joppy wrote:Before Roth IRAs existed, I contributed to traditional IRAs. When Roth IRAs were created, I converted all my traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs (late 90s). This year I made a traditional IRA contribution and am filling out Form 8606. What should I enter as my "total basis" in traditional IRAs? Should this value be 0, since I no longer have any traditional IRAs except this new one I am just creating?
Or do I need to somehow dig up old tax returns from the late 90s to find the last Form 8606, in which I did my Roth conversions?
Assuming you converted all your traditional IRAs and did not open another traditional IRA before Dec 31 of the year of the conversion you should have used up all your basis when you did the conversion in the late 90's. If this is your first contribution to a traditional IRA since then your carry over basis on line 2 of form 8606 is indeed zero.
So if you think you did it right in the 90's you can use zero with confidence. If you think you did it wrong in the 90's you can still use zero and maybe pay a little too much tax later.