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Reasoning behind Backdoor Roth IRA

Bogleheads • View forum - Investing - Help with Personal Investments - www.bogleheads.org
Hello,

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.


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