Tax season can be a busy time collecting all those tax forms and preparing your taxes. There is one important thing you need to do before you file your taxes. Don’t miss the IRA contribution deadline for this tax year.
Tax years and calendar years don’t always sync. This is true for IRA contributions. Even though the calendar year is over, the tax year for some IRAs hasn’t ended yet.
The good news is the IRS gives you a four-month cushion if you forget. So while you rush to meet the tax deadline this year, stop and check your IRA contributions too.
The last thing you want to do is file your taxes, then make a contribution, and have to go back and amend your tax return. Or miss out on the opportunity altogether. So get your last deposit in now and don’t miss the IRA contribution deadline. That extra bit of savings is worth it.
2014 IRA Deadline
This year the 2014 IRA contribution deadline is April 15, 2015 for both Roth and traditional IRAs. It’s also the same day taxes are due. Actually, the IRA deadline for the Roth and traditional IRA always falls on the same day taxes are due.
It certainly makes things convenient when you’re trying to squeeze a last-minute deduction in with extra retirement savings. You can double-check the rules and limits in the Roth IRA guide and traditional IRA guide to find out if you meet the requirements. If you do make a contribution before the deadline, you’ll have two tax years to choose from. Make sure to pick the 2014 tax year.
Here’s one last reminder. Just because you know the date doesn’t mean you should put it off till then. At the very least, give yourself a day or two leeway for deposits to go through. The IRS doesn’t accept simple mistakes like insufficient funds or bounced checks as an excuse. Even if you did forget to put the money in your checking account.
2015 IRA Deadline
It’s never too early to start thinking ahead. The 2015 IRA contribution deadline is April 15, 2016. This gives you several months to put some extra money away for retirement. It’s also the best way to supplement your retirement plan through work.
The IRS didn’t change the 2015 IRA contribution limits. It’s still at $5,500 ($6,500 for those 50 and over). It may not seem like much, but it quickly adds up when you max out your contributions every year.
Open A No Fee IRA
If you don’t have an IRA, here’s an updated list of brokers with no fee IRAs. Just pick the one that best fits your investment needs. If you need a little help deciding, I recommend TD Ameritrade (here’s why I use it) or find one with a promotion. You can have it set up and funded in minutes.
Just remember to choose the correct tax year if you’re trying to beat the deadline. While you’re at it, why not set up automatic monthly deposits and avoid the last-minute rush next year.
Assuming, of course, if you are eligible.
IRA Eligibility Rules
Unfortunately, not everyone can take advantage of IRAs. And don’t let your retirement plan through work keep from taking advantage of one either. An IRA should be part of your retirement plan as long as you meet these requirements:
Your income must be eligible compensation:
- Compensation – wages, salary, commissions, self-employed income, alimony, non-taxable combat pay
- Not Compensation – rental income, interest, dividends, profits from assets, pension or annuity income, deferred compensation
Each IRA has different age requirements:
- Traditional IRA – under age 70½
- Roth IRA – no age restrictions
Each IRA has different MAGI limitations:
- Roth IRA – has certain MAGI requirements that restrict contribution limits, you can find the limits linked to in each tax year above
- Traditional IRA – has no limitations, however, you may be able to deduct some or all of your contributions based on your MAGI
If all else fails, you can check the IRS Publication 590, which has everything you ever wanted to know about IRAs.
The calendar year and tax year don’t always line up. When you sit down and do your taxes, double-check your IRA too. If you haven’t reach the limit for the past year, get it done before the deadline hits.