Thursday, April 14, 2011

You Have Extra Time to Make a Contribution to an IRA This Year

This year, you have a few extra days to make contributions to your traditional Individual Retirement Arrangements. That’s 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 your tax return and making contributions to your 2010 IRA to Monday, April 18, 2011.

Here are some important things to know about setting aside retirement money in an IRA.

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.

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.

The funds in your IRA are generally not taxed until you receive distributions from that IRA.

For 2010, the most that can be contributed to your traditional IRA is generally $5,000 (or $6,000 for taxpayers who were 50 or older at the end of 2010), limited by the amount of your taxable compensation for the year. You must be under age 70 1/2 at the end of the tax year in order to contribute to a traditional IRA.

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 for additional rules. Refer to IRS Publication 590, for more information on contributing to your IRA account.