Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

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sophie1
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Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by sophie1 »

I just did step 1, which is transfer cash from taxable to my traditional IRA account (which is otherwise empty).

Unlike prior years, I saw that Fidelity will allow me to transfer the money immediately to my Roth IRA, completing the backdoor process - without waiting for the transaction to settle. In years past, that took at least a week and I was unable to transfer funds in the meantime.

Should I transfer now or wait for settlement?? I'm just a bit worried that doing it before settlement could end up being interpreted as a direct Roth contribution. It's part of a general question of how long to wait. Initially, I waited until the trad IRA transfer showed up on a monthly statement, but I've gotten bolder as it appears the trad->Roth delay is a non-issue as far as the IRS is concerned.
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FiveK
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by FiveK »

sophie1 wrote: Wed Jan 01, 2020 11:27 am...I saw that Fidelity will allow me to transfer the money immediately to my Roth IRA, completing the backdoor process - without waiting for the transaction to settle.

...it appears the trad->Roth delay is a non-issue as far as the IRS is concerned.
Correct on the delay being a non-issue.

Boils down to "do you trust Fidelity to issue the appropriate 1099-R form documenting that money came out of a tIRA first, not just directly into the Roth IRA?" If they are advertising this ability then I would tend to trust them, but it's your call.
Jermbo
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by Jermbo »

Are you sure it will let you? I contributed to my fidelity traditional IRA today from my Fidelity checking and it says transfer is pending even though amount shows up in IRA. When I go to make a Roth conversion it says it will not let me due to funds needing to settle. I’ll be making my conversion tomorrow as it says funds will settle 1/02.
Jermbo
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by Jermbo »

Nevermind, actually looks like it will allow conversion if I select partial account balance. If I select entire account balance it shows message that there are no shares available to be converted.
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BroIceCream
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by BroIceCream »

Jermbo wrote: Wed Jan 01, 2020 5:19 pm Are you sure it will let you? I contributed to my fidelity traditional IRA today from my Fidelity checking and it says transfer is pending even though amount shows up in IRA. When I go to make a Roth conversion it says it will not let me due to funds needing to settle. I’ll be making my conversion tomorrow as it says funds will settle 1/02.
Mine actually would allow me to do it, but I am waiting until tomorrow for the backdoor. My reasoning is that if the dates are different (1/01 IRA vs. 1/02 Roth), then that will force the paperwork to be clear.
ERguy101
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by ERguy101 »

Dang, mine still wont let me convert my trad IRA to the roth. It shows "cash available to withdraw" as 0, but shows all 6000 as settled. So I will give it another day or so
corp_sharecropper
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by corp_sharecropper »

ERguy101 wrote: Thu Jan 02, 2020 10:34 am Dang, mine still wont let me convert my trad IRA to the roth. It shows "cash available to withdraw" as 0, but shows all 6000 as settled. So I will give it another day or so
In the same boat as you, contributed to the tIRA on Jan 1. I did my 2019 backdoor process just last month, same involved accounts and sequence of actions.... It took multiple business/market days for the tIRA funds to be "available for withdrawal", allowing the Roth conversion to take place. Kind of annoying given the balance earned almost $2 of interest while in limbo.

I did my wife's conversion at the same time. Surprisingly, Vanguard was much faster in allowing the conversion. I say surprisingly because I have found most tasks slower and more difficult at Vanguard than elsewhere.
boqnow
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by boqnow »

I did this back in November/ early December. It wouldn't let me transfer until funds had settled which I thought was roughly 5 business days. On other thing to note, due to timing a dividend came in the same day as the transfer so I had to transfer another $1.50 or so to empty the tIRA
sco
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by sco »

I’m also waiting and expecting tomorrow to be the day. 3 business days. Perhaps it will be 4 or 5
AllMostThere
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by AllMostThere »

Yeah, I also had the same Fidelity experience of some backdoor delay. Not an instantaneous process to fund tIRA and transfer to ROTH IRA. Should expect at least one week from initiation to having funds available for investment in the ROTH. I started on Jan 1st (Holiday) and finally have my order in my & DW ROTH's to execute purchase of additional index funds today for re-balancing. I find it worth the wait and have an error free process. :beer
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FrugalProfessor
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by FrugalProfessor »

Jermbo wrote: Wed Jan 01, 2020 5:29 pm Nevermind, actually looks like it will allow conversion if I select partial account balance. If I select entire account balance it shows message that there are no shares available to be converted.
I always have this same issue with Fidelity. I choose partial conversion then convert the whole amount. I'm able to fund the Trad IRA then convert the entire balance to Roth then invest in the Roth all in a couple of minutes.
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sco
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by sco »

FrugalProfessor wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:29 pm
Jermbo wrote: Wed Jan 01, 2020 5:29 pm Nevermind, actually looks like it will allow conversion if I select partial account balance. If I select entire account balance it shows message that there are no shares available to be converted.
I always have this same issue with Fidelity. I choose partial conversion then convert the whole amount. I'm able to fund the Trad IRA then convert the entire balance to Roth then invest in the Roth all in a couple of minutes.

That gives me the same error. Guess I will try again tomorrow.
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FrugalProfessor
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by FrugalProfessor »

sco wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:48 pm
FrugalProfessor wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:29 pm
Jermbo wrote: Wed Jan 01, 2020 5:29 pm Nevermind, actually looks like it will allow conversion if I select partial account balance. If I select entire account balance it shows message that there are no shares available to be converted.
I always have this same issue with Fidelity. I choose partial conversion then convert the whole amount. I'm able to fund the Trad IRA then convert the entire balance to Roth then invest in the Roth all in a couple of minutes.

That gives me the same error. Guess I will try again tomorrow.
Perhaps this is because I use my fidelity brokerage as my checking account. Therefore any transfers to a traditional IRA are not held up by any processing delays from external accounts.
I blog. Taxes are the lowest hanging source of alpha. I eat tax alpha for breakfast.
sco
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by sco »

FrugalProfessor wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:54 pm
sco wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:48 pm
FrugalProfessor wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:29 pm
Jermbo wrote: Wed Jan 01, 2020 5:29 pm Nevermind, actually looks like it will allow conversion if I select partial account balance. If I select entire account balance it shows message that there are no shares available to be converted.
I always have this same issue with Fidelity. I choose partial conversion then convert the whole amount. I'm able to fund the Trad IRA then convert the entire balance to Roth then invest in the Roth all in a couple of minutes.

That gives me the same error. Guess I will try again tomorrow.
Perhaps this is because I use my fidelity brokerage as my checking account. Therefore any transfers to a traditional IRA are not held up by any processing delays from external accounts.
I believe that is the issue, this year for some reason I pulled in an ACH from an external account. So they are just waiting until everything is fully settled.
lkar
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by lkar »

Same datapoint here. I transferred cash from fidelity taxable to tIRA on 1/1. I tried to convert it that same day by selecting the box that said transfer "entire" balance and it said I didn't have enough "shares." On 1/2, I tried again, but this time selected a "partial" transfer and just typed 7,000 in the box, and it transferred right away. I was able to trade in the roth IRA account (to add to a mutual fund) immediately -- the sale processed after market close on 1/2.
sco
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by sco »

Still no joy for me.

1/1 transfer via ACH from 3rd party bank.

Still can't do a partial or full conversion, same error as previous.
SpideyIndexer
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by SpideyIndexer »

Very odd slow process at Fidelity. I made a contribution to my traditional IRA at Fidelity 2 business days ago. Their system shows that funds have settled but will not allow me to transfer (convert) to a Roth. Their rep tells me this will take a total of 5 business days! This is incredibly slow for a Roth IRS also at Fidelity and disappointing.
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FrugalProfessor
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by FrugalProfessor »

Resurrecting an old thread....

Is anyone having a Trad=>Roth conversion problem at Fidelity this year (in Jan 2021)?

In prior years, I have been able to instantly convert from Trad to Roth, albeit with the caveat mentioned above that it only worked without hiccup with the "partial" conversion and subsequently selecting the whole amount.

This year, the process gets hung up at the last step which is annoying. I'm on the phone with Fidelity CS right now but the wait time seems to be quite long.
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apezam
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by apezam »

It does not work for me. I just tried it
Like you said it gets hang up at the last step
If you get through to them please share what do you learn and thank you in advance
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FrugalProfessor
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by FrugalProfessor »

apezam wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 10:54 am It does not work for me. I just tried it
Like you said it gets hang up at the last step
If you get through to them please share what do you learn and thank you in advance
Bummer. I was hoping someone here had an easy fix that could save me from spending an eternity on hold with CS.

I'll do my best to not hang up, but long hold times are one of my least favorite things on the planet. Perhaps I dislike unnecessary taxation more, which creates an interesting tension as I evaluate the tradeoff between excessive hold times and backdoor Roth IRA tax benefits....
I blog. Taxes are the lowest hanging source of alpha. I eat tax alpha for breakfast.
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FrugalProfessor
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by FrugalProfessor »

FrugalProfessor wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 11:05 am
apezam wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 10:54 am It does not work for me. I just tried it
Like you said it gets hang up at the last step
If you get through to them please share what do you learn and thank you in advance
Bummer. I was hoping someone here had an easy fix that could save me from spending an eternity on hold with CS.

I'll do my best to not hang up, but long hold times are one of my least favorite things on the planet. Perhaps I dislike unnecessary taxation more, which creates an interesting tension as I evaluate the tradeoff between excessive hold times and backdoor Roth IRA tax benefits....
After 53 minutes on hold, Fidelity CS was able to perform the conversion over the phone. They confirmed that there is a problem with their website and the CS agent said they would escalate the issue to some IT team.

From a cost-benefit standpoint, I think the present value of the tax benefits exceeds the costs of elevated blood pressure while on a 53 minute phone call with Fidelity to fix a coding error.
I blog. Taxes are the lowest hanging source of alpha. I eat tax alpha for breakfast.
apezam
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by apezam »

Thank you for sharing
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BroIceCream
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by BroIceCream »

I had the problem with attempting the conversion immediately after my TradIRA contribution. the menus got me through the process with all options... but the last screen was missing the "Do It" button for execution.
I got through to customer service, and they indicated that the holiday and weekend alignment were slowing the "settling" of the contributions (my "activity status still shows the IRA contribution as 'pending'), therefore it would not let me execute the back door.

CS indicated that it should work after 1 business day...so I will try again tomorrow to complete the back door.
seawolf21
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by seawolf21 »

BroIceCream wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 12:38 pm I had the problem with attempting the conversion immediately after my TradIRA contribution. the menus got me through the process with all options... but the last screen was missing the "Do It" button for execution.
I got through to customer service, and they indicated that the holiday and weekend alignment were slowing the "settling" of the contributions (my "activity status still shows the IRA contribution as 'pending'), therefore it would not let me execute the back door.

CS indicated that it should work after 1 business day...so I will try again tomorrow to complete the back door.
What CS mention has been my experience. If you do the contribution into TIRA even from a Fido brokerage account on the weekend, it doesn’t fully post into TIRA until the next business day.
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FrugalProfessor
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by FrugalProfessor »

BroIceCream wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 12:38 pm I had the problem with attempting the conversion immediately after my TradIRA contribution. the menus got me through the process with all options... but the last screen was missing the "Do It" button for execution.
I got through to customer service, and they indicated that the holiday and weekend alignment were slowing the "settling" of the contributions (my "activity status still shows the IRA contribution as 'pending'), therefore it would not let me execute the back door.

CS indicated that it should work after 1 business day...so I will try again tomorrow to complete the back door.
I had $12k cash already settled in my joint brokerage account to fund the IRA contributions this year. Usually, the whole back-door contribution + conversion process is instantaneous because the funds are already cleared.

It's too bad that something is screwed up on their end this year.
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baliktad
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by baliktad »

I looked back at my records from 2020 and I was able to transfer from my taxable Fidelity account to my Fidelity Traditional IRA and then to my Fidelity Roth IRA all on the first business day of the year, January 2, 2020. I was also able to invest those funds immediately with a mutual fund purchase the same day. I conducted all of these transactions online without any phone assistance.

This year I was able to initiate the funds transfer from taxable to Traditional IRA online, but the money remained "pending" and I was not able to complete the transfer to my Roth IRA online (similar experience to those above, there were no securities listed to transfer). However, after 50 minutes on hold, I was able to connect to a Fidelity rep who completed the transfer immediately. Before I hung up the phone I was able to see the new funds available in my Roth IRA and the full amount was listed as available to trade.

So it seems this is something new with Fidelity's unified transfer experience this year. Hopefully they rectify this in the future as it seems this is a common transaction at the start of every new year.
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FrugalProfessor
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by FrugalProfessor »

baliktad wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 1:51 pm I looked back at my records from 2020 and I was able to transfer from my taxable Fidelity account to my Fidelity Traditional IRA and then to my Fidelity Roth IRA all on the first business day of the year, January 2, 2020. I was also able to invest those funds immediately with a mutual fund purchase the same day. I conducted all of these transactions online without any phone assistance.

This year I was able to initiate the funds transfer from taxable to Traditional IRA online, but the money remained "pending" and I was not able to complete the transfer to my Roth IRA online (similar experience to those above, there were no securities listed to transfer). However, after 50 minutes on hold, I was able to connect to a Fidelity rep who completed the transfer immediately. Before I hung up the phone I was able to see the new funds available in my Roth IRA and the full amount was listed as available to trade.

So it seems this is something new with Fidelity's unified transfer experience this year. Hopefully they rectify this in the future as it seems this is a common transaction at the start of every new year.
This is the exact same experience that I had. Before I hung up the phone, the money had been converted from Trad to Roth. I was then immediately available to submit a "buy" order.

It's a bummer that their system is broken this year. Hopefully they'll fix it sooner than later to prevent each person from wasting an hour of their life on hold to complete the conversion.
I blog. Taxes are the lowest hanging source of alpha. I eat tax alpha for breakfast.
lkar
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by lkar »

Like everyone else I'm not settled and cannot do the conversion yet. Turned out it saved me a few bucks this year.
exigent
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by exigent »

Same situation here for both my wife and me. Got all the way to the final review screen, but there was no “submit” button. Oh well, I’ll try again tomorrow.
kaesler
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by kaesler »

Looks like they fixed the bug.
exigent
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by exigent »

Yeah, it’s working now.

Interestingly, when I was at the step of choosing the “from” account yesterday, it showed a balance of $7k with $0 available to withdraw. Today, it was a $7k balance with $7k available. Not sure if that’s related or not.

If it *is* related, they could’ve saved people a lot of angst (and saved themselves a bunch of extra phone calls) by including a message as to why the submit option wasn’t available (funds not settled or whatever). Or it really was just a bug...
Osterix
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by Osterix »

Interesting. I transferred $6,000 into my spouse’s traditional IRA and my traditional IRA yesterday. This was from my online checking account at a separate institution. The $6,000 in my tIRA was available to withdraw this morning (<24 hours after transfer), and I transferred to my Roth IRA. My spouse’s $6,000 is still not available to withdraw.
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BroIceCream
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by BroIceCream »

BroIceCream wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 12:38 pm I got through to customer service, and they indicated that the holiday and weekend alignment were slowing the "settling" of the contributions (my "activity status still shows the IRA contribution as 'pending'), therefore it would not let me execute the back door.

CS indicated that it should work after 1 business day...so I will try again tomorrow to complete the back door.
After the 'business day" it worked as of this morning, and immediately after walking through the back door, I was able to place an order for my investment.
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augryphon
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by augryphon »

I'm working thru this issue now and can add my experience to the discussion.

On Saturday 1-2-21, I transferred $7k to both DW and my IRAs from ALLY at Fidelity. The money left the bank and appeared in our fidelity accounts on Monday 1-4. I tried to convert online and on was not able to do so that day.

On Wednesday 1-6, the account listed the deposit as 'settled' but again I was unable to convert.

Today, Saturday 1-2-21 I was again unable to convert. I conquered my dread of calling Fidelity and got right thru to very helpful young man. I think calling early (8 am central) on Saturday morning helped me reach a human quickly. The young man quickly told me that even though my account showed 'settled,' it would not be truly 'settled" and able to convert until Tuesday 1-12-21.

In summary, in my case, when transferring from a non-fidelity bank account to a fidelity IRA, money is available to convert to a Roth IRA on the 8th day.

It took God 6 days, so maybe 8 isn't unreasonable for Fidelity.
lstone19
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by lstone19 »

augryphon wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:04 am On Saturday 1-2-21, I transferred $7k to both DW and my IRAs from ALLY at Fidelity. The money left the bank and appeared in our fidelity accounts on Monday 1-4. I tried to convert online and on was not able to do so that day.
Did you push it from Ally or pull it from Fidelity? If pulled, I can understand the delay as at that point, it's like depositing a check and they don't know if it will bounce or not. If pushed, I'd expect immediate availability as pushed funds should never bounce (unless fraud was involved).
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BroIceCream
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by BroIceCream »

lstone19 wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:28 am
augryphon wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:04 am On Saturday 1-2-21, I transferred $7k to both DW and my IRAs from ALLY at Fidelity. The money left the bank and appeared in our fidelity accounts on Monday 1-4. I tried to convert online and on was not able to do so that day.
Did you push it from Ally or pull it from Fidelity? If pulled, I can understand the delay as at that point, it's like depositing a check and they don't know if it will bounce or not. If pushed, I'd expect immediate availability as pushed funds should never bounce (unless fraud was involved).
Pulling from Fidelity can be longer - I transferred once from an external brokerage into Fidelity, and the took their time in processing. However, by having it pulled, than pushed, you guarantee that they don't "accidently" cut you a check and send it to your house for you to move to the new location.
This happened to a friend, and then they had to unravel the unintended "taxable distribution".
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augryphon
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by augryphon »

lstone19 wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:28 am
augryphon wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:04 am On Saturday 1-2-21, I transferred $7k to both DW and my IRAs from ALLY at Fidelity. The money left the bank and appeared in our fidelity accounts on Monday 1-4. I tried to convert online and on was not able to do so that day.
Did you push it from Ally or pull it from Fidelity? If pulled, I can understand the delay as at that point, it's like depositing a check and they don't know if it will bounce or not. If pushed, I'd expect immediate availability as pushed funds should never bounce (unless fraud was involved).
I pulled from fidelity. The electronic transfer should almost be instantaneous. The 7 day delay is probably a good thing for a nice clean conversion, but they could have easily have put that information in the conversion page.
sco
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by sco »

Yep, still can’t convert from a 1/1 ach. It takes a week, from the first business day. Guess I’ll set a reminder for Monday the 11th.
lstone19
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by lstone19 »

augryphon wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 3:01 pm I pulled from fidelity. The electronic transfer should almost be instantaneous. The 7 day delay is probably a good thing for a nice clean conversion, but they could have easily have put that information in the conversion page.
ACH transactions are not instantaneous. They are not supposed to be instantaneous. ACH transactions are, as far as I can tell, batched and transmitted between financial institutions at certain times during the banking day. When you initiate a pull via Fidelity, while Fidelity may show it immediately, Ally does not see it until later in the day or maybe even the next morning. If the funds aren’t there, Ally then needs to send back to Fidelity that the request bounced (just as would happen with a check).
sco
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by sco »

For anyone keeping track, I finally called today.

1/1 Initiated funding to Trad IRA, initiated from Fidelity pulling from Ally
1/4 First business day, Funds show as available to trend
1/5 Ally withdrawal shows online early am.
1/11 I call and they say one more day.
1/12 funds should finally be settled. So its a solid 5-7 business days, depending on how you count.

Would it have been faster to push from Ally? I don't know, because I would then have to setup the IRA at ALLY via ACH and go through all that. Another option that would be nice, is if Fidelity allowed inbound wires. Ally charges $20 to push a wire.

Probably the best option would have been to have the money already sitting, settled in a CMA at Fidelity. Which reminds me, I need to have it changed to a Joint account so that my wife could use this the same way with her IRA.
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augryphon
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by augryphon »

augryphon wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:04 am I'm working thru this issue now and can add my experience to the discussion.

On Saturday 1-2-21, I transferred $7k to both DW and my IRAs from ALLY at Fidelity. The money left the bank and appeared in our fidelity accounts on Monday 1-4. I tried to convert online and on was not able to do so that day.

On Wednesday 1-6, the account listed the deposit as 'settled' but again I was unable to convert.

Today, Saturday 1-2-21 I was again unable to convert. I conquered my dread of calling Fidelity and got right thru to very helpful young man. I think calling early (8 am central) on Saturday morning helped me reach a human quickly. The young man quickly told me that even though my account showed 'settled,' it would not be truly 'settled" and able to convert until Tuesday 1-12-21.

In summary, in my case, when transferring from a non-fidelity bank account to a fidelity IRA, money is available to convert to a Roth IRA on the 8th day.

It took God 6 days, so maybe 8 isn't unreasonable for Fidelity.
My final update, my deposit was marked available for trade and I was able to convert from IRA to Roth IRA this morning, 1-12-21, on the Safari App. Just for verification, I tried the mobile app first and the IRA couldn’t be converted. On the Safari app, it was completed seamlessly.
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by RJC »

FrugalProfessor wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 10:52 am Resurrecting an old thread....

Is anyone having a Trad=>Roth conversion problem at Fidelity this year (in Jan 2021)?

In prior years, I have been able to instantly convert from Trad to Roth, albeit with the caveat mentioned above that it only worked without hiccup with the "partial" conversion and subsequently selecting the whole amount.

This year, the process gets hung up at the last step which is annoying. I'm on the phone with Fidelity CS right now but the wait time seems to be quite long.
A related question: do you withhold taxes for the conversion? I thought you weren't supposed to but it won't let me pay them now...

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
PowderDay9
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by PowderDay9 »

Last year I had to wait about a week for the funds at Fidelity to be available to convert to Roth. I had interest gained so had to convert a second time in February

This year I transferred the 6k from Ally into the traditional IRA for myself. A few minutes later I did the 6k from the same Ally account into my wife's traditional IRA. My account was available to convert after 1 business day. My wife's account wasn't available to convert until 2 business days. Go figure!

I wish Fidelity gave us an option to keep the deposit in cash so there is no chance of interest accruing while we wait for funds to settle in 1-8 business days. :shock:
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by FrugalProfessor »

RJC wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 6:30 pm A related question: do you withhold taxes for the conversion? I thought you weren't supposed to but it won't let me pay them now...

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
You owe taxes on any interest earned before you convert the non-deductible traditional IRA contribution. If you do the conversion the same day as your contribution, as I do, then there are no taxes to pay because there aren't any gains.

On the other hand, if you drag your feet on the conversion, you will owe some taxes.

If you convert immediately, you won't have to withhold (or pay) any taxes.
I blog. Taxes are the lowest hanging source of alpha. I eat tax alpha for breakfast.
RJC
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by RJC »

FrugalProfessor wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 10:27 pm
RJC wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 6:30 pm A related question: do you withhold taxes for the conversion? I thought you weren't supposed to but it won't let me pay them now...

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
You owe taxes on any interest earned before you convert the non-deductible traditional IRA contribution. If you do the conversion the same day as your contribution, as I do, then there are no taxes to pay because there aren't any gains.

On the other hand, if you drag your feet on the conversion, you will owe some taxes.

If you convert immediately, you won't have to withhold (or pay) any taxes.
I am trying to do the conversion right away but it won't let me pay taxes on it. I think it may be a software error...
lstone19
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by lstone19 »

RJC wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 7:50 am I am trying to do the conversion right away but it won't let me pay taxes on it. I think it may be a software error...
Why are you trying to have taxes withheld on a backdoor Roth conversion? If it's truly a backdoor Roth, there are no taxes (non-deductible contribution, therefore no taxable amount) other than on earnings since the contribution which should be minimal. Are you really trying to have taxes withheld on a dollar or two of interest?

My experience from doing lots of taxable conversions at Fidelity is if you want taxes withheld, the conversions must be handled by a representative. There has never been a way I've seen to have taxes withheld when doing it online (if you select you want taxes withheld, it just tells you to call).
RJC
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by RJC »

lstone19 wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 8:13 am
RJC wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 7:50 am I am trying to do the conversion right away but it won't let me pay taxes on it. I think it may be a software error...
Why are you trying to have taxes withheld on a backdoor Roth conversion? If it's truly a backdoor Roth, there are no taxes (non-deductible contribution, therefore no taxable amount) other than on earnings since the contribution which should be minimal. Are you really trying to have taxes withheld on a dollar or two of interest?

My experience from doing lots of taxable conversions at Fidelity is if you want taxes withheld, the conversions must be handled by a representative. There has never been a way I've seen to have taxes withheld when doing it online (if you select you want taxes withheld, it just tells you to call).
I don’t want it withheld. That’s the thing. I’m trying to pay taxes on it now but won’t let me unless I call them. In the past it allowed me to do it all online.
exodusNH
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by exodusNH »

RJC wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:41 am
lstone19 wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 8:13 am
RJC wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 7:50 am I am trying to do the conversion right away but it won't let me pay taxes on it. I think it may be a software error...
Why are you trying to have taxes withheld on a backdoor Roth conversion? If it's truly a backdoor Roth, there are no taxes (non-deductible contribution, therefore no taxable amount) other than on earnings since the contribution which should be minimal. Are you really trying to have taxes withheld on a dollar or two of interest?
I don’t want it withheld. That’s the thing. I’m trying to pay taxes on it now but won’t let me unless I call them. In the past it allowed me to do it all online.
I think the question is do you really need to pay taxes on the conversion? Fidelity has no idea if you owe taxes. They just warn you that when you convert trad to Roth that you may owe taxes.

Paying taxes on a conversion from a traditional IRA to Roth IRA isn't "backdoor". That's just a straight-forward conversion.

When you contributed to your traditional IRA (tIRA), did you take a deduction on that year's tax return? You might need to pull that year's return and see if you don't remember. It's only in that case do you have to worry about taxes on the conversion.

https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/20 ... an-at-work

For example, in my case, I'm single and have a modified AGI greater than $76,000. I can absolutely contribute the full $6,000 to a traditional IRA, but I cannot take the tax break. As a tIRA, when I start withdrawals, I'll pay income tax on the amount.

https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/am ... e-for-2021

With my MAGI, I can directly contribute an amount < $6,000 to the Roth and enjoy the tax-free withdrawals in retirement. Whatever the delta is would need to go into the tIRA.

However, I can convert the tIRA into a Roth IRA without additional taxes because I already paid taxes on the tIRA money (as I was not eligible to deduct it in the first place.) Because I have no other funds in a tIRA (anywhere), I don't get hit by the prorata rule.

This process exploited a loophole in the tax code, which is why it is called "backdoor." That loophole was officially sanctioned in the 2017 tax act.
lstone19
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by lstone19 »

RJC wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:41 am I don’t want it withheld. That’s the thing. I’m trying to pay taxes on it now but won’t let me unless I call them. In the past it allowed me to do it all online.
I think you are confused by what things mean: "Taxes withheld" = "pay taxes on it now". And I'll repeat my question that exodusNH has now asked as well: why do you to have an amount withheld to pay taxes on a backdoor Roth? Perhaps you also don't understand what "backdoor Roth" means.
RJC
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Re: Backdoor Roth at Fidelity question

Post by RJC »

lstone19 wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:55 am
RJC wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:41 am I don’t want it withheld. That’s the thing. I’m trying to pay taxes on it now but won’t let me unless I call them. In the past it allowed me to do it all online.
I think you are confused by what things mean: "Taxes withheld" = "pay taxes on it now". And I'll repeat my question that exodusNH has now asked as well: why do you to have an amount withheld to pay taxes on a backdoor Roth? Perhaps you also don't understand what "backdoor Roth" means.
Thanks everyone for responding to my question.

Here are my steps:
1. Contribute 6k to my Trad IRA ($0 balance)
2. Convert 6k from my Trad IRA to Roth
3. At this point it asks "Would you like to withhold taxes?" and when I click "I want to pay the taxes now", it tells me to call them.

Should I click "I don't want to pay the taxes now"? My understanding from the various instructions (including White Coat Investor) is that I should not withhold taxes when I convert.

It also gives me this message: "We don't currently support tax withholding for this transfer online. To have have taxes withheld now and finish your transfer, call Fidelity at 800-544-6666."

I'm not trying to withhold tax for this transfer online. Sounds like a software issue?
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