, unlike tax-deferred dollars, will not be taxed when indrawn .
One of the first world problems of earning a solid income is the inability to contribute immediately to a Roth IRA or a tax-deductible IRA .
A modified adjusted crying income ( MAGI ) of $ 214,000 for a couple filing jointly, or $ 144,000 for an person makes you ineligible to contribute to a Roth IRA in 2022. Phaseout ranges where you can make a smaller Roth contribution ( less than $ 6,000 ) start at $ 204,000 and $ 129,000 for couples who are married filing jointly and individual filers, respectively .
many physicians are thus excluded from making either deductible IRA contributions or target Roth IRA contributions .
If there ’ s even a bantam opportunity your income might put you into or above those phaseout ranges, you ’ re better off using the back door, just in font. There ’ sulfur nothing incorrect with making your Roth contribution the hard room and finding out late that you didn ’ t need to take the extra steps. You won ’ triiodothyronine have to change a thing .
nowadays, understand that a high income doesn ’ thyroxine average you can ’ triiodothyronine put up directly to a Roth report of some kind. You may have a Roth choice within your 401 ( thousand ) or exchangeable explanation, although I would argue you’re probably better off with the tax deduction offered by making tax-deferred 401(k) contributions if you ’ re in the 32 % or higher tax bracket .

Another significant differentiation is that a high income does not presently prevent you from making Roth conversions. The income limits were lifted in 2010, and I took advantage by making a Mega Roth conversion when it was believed the income limits would be reinstated. however, there are hush no income limits, and therefore, the back door remains wide open .
The income limits for the ability to make a traditional tax-deferred IRA contribution are even lower than the Roth contribution limits. If you participate in a workplace retirement plan, you won ’ thyroxine be eligible to contribute as an individual gain more than $ 78,000 or as a couple earning more than $ 129,000 in 2022. The deduction actually begins to phase out at a MAGI of $ 68,000 for individual filers and $ 109,000 for marry couples filing jointly .

Before Attempting a Backdoor Roth

While income limits are a dead letter for the back door, there exists one important prerequisite to be able to by rights execute the back door Roth .

You cannot have tax-deferred money in a traditional IRA, SEP IRA, or SIMPLE IRA in your name.

The list includes traditional IRA, SEP IRA, and SIMPLE IRA, but does not include 401 ( k ), 403 ( barn ) or alike accounts. If you do hold tax-deferred IRA dollars on 12/31 of the calendar year in which you made the Roth conversion, you ’ ll be subjugate to taxes when making your conversion per the pro-rata rule .
If you do have these types of accounts, you ’ re not hosed, but you need to have a strategy to move that money elsewhere or you can forget about the back door Roth. note that inherit IRAs are a dead letter .
If the balances in your IRA or IRAs are belittled and you can afford the taxes on the conversion, you can convert it all to Roth and just pay tax on the conversion. This could be a good mind for those in lower tax brackets — residents and students, for exemplar .
Another option for employees may be to roll the IRA into an employer ’ s 401 ( potassium ) plan. not all plans accept rollovers, but mine does, and this was the path I chose with my SEP-IRA a few years ago. fortunately, my 401 ( kilobyte ) offers institutional Vanguard index funds. If I had lousy options, a rollover might not have been worthwhile .
It might besides a full idea to avoid having a SEP IRA in the first base place by putting your independent contractor earnings into a alone 401 ( potassium ) alternatively. The White Coat Investor covers some of the advantages in this article .
One way employees without a commercial enterprise of their own create one is by obtaining an EIN for a survey-answering business. earn just a short 1099 money on the side qualifies you as a commercial enterprise owner, and you can open an individual 401 ( k ) a.k.a. solo 401 ( potassium ) for the clientele .
arsenic long as the plan accepts rollovers ( many do ), you ’ ll be able to roll over traditional IRA, SEP and SIMPLE IRA money into it to circumvent the pro-rata principle and associated taxation when attempting the back door Roth .
For healthcare professionals, I ’ ve found that the elementary side clientele is one in which you answer medical surveys for dollars. I ’ ve got a great overview of a handful of survey companies here .

Completing the backdoor Roth with Vanguard:

If you haven ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate done so already, you ’ ll want to open a traditional IRA. I won ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate walk through all the steps, but it should be square. You ’ ll start by selecting “ Open an explanation ” from the top of the page, leading you to a page that looks like this .

Since I opened mine years ago, I start by making a contribution to my existing IRA, an account that Vanguard thankfully leaves open, flush when the poise is zero .

I will break this down into two distinct tutorials: one for a brokerage house IRA account ( all newer accounts ) and a second for older common fund accounts that have not transitioned. By this time following year, we might all have brokerage accounts, but for now, the process is a bite simple with the common store report. Hang onto yours if you ’ ve got one !

Brokerage Account Backdoor Roth Step 1: Make a Non-Deductible IRA Contribution

After logging in, I point to My Accounts – > Balance & holdings


Find your traditional IRA brokerage house report, and click the arrow to the right of “ Buy and Sell, ” and choose “ Contribute to IRA. ”


Vanguard asks if it ’ s a rollover from another tax-deferred account. It ’ s not. Select “ no ” in the new blasphemous color .
Towards the penetrate, you ’ ll choose the year for which you want this contribution to count. This is a 2022 back door Roth tutorial, so I put the $ 6,000 into the 2022 time slot .
Since I already made a 2021 contribution of $ 6,000, that text introduction field is unavailable to me, and for well reason. If you have not so far made a 2021 contribution, you can do indeed until Tax Day in mid-april of 2022. And you have until mid-April of 2023 to make your contribution for 2022 if we ’ re still allowed to do this a year from now .
If you ’ ve not done it for either year, you could contribute for both years now. If you ’ re age 50 or older and hush have earned income, you get $ 7,000 per year to contribute .


Tell Vanguard where this money is coming from, continue, and you ’ ll be asked to review and submit. This is a good time to doublecheck that you ’ re making the contribution for the desire tax year .


next, you may be asked to consent to electronic rescue of fund prospectus. If you haven ’ thyroxine gone paperless, you may not see this option. If you do, click ACCEPT and move on .
You ’ ll be asked to review and submit your IRA contribution. If it looks good and has the correct contribution year, go ahead and snap SUBMIT .


You ’ ll get a confirmation and a civilized “ Thank you ” from your friends at Vanguard. notice that in the lower left, you ’ re told that you have $ 6,000 in funds available to trade. This international relations and security network ’ t precisely true .
As you can see, the contribution was entered on 1/1/2022, but due to the vacation weekend, the foremost clientele day of the year falls on 1/3/2022 .


Brokerage Account Backdoor Roth Step 2: Convert to Roth IRA

Before the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act went into consequence in 2018, some people worried about something called the “ footprint doctrine ” and that it may be best to wait a while before making the Roth IRA conversion .
This theoretical concern was put to rest with footnotes 268, 269, 276 and 277 of the Conference Committee ’ s explanatory report on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that provided clearness and validated the back door Roth IRA contribution .
As I ’ ve constantly done, I convert equally soon as Vanguard will let me. immediately I do thus with nothing concerns about the footprint doctrine .
If you try to convert right away, however, you ’ ll hit a barrier .


On Tuesday, 1/4/2022, I logged in to see if I could convert my non-deductible IRA contribution to my Roth IRA. No die .


note that the only thing that makes your traditional IRA contribution non-deductible is what you report to the IRS. Vanguard doesn ’ thyroxine know what your 1040 looks like. shape 8606 becomes important at tax time, but there ’ s no checkbox at Vanguard to indicate that you won ’ thymine be deducting this contribution .

I tried again the future day, and got the same leave .
On Wednesday, 1/5/2022, I was able to move forward. This process was one day immediate with the common fund report, but at least I didn ’ t have to wait a full workweek like some of the screens made it seem like I might .
Yes, it distillery says I have unavailable shares, but when I click “ Convert to Roth IRA, ” magically, I am able to do so .


Scrolling down the page, we choose to “ Convert all of the history. ”
far down even, we are converting a non-deductible IRA contributions. Since we ’ ve already paid tax once on this money, the conversion shouldn ’ triiodothyronine monetary value us anything. Again, Vanguard doesn ’ t know that .
confidently select the checkbox that states you will not elect to withhold federal and state income taxes. Continue on to the future filmdom .


The future filmdom just reports back what we ’ ve selected. Look it over and submit your Roth conversion .


The confirmation screen will look a lot like the last one .


In the following dance step, we ’ ll induct that money. If for some odd reason, you plan to leave the money in a money market store, you can be done. But that would be punch-drunk .

Brokerage Account Backdoor Roth Step 3: Invest in the Roth IRA

I was able to complete the Roth conversion on the third business day of the year, January 5th, 2022, but if I were to stop there, the money would be sitting in cash with a measly sake rate that won ’ t even keep up with inflation .
A Roth IRA is a full place to hold assets that are tax-inefficient ( have high dividend yields ) or would be expected to appreciate in respect substantially .
REITS fit the bill for me, and I will direct my $ 6,000 to Vanguard ’ mho VGSLX, the REIT Index Fund .
immediately after completing my Roth conversion, I go back to Accounts & Balances, and I see that my $ 6,000 Roth conversion money is nowadays available to trade, along with $ 1.01 in spare change that ’ randomness been sitting there for a while .
once again, Vanguard tells me that “ This report has unavailable shares. ” This can be ignored for our purposes ; it doesn ’ t hamper our ability to invest .

Click on “ Buy and Sell ” and then “ Buy Vanguard funds. ”


This should be a familiar-looking screen. I choose my REIT index fund on the left with my settlement store ( money grocery store ) being used to fund the purchase .


It says “ Review and submit. ” You know what to do .


And we ’ re done !


next, I ’ ll go over the ( fewer ) steps required for those who however have common investment company IRA accounts. If you don ’ t need to see these steps, skip ahead to spousal Roth IRA .

Mutual Fund Account Backdoor Roth Step 1: Make a Non-Deductible IRA Contribution

If you have been grandfathered in with a reciprocal fund history and have resisted the many popups encouraging you to transition your IRA to a brokerage score, I commend you .


The following tutorial is for you, reciprocal fund IRA account holder, and it ’ s a bit easier than the precess detailed above .

To get started, log in and click on your traditional IRA .


You want to Transact, and you can select “ Transact ” in one of two places. I use the dropdown menu, selecting “ Contribute to IRA. ”


This following screen will look familiar if you reviewed the brokerage score instructions. This contribution will not be a rollover, so choose “ No ” with a blue circle toward the lead. Enter the contribution for the tax class you ’ re making this contribution. My merely option is 2022 since I made my 2021 contribution a year ago .
You ’ ll besides be asked where the money is coming from. In this case, the money will be coming from our checking account. If I had left our fourth quarter dividend distributions from our taxable brokerage house account in the settlement investment company, I could have used those funds. possibly that would speed up the work ? I ’ ll try to test that theory in 2023 if we placid have the back door Roth option .


future, you may be asked to consent to electronic pitch of fund prospectus. If you haven ’ t gone paperless, you may not see this choice. If you do, click ACCEPT and move on .

On the next screen, doublecheck that you ’ ve selected the adjust year for your contribution .


once you submit, your non-deductible traditional IRA contribution is confirmed. As mentioned above, Vanguard doesn ’ metric ton know whether or not this contribution will be deducted on your 1040. That ’ second between you and the IRS, but it will not be deducted as it is an after-tax contribution, and it will be reported on form 8606 .


Mutual Fund Account Backdoor Roth Step 2: Convert to Roth IRA & Invest

Going back to Balances & Holdings on 1/4/2022, the second business sidereal day of the class, we can see that our Traditional IRA has a proportion of $ 6,000 in the money market fund .


You want to check the box by “ Sell all shares ” and the money is going to a Roth IRA. If you already have one, use the existing IRA and select a store or funds to receive the money .


You may see a yellow warning that a conversion can ’ thymine be reversed. That ’ sulfur finely ; we know what we ’ rhenium doing .
Since it ’ s a non-deductible contribution, we won ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate owe any tax on the conversion, assuming you followed the directions and put your contribution into a money marketplace fund and converted equally soon as possible .
If you waited a while or chose a more volatile investment company, you could have some dollars in earnings. If so, convert it all, and you may owe a few dollars in taxes, but not enough to make withhold necessary .


The admonitory that this is a taxable event than can not be changed is nothing to be concerned about, and it can be dismissed. Read it and carry on .


Review the information and resign if you ’ re happy with what you see .


last, you ’ ll see a confirmation riddle similar to the inspection screen door. Your Roth conversion is complete, and your money will be invested in the fund you chose .


Spousal Roth IRA

If you ’ rhenium married, your spouse can besides do the back door Roth, even if he or she has no earn income .
You must have at least $ 12,000 of earned income between the two of you ( or $ 13,000 or $ 14,000 if one or both of you is at least 50 years previous ), but all of the income can come from one person .
eminence that for professional rata rule issues, your IRA accounts don ’ thymine affect your spouse ’ mho ability to do the back door Roth, and your spouse ’ randomness IRAs don ’ metric ton affect yours .

Fill out Form 8606 in your 1040

At tax time, you will report these moves in IRS From 8606 .
The IRS has instructions here and the shape here. I see no motivation to repeat them. If you use tax software, instructions on filling them out with TurboTax and others can be found on the Backdoor Roth FAQ .

Additional Resources

If you have extra questions, your question is about surely among the 40+ questions answered in the across-the-board Backdoor Roth FAQ. I strongly encourage you to check there beginning before asking a question below .
Looking for extra investment opportunities nowadays that you ’ re maxing out your tax-advantaged space ? Look to my Real Estate Investing Resources .

Is the Backdoor Roth Worth the Trouble?

I would say “ Yes. ” If you ’ re considering the back door Roth, the $ 6,000 or $ 12,000 most probably takes the position of a share of your investments that would differently be invested in a taxable history .
equally long as the money remains in a Roth report, it will grow without tax drag. Currently, my tax drag is nearly 0.6%, but with the right investments ( index funds ) and an ability to land in the 0% capital gains tax bracket in early retirement, tax embroil can be quite close to zero .
besides, as a taxable account appreciates, you can end up with significant unfulfilled gains, which may finally force you into a higher tax bracket as you realize those gains to have spending money in retirement .
clearly, Roth money is more valuable from a tax position than money in a taxable account. I see no rationality not to take advantage of this opportunity, american samoa long as it exists, unless you have IRA money that would subject to the professional rata principle, and no well rollover options ( such as an employer ’ mho or solo 401 ( k ) ) .
last, 2022 may be the final year in which high-income earners are allowed to do this. Of course, as mentioned in the introduction, there ’ s besides a small chance that the steer will be retroactively disallowed, but I ’ ve decided that ’ s a luck I ’ thousand uncoerced to take .

Was this helpful? Please consider subscribing to this web site. I ’ ll give you a spreadsheet full of utilitarian and playfulness ( yes, I said spreadsheet and fun in the like sentence ) calculators, and you ’ ll know when new posts are published .

Have you taken advantage of the backdoor Roth? What’s holding you back? Don’t forget to view the Backdoor Roth FAQ!

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