MICHAEL KITCES: Despite a proposal last March in President Obama’s 2016 budget to prevent Roth conversions of aftertax dollars in an IRAwhich would have mostly eliminated the so-called Backdoor Roth IRAit looks like the strategy for high-income earners to get money into a Roth IRA will survive one more year.

In the end, with the mid-December passage of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015–the so-called tax-extenders legislation–Congress once again retroactively re-enacted a number of popular individual tax-planning provisions, from the state and local sales tax deduction, to the American Opportunity Tax Credit for college, to the rules permitting qualified charitable distributions directly from an IRA to a charity for those over age 70½.

But notably absent from the legislation was any kind of crackdown on the backdoor Roth strategy itself. Accordingly, the door remains open once again in 2016 for higher income individuals to make a contribution to an aftertax IRA, and subsequently convert it to get the dollars into a Roth IRA.

Of course, the two biggest caveats to the backdoor Roth still remain: For those who have other IRAs as well, the IRA aggregation rule will severely limit the benefit of the strategy; and it’s still important to allow some time to pass between the IRA contribution and subsequent conversion to avoid running afoul of the step transaction doctrine.

In addition, there is still a risk that Congress could intervene with legislation during 2016, and eliminate the backdoor Roth IRA with the president’s prior crackdown proposal. As we saw last fall with Congress’ elimination of the popular file-and-suspend and restricted application claiming strategies for Social Security, when something is viewed as “abusive” or a “loophole,” the door can be shut quickly. In fact, if Congress were to enact a law eliminating the backdoor Roth IRA, it wouldn’t be surprising if it was done retroactively to the beginning of 2016.

Still, the odds of significant tax legislation in an election year is not very high–and at worst, a rule change would simply mean winding the Roth conversion dollars and recharacterizing them back to the original nondeductible IRA. So the coast looks clear for the backdoor Roth IRA strategy for at least one more year, along with other popular after-tax Roth conversion strategies (e.g., splitting the after-tax dollars from a 401(k) plan for conversion).