A Comprehensive Guide to Backdoor Roth IRA Using TurboTax


One of the most popular ways to save for retirement is through an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). However, there are income limits on contributing to a Roth IRA. The good news is that you can still contribute to a Roth IRA by using a backdoor Roth IRA. In this article, we will explore what a backdoor Roth IRA is and how you can set one up using TurboTax.

A Comprehensive Guide to Backdoor Roth IRA Using TurboTax

What is a Backdoor Roth IRA?

A backdoor Roth IRA is a strategy that allows high-income earners to contribute to a Roth IRA, even if they are not eligible due to their income level. Typically, individuals with an adjusted gross income (AGI) above $140,000 (single filer) or $208,000 (married filing jointly) cannot directly contribute to a Roth IRA. A backdoor Roth IRA allows these individuals to make contributions indirectly by first making nondeductible contributions to a traditional IRA and then converting it into a Roth IRA.

How Does a Backdoor Roth IRA Work?

To set up a backdoor Roth IRA, follow these steps:

  1. Open and fund a traditional IRA: Start by opening and funding a traditional IRA account with after-tax dollars. It’s important to note that you won’t receive any tax deductions for this contribution.

  2. Convert your traditional IRA into a Roth: After you’ve made the contribution, convert the funds in your traditional IRA into your new or existing Roth account. This conversion should be done as soon as possible since any gains in your traditional account will be taxed at your ordinary income tax rate upon conversion.

  3. Report the Conversion on Your Tax Return: Since you’ve made contributions with after-tax dollars but will still have converted funds subject to taxes, it’s essential to report the conversion on your tax return accurately.

  4. Pay attention to potential tax implications: Though not strictly required, the conversion will have tax implications. Factors like your age and income level will affect how much you pay in taxes, so it’s essential to consult a financial advisor or accountant.

Setting Up a Backdoor Roth IRA With TurboTax

TurboTax is one of the easiest ways to set up a backdoor Roth IRA. The software makes it easy for anyone to contribute to an IRA and convert it into a Roth IRA. Here’s how:

  1. Sign Up for TurboTax: Start by signing up and creating an account with TurboTax. Then select the "IRA Contribution" option from the main dashboard.

  2. Enter Your Traditional IRA Information: Enter all traditional IRA information as requested by TurboTax, including how much you’ve contributed, whether this is your first time contributing or not, and other necessary details.

  3. Indicate That You Want To Convert Your Traditional IRA Into A Roth: After entering your traditional IRA information, indicate that you want to convert your traditional IRA into a Roth account.

  4. Report the Conversion on Your Tax Return: Once you’ve completed the conversion process using TurboTax, ensure that you report accurately on your tax return.


Saving for retirement can be daunting, but a backdoor Roth IRA can make it more manageable if you’re looking to get around the contribution limits of traditional IRAs due to high income levels. Getting started with a backdoor Roth is relatively simple using TurboTax; however, working with a tax professional could help further ease the process while ensuring all potential tax implications are considered thoroughly before proceeding.

Finally, keep in mind that with any investment strategy come risks involved; ensure that this approach aligns with your investment goals as well as long-term retirement plans before committing funds in any decision-making process.


What is a backdoor Roth IRA?

A backdoor Roth IRA is a strategy for high earners to contribute to a Roth IRA by contributing after-tax dollars into a traditional IRA, and then converting the funds into a Roth IRA

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