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There’s still time to contribute to an IRA for 2018

Saving & Investing
There’s still time to contribute to an IRA for 2018

Even though tax-filing season is well under way, there’s till time to make a regular contribution for 2018.

You have until your tax return due date (not including extensions) to contribute up to $5,500 for 2018 ($6,500 if you were age 50 or older on December 31, 2018). For most taxpayers, the contribution deadline for 2018 is April 15, 2019 (April 17 for taxpayers who live in Maine or Massachusetts).

You can contribute to a traditional IRA, a Roth IRA, or both, as long as your total contributions don’t exceed the annual limit (or, if less, 100% of your earned income). You may also be able to contribute to an IRA for your spouse for 2018, even if your spouse didn’t have any 2018 income.

Traditional IRA

You can contribute to a traditional IRA for 2018 if you had taxable compensation and you were not age 70½ by December 31, 2018. However, if you or your spouse was covered by an employer-sponsored retirement plan in 2018, then your ability to deduct your contributions may be limited or eliminated, depending on your filing status and modified adjusted gross income (MAGI). (See table below.)

Even if you can’t make a deductible contribution to a traditional IRA, you can always make a nondeductible (after-tax) contribution, regardless of your income level. However, if you’re eligible to contribute to a Roth IRA, in most cases you’ll be better off making nondeductible contributions to a Roth, rather than making them to a traditional IRA.

2018 income phaseout ranges for determining deductibility of traditional IRA contributions:

1. Covered by an employer-sponsored pan and filing as:Your IRA deduction is reduced if your MAGI is:Your IRA deduction is eliminated if your MAGI is:
Single/Head of household$63,000 to $73,000$73,000 or more
Married filing jointly$101,000 to $121,000$121,000 or more
Married filing separately$0 to $10,000$10,000 or more
2. Not covered by an employer-sponsored plan, but filing joint return with a spouse who is covered by a plan$189,000 to $199,000$199,000 or more

Roth IRA

You can contribute to a Roth IRA even after reaching 70½ if your MAGI is within certain limits. For 2018, if you file your federal tax return as single or head of household, you can make a full Roth contribution if your income is $120,000 or less. Your maximum contribution is phased out if your income is between $120,000 and $135,000, and you can’t contribute at all if your income is $135,000 or more.

Similarly, if you’re married and file a joint federal tax return, you can make a full Roth contribution if your income is $189,000 or less. Your contribution is phased out if your income is between $189,000 and $199,000, and you can’t contribute at all if your income is $199,000 or more. And if you’re married filing separately, your contribution phases out with any income over $0, and you can’t contribute at all if your income is $10,000 or more.

2018 income phaseout ranges for determining eligibility to contribute to a Roth IRA:

Your ability to contribute to a Roth IRA is reduced if your MAGI is:Your ability to contribute to a Roth IRA is eliminated if your MAGI is:
Single/Head of household$120,000 to $135,000$135,000 or more
Married filing jointly$189,000 to $199,000$199,000 or more
Married filing separately $0 to $10,000$10,000 or more

Even if you can’t make an annual contribution to a Roth IRA because of the income limits, there’s an easy workaround. If you haven’t yet reached age 70½, you can make a nondeductible contribution to a traditional IRA and then immediately convert that traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. Keep in mind, however, that you’ll need to aggregate all traditional IRAs and SEP/SIMPLE IRAs you own — other than IRAs you’ve inherited — when you calculate the taxable portion of your conversion. (This is sometimes called a “back-door” Roth IRA.)

Finally, if you make a contribution – no matter how small –  to a Roth IRA for 2018 by your tax return due date and it is your first Roth IRA contribution, your five-year holding period for identifying qualified distributions from all your Roth IRAs (other than inherited accounts) will start on January 1, 2018.

Is opening an IRA/Roth IRA the right solution for you?

As a member of Arsenal Credit Union, you have access to David Weis, our knowledgeable Financial Advisor available through our broker-dealer CUSO Financial Services, LP (CFS)*.

David specializes in helping members plan for retirement and builds portfolios for growth and income. Need a little portfolio first aid? David can help you troubleshoot your existing portfolio and get back on track.

Prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright 2019.

*Non-deposit investment products and services are offered through CUSO Financial Services, L.P. (“CFS”), a registered broker-dealer (Member FINRA/SIPC) and SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Products offered through CFS: are not NCUA/NCUSIF or otherwise federally insured, are not guarantees or obligations of the credit union, and may involve investment risk including possible loss of principal. Investment Representatives are registered through CFS. The Credit Union has contracted with CFS to make non-deposit investment products and services available to credit union members.