Hertsel Shadian, Attorney at Law, LLC

Taxpayers Have Extra Time to Make a Contribution to Their IRA This Year

28 March 2011

This year, taxpayers have a few extra days to make contributions to their traditional Individual Retirement Arrangements. That is because Emancipation Day, a legal holiday in the District of Columbia, will be observed on Friday, April 15, 2011, which moves the due date for filing tax returns and for making contributions to a 2010 IRA to Monday, April 18, 2011. Following are several important things you should know about setting aside retirement money in an IRA.

  1. You may be able to deduct some or all of your contributions to your IRA. You may also be eligible for the Savers Credit formally known as the Retirement Savings Contributions Credit.
  2. Contributions can be made to your traditional IRA at any time during the year or by the due date for filing your return for that year, not including extensions. For most people, this means contributions for 2010 must be made by April 18, 2011. Additionally, if you make a contribution between Jan. 1 and April 18, you should designate the year targeted for that contribution.
  3. The funds in your IRA generally are not taxed until you receive distributions from that IRA.
  4. Use the worksheets in the instructions for either Form 1040A or Form 1040 to figure your deduction for IRA contributions.
  5. For 2010, the most that can be contributed to your traditional IRA is generally the smaller of the following three amounts: $5,000, or $6,000 for taxpayers who were 50 or older at the end of 2010, or the amount of your taxable compensation for the year.
  6. Use IRS Form 8880, Credit for Qualified Retirement Savings Contributions, to determine whether you are also eligible for a tax credit equal to a percentage of your contribution.
  7. You must use either Form 1040A or Form 1040 to claim the Credit for Qualified Retirement Savings Contributions or if you deduct an IRA contribution.
  8. You must be under age 70 1/2 at the end of the tax year in order to contribute to a traditional IRA.
  9. You must have taxable compensation, such as wages, salaries, commissions, tips, bonuses, or net income from self-employment to contribute to an IRA. If you file a joint return, generally only one of you needs to have taxable compensation. However, see Spousal IRA Limits in IRS Publication 590, Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs), for additional rules.
  10. Refer to IRS Publication 590 for more information on contributing to your IRA account. Both Form 8880 and Publication 590 can be downloaded on the official IRS website at www.IRS.gov or ordered by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

For more information about contributing to your IRA, consult your professional tax advisor, tax preparer or plan administrator. Please also forward this article to others that might benefit from this information.