The IRS came out with its annual edition of Publication 590, Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs), earlier than usual this year (click here for PDF). Most likely that’s because so few revisions were needed from the previous year. Sections describing what’s new for 2011, and for 2012, offer little more than a mention of the new figures for items that are adjusted annually for inflation. (These figures are available in our Reference Room.)
Taxpayers and return preparers should take note of one item affecting returs for 2011 and 2012, however. A special rule for Roth conversions in 2010 allowed the income from the conversion to be reported half in 2011 and half in 2012. You could also choose to report the conversion income on your 2010 return, but if you didn’t make that choice, you begin to pay the piper on your 2011 income tax return.
This rule applied only for Roth conversions that took place in 2010. If you did a Roth conversion in 2011, you have to report the income on your 2011 tax return.