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How to convert to a Roth IRA online

If you have a traditional IRA with Vanguard, you can convert it to a Vanguard Roth IRA online in just a few easy steps. (If you have a traditional IRA with another financial institution and would like to move it to a Vanguard Roth IRA, give us a call at 800-984-5931.)

Converting assets from a traditional Vanguard IRA to an existing Vanguard Roth IRA

It's easy to convert your traditional IRA to a Roth when you already have both types of accounts with us. You'll simply exchange assets from one type of IRA to the other. Here's how:

  1. Log on to your account.
  2. From the Buy & Sell tab, select Exchange Vanguard funds.
  3. Select the traditional Vanguard IRA® account(s) you want to convert.
  4. Choose the Roth IRA(s) to receive the converted assets.

Roth conversions and tax withholding

You'll owe taxes on the pre-tax balance of the traditional IRA you're converting.

While you can have taxes withheld during the conversion process, you can get the most benefit from the conversion if you choose to pay taxes from a separate nonretirement account instead.

More about Roth IRAs and taxes >>

Converting assets from an existing traditional Vanguard IRA to a new Vanguard Roth IRA

If you don't already have a Roth IRA at Vanguard, you'll need to set one up. Follow these steps:

  1. Log on to your account.
  2. From the options at the top of your screen, select Open an account.
  3. Select Open a new account.
  4. Click Start and follow the instructions. (When asked how you'd like to fund the new account, select At Vanguard.)

If you hold several funds in your traditional IRA, you'll initially only be able to make an exchange from one fund. But once your Roth IRA is set up, you'll be able to exchange your remaining assets.

Converting a brokerage IRA

If you have an IRA through Vanguard Brokerage Services®, you can convert the account by completing this form. Brokerage IRA conversions can't be completed online at this time.

Notes:

  • All investing is subject to risk, including the possible loss of the money you invest.
  • Vanguard Brokerage Services is a division of Vanguard Marketing Corporation, Member FINRA.
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