Ten tips from the IRS on IRA contributions:
The IRS has 10 important tips for you about setting aside money for your retirement in an Individual Retirement Arrangement.
1. You must be under age 70 1/2 at the end of the tax year in order to contribute to a traditional IRA.
2. You must have taxable compensation to contribute to an IRA. This includes income from wages, salaries, tips, commissions and bonuses. It also includes net income from self-employment. If you file a joint return, generally only one spouse needs to have taxable compensation.
3. You can contribute to your traditional IRA at any time during the year. You must make all contributions by the due date for filing your tax return. This due date does not include extensions. For most people this means you must contribute for 2012 by April 15, 2013. If you contribute between Jan. 1 and April 15, you should contact your IRA plan sponsor to make sure they apply it to the right year.
4. For 2012, the most you can contribute to your IRA is the smaller of either your taxable compensation for the year or $5,000. If you were 50 or older at the end of 2012 the maximum amount increases to $6,000.
5. Generally, you will not pay income tax on the funds in your traditional IRA until you begin taking distributions from it.
6. You may be able to deduct some or all of your contributions to your traditional IRA.
7. Use the worksheets in the instructions for either Form 1040A or Form 1040 to figure the amount of your contributions that you can deduct.
8. You may also qualify for the Savers Credit, formally known as the Retirement Savings Contributions Credit. The credit can reduce your taxes up to $1,000 (up to $2,000 if filing jointly). Use Form 8880, Credit for Qualified Retirement Savings Contributions, to claim the Saver’s Credit.
9. You must file either Form 1040A or Form 1040 to deduct your IRA contribution or to claim the Saver’s Credit.
10. See Publication 590, Individual Retirement Arrangements, for more about IRA contributions.
You can get Form 8880 and Publication 590 at IRS.gov or order by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).