Re: IRA to a ROTH IRA, and back again?
When I converted and then recharacterized my entire Roth balance was from the coversion, so I put it all back (in kind both ways). I assume you have to transfer assets + earnings back, but I'm not sure.
If it were possible to leave your 5% earnings in the Roth while recharacterizing the rest you will have never paid and will never pay income tax (or capital gains tax) on those earnings, so I bet the IRS thought of that and covered it.
All my dividends and cap gains distributions are reinvested, as are many in mutual funds in IRAs. So one might even have more shares than before the conversion and if I'm right can't just transfer back the original shares without the shares gained by reinvesting since the conversion.