In a typical year, the deadline to file your federal tax return for the prior year is April 15 (unless you have a filing extension until October 15). So far, 2020 has NOT been typical. Because of the COVID-19 outbreak and resulting economic and logistical issues, the IRS has extended the April 15 tax-filing deadline to July 15, 2020. You don’t need to do anything to qualify for this automatic federal tax filing and payment relief.
The tax-filing deadline extension means you also have extra time to make IRA contributions for 2019. You may contribute to your IRA for tax year 2019 until July 15, 2020. When you make a contribution, be sure to inform your IRA custodian that your contribution is for tax year 2019 (otherwise it will be assumed that you are contributing for 2020). If you have already filed your 2019 tax return, you may need to file a corrected return to claim the 2019 IRA contribution.
Traditional and Roth IRA Contribution Limits for 2019
If you’re eligible to contribute, you can deposit a maximum of $6,000 for 2019 in your Traditional and Roth IRAs. If you’re age 50 or older, you can contribute an extra $1,000 – for a total of $7,000 for 2019 – between your Traditional and Roth IRAs.
A married couple filing a joint tax return can each make the maximum contribution if each is eligible and has an IRA. A couple could contribute $12,000 ($14,000 if both are over age 50) for the 2019 tax year. This could add up to a large tax deduction if contributing to Traditional IRAs or a big boost in tax-free retirement income if contributing to Roth IRAs.
Here is the information you need to determine if you’re eligible to contribute to an IRA for 2019 and which tax breaks are available to you.
Are you eligible to contribute to a Traditional IRA for 2019?
You may contribute to a Traditional IRA if you have earned income and are younger than 70½ in 2019.
• “Earned income” means wages, salaries, tips, bonuses, commissions, and other amounts you receive for personal services, including net earnings from self-employment. If you do not have earned income but your spouse does, and you file a joint tax return, you may each contribute the maximum annual contribution amount to a separate IRA.
• The eligibility requirement to be younger than age 70½ means that if your 70th birthday occurred before July 1, 2019, you are not eligible to contribute for tax year 2019.
Beginning with contributions made for tax year 2020, however, you can contribute to an IRA at any age as long as you have earned income. The age limit has been eliminated.
Do you qualify for a tax deduction for 2019 contributions to a Traditional IRA?
Traditional IRA contributions are generally fully deductible unless you or your spouse is covered by an employer’s retirement plan, such as a 401(k) plan. If you or your spouse are participating in an employer plan, the deductibility of your Traditional IRA contributions will depend on whether your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) exceeds certain limits.
• If you are married, filing a joint tax return, and participated in a 401(k) plan at work in 2019, your annual IRA contribution will be fully deductible if your MAGI is under $103,000, and partially deductible if your MAGI is between $103,000 and $123,000. If your MAGI is $123,000 or higher, your Traditional IRA contributions will not be deductible.
• If you don’t participate in an employer’s plan but your spouse does (or vice versa), your MAGI must be less than $193,000 to take a full deduction. No deduction is available if your MAGI is $203,000 or more.
• If you are single, your MAGI phase-out range is $64,000–$74,000.
If you don’t qualify to take a deduction, you may still contribute to a Traditional IRA. File Form 8606 with your tax return to track the basis in your IRA, so you won’t have to pay tax on your nondeductible contributions when you take money out of your IRA in the future.
Are you eligible to contribute to a Roth IRA for 2019?
You may contribute to a Roth IRA for 2019 if you have earned income that falls below certain limits.
• If you are married and filing a joint tax return for 2019, you may make the maximum contribution to a Roth IRA if your MAGI is less $193,000. If your MAGI is between $193,000 and $203,000, you may make a partial contribution. If your MAGI is $203,000 or higher, you cannot contribute to a Roth IRA for 2019.
• If you are single, your phase-out range is $122,000–$137,000.
Don’t forget about 2020
If you make a 2019 IRA contribution in 2020, you may still make the maximum contribution for 2020 anytime up until April 15, 2021. Some IRA owners set up automatic monthly transfers from a checking account to fund their IRA throughout the year. See our IRA Contribution Limits for 2020 blog for the contribution limits and income ranges for 2020.
Contact STRATA Trust for Assistance
For assistance with deciding whether to contribute to a Traditional IRA, a Roth IRA or both, talk to a financial or tax professional for assistance. You can also find more information in our paper, “Which IRA is Right for You?”
If you’re interested in opening an IRA with STRATA Trust, you can find instructions here.
If you have any questions, please contact us at [email protected].
Disclaimer: The information provided herein does not, and is not intended to, constitute personalized financial or legal advice. The contents of the article are for general informational purposes only and should not be relied or acted upon without specific professional legal or financial advice, based upon an individual’s situation.