DEFINITION of 'Recharacterization'

The treatment of a contribution as being made to another type of IRA instead of the IRA to which the contribution was initially made.

BREAKING DOWN 'Recharacterization'

For instance, an individual may make a participant contribution to a Traditional IRA but may later recharacterize the contribution to a Roth IRA.

Roth IRA conversions can be reversed by means of a recharacterization, however, this movement of assets must include earnings (or losses).

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  1. I am rolling my 401(k) into an IRA. After a year, can I convert this amount to a ...

    There is no provision in the tax law that would allow anyone to convert taxable funds and treat it as a tax-free transaction, ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. When can catch-up contributions start?

    Most qualified retirement plans such as 401(k), 403(b) and SIMPLE 401(k) plans, as well as individual retirement accounts ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Who can make catch-up contributions?

    Most common retirement plans such as 401(k) and 403(b) plans, as well as individual retirement accounts (IRAs) allow you ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Can you have both a 401(k) and an IRA?

    Investors can have both a 401(k) and an individual retirement account (IRA) at the same time, and it is quite common to have ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Are 401(k) contributions tax deductible?

    All contributions to qualified retirement plans such as 401(k)s reduce taxable income, which lowers the total taxes owed. ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Are 401(k) rollovers taxable?

    401(k) rollovers are generally not taxable as long as the money goes into another qualifying plan, an individual retirement ... Read Full Answer >>

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