Open An IRA And Make A Contribution Before Tax Day | Bankrate (2024)

While 2022 is long gone, taxpayers still have a valuable opportunity to save on their 2022 income taxes by contributing to a traditional IRA. It’s one of the only things that you can still do to reduce last year’s taxes, and it’s an easy move to make. The deadline to contribute is the day taxes are due, which is April 18, 2023.

However, not everyone can take advantage of this strategy, and there are strict limits on what you can deduct. Still, you could potentially save a decent chunk of change by funding an IRA.

How much an IRA could save you

For tax year 2022, you can contribute up to $6,000 to an IRA. If you’re age 50 or older, you can contribute an additional $1,000, for a grand total of $7,000. If you meet certain requirements (explained below), you can deduct the full amount from your income, meaning you won’t owe taxes on the amount you put into the account.

If you were in the 24 percent federal tax bracket, for example, and contributed the maximum $6,000, you would reduce your taxable income by the same amount. This move would reduce your overall federal tax burden by $1,440 ($6,000 x 24 percent). And you could save additional money on your state taxes. In effect, the government is paying you money to save.

You can contribute to an IRA even if you have a retirement plan at work, though you may not be able to deduct the full amount of your contribution, depending on your income:

  • If you and your spouse don’t have retirement plans at work, you’ll be able to capture the full tax savings. The IRS provides further details for those not covered by a workplace plan.
  • If you or your spouse does have a plan at work, the deductibility of your IRA contribution declines above certain income levels. For example, as a single filer, if your modified adjusted gross income is less than $68,000 for 2022, you can deduct the full amount. Those married filing jointly can have modified gross income up to $109,000 and still receive full deductibility. (The thresholds are higher in 2023.)

But for low-income taxpayers it gets even better. That’s because there’s an additional bonus called the Saver’s Credit. This could reduce your taxes further, by up to $2,000. This bonus is on top of the first tax savings, so you can get both if you meet the income requirements.

What is the deadline to contribute?

You can contribute to an IRA at any time during the calendar year and up to tax day of the following calendar year. For example, taxpayers can contribute at any time during 2022 and have until the tax deadline (April 18, 2023) to contribute to an IRA for the 2022 tax year. This means that not only do you have to open the account by this date, you must have funded it, too.

But this long contribution window means that as soon as you have your 2022 contributions settled, you can start contributing for 2023, rather than scrambling at the end of tax season in 2024.

And if you file your taxes before you make your contribution? No big deal. As long as you make your IRA contribution before the tax deadline, you can refile your tax return and still get the tax benefit. It’s a little extra work, but definitely worth the hassle for the savings.

Are you eligible for an IRA?

You’re eligible for an IRA if you have earned income for a given tax year. However, you may also be eligible for a spousal IRA, if your spouse had taxable income but you didn’t.

As mentioned, the contribution limit for 2022 is $6,000, or $7,000 for those over age 50. For 2023, the contribution limit increases to $6,500, or $7,500 for those over age 50. However, if your income does not reach these levels, you may only contribute up to your taxable income.

While an IRA can save you on taxes, the IRS may impose limits on the tax deduction, depending on your income. Even if you exceed these income levels, you can still contribute to an IRA, but you won’t get the tax break. If that’s the case, you may be able to take advantage of a backdoor Roth IRA and enjoy one of the best tax-advantaged retirement plans.

Comparing tax savings: Traditional IRA vs. Roth IRA

If you’re looking for last-minute tax savings this year, you’ll want to make sure that you select the right IRA – the traditional IRA. But you should watch out because there’s another kind – the Roth IRA – that gets you tax savings in the future, rather than today.

The traditional IRA offers you a tax break today in exchange for allowing your investments to grow tax-free until retirement. When you withdraw your money in the future, you’ll pay taxes on the distributions.

In contrast, the Roth IRA gives you a future tax break because you’re saving with after-tax money today. With the Roth IRA, your investments grow tax-free and you won’t pay any taxes on qualified withdrawals later.

While these are the most substantial differences between the two IRAs, there are further differences that you’ll want to understand before making a final choice.

Don’t delay on your IRA

While a tax break for this year is a great incentive to make your IRA contribution, the real value of the IRA is its ability to shield your investments from taxes. Your investments will be able to compound faster that way, and you’ll roll up a larger portfolio more quickly. Bankrate’s IRA calculator can help you determine how large your investments can grow over time.

But to get that kind of growth, you’ll need to take action before this year’s deadline by opening and funding an IRA by April 18. Brokerages are one of the best places to invest your money because of the potentially higher-return investments. Bankrate’s brokerage reviews can help you decide where to open a traditional IRA.

I'm a financial expert with extensive knowledge in tax planning and retirement savings strategies. My experience in the field has allowed me to stay abreast of the latest updates and intricacies of the tax code, especially when it comes to maximizing benefits through vehicles like traditional Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs).

In the provided article, the author emphasizes a key opportunity for taxpayers to save on their 2022 income taxes by contributing to a traditional IRA. The deadline for making these contributions is April 18, 2023. Let's break down the essential concepts mentioned in the article:

  1. Traditional IRA Contribution Limits:

    • For tax year 2022, individuals can contribute up to $6,000 to a traditional IRA. If you're 50 or older, you can contribute an additional $1,000, making the total contribution limit $7,000.
  2. Tax Deductibility of IRA Contributions:

    • Depending on your income and whether you or your spouse have a retirement plan at work, the deductibility of your IRA contribution may vary. If certain income thresholds are met, individuals and couples may be eligible for full deductibility.
  3. Saver's Credit:

    • Low-income taxpayers may qualify for an additional benefit called the Saver's Credit, potentially reducing taxes by up to $2,000. This credit is in addition to the regular tax savings.
  4. Contribution Deadline:

    • Contributions to an IRA can be made at any time during the calendar year and up to the tax day of the following calendar year. This flexibility allows individuals to contribute for the previous tax year until the tax deadline (April 18, 2023).
  5. IRA Eligibility:

    • Individuals are eligible for an IRA if they have earned income for a given tax year. Spousal IRAs are also an option if the spouse had taxable income. Contribution limits for 2023 have been mentioned, with an increase to $6,500 or $7,500 for those over 50.
  6. Backdoor Roth IRA:

    • The article briefly touches on the possibility of using a backdoor Roth IRA for those who exceed income limits for traditional IRA deductions.
  7. Comparison of Traditional IRA and Roth IRA:

    • The author advises choosing a traditional IRA for last-minute tax savings, as it provides a tax break today. The Roth IRA, on the other hand, offers tax savings in the future, with tax-free growth and withdrawals.
  8. Importance of Timely IRA Contributions:

    • The article stresses the importance of taking action before the tax deadline to open and fund an IRA, highlighting the potential for tax breaks this year and the long-term benefits of shielding investments from taxes.

In conclusion, contributing to a traditional IRA before the tax deadline is presented as a valuable strategy for optimizing tax savings, with the article providing detailed information on contribution limits, deductibility, additional credits, and comparisons with other retirement savings options.

Open An IRA And Make A Contribution Before Tax Day | Bankrate (2024)
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