Reasoning behind Backdoor Roth IRA
I am trying to understand the reasoning behind not allowing high income earners contribute to a Roth IRA directly, even though they still can do a backdoor ROTH. Why the workaround in the first place?
High income earners can't deduct the traditional contributions anyway, so why can't they just contribute to a ROTH directly after tax instead of having to convert and jump through another process. Tax has already been paid on the contributions.
2 scenarios with same outcome:
Take $5,500 put into a Traditional, don't deduct, convert to ROTH right away. End up with ROTH.
Take $5,500 contribute to ROTH.
I guess this works better for brand new IRA accounts with not much gains and no deductions.
They are still getting a ROTH contribution in the end with conversion, which is allowed.
Maybe I am missing something.