How to Add to an IRA Before the Tax Deadline

As if IRAs didn't offer enough advantages, the Internal Revenue Service gives you an extra 3 1/2 months after the end of the calendar year to fund your account. You have until April 15 of the following year to make a contribution. This means you can end up using income from the new calendar year toward a contribution for the previous tax year to your individual retirement account.

Step 1

Tally up your IRA contributions for the tax year. As of 2012, the maximum yearly contribution is $5,000 for those under age 50 and $6,000 for all others. If you find you contributed the maximum by Dec. 31, you can rest easy. Otherwise, plan to complete your total contribution by the April tax-filing deadline.

Step 2

Subtract your calendar-year contributions from the maximum allowable amount. For example, if you are under age 50 and you contributed $2,500 during the calendar year, you have undershot the limit by $2,500.

Step 3

Divide the result by the number of weeks or pay periods between Jan. 1 and April 15. For example, in 2013, the number of weeks will be about 15. Dividing $2,500 by 15 yields $166.66.

Step 4

Set up an automatic transfer in the resulting amount from your bank account to your IRA. If you transfer $166.66 a week to your IRA, you will have reached the maximum yearly contribution by April 15.

Step 5

Report your traditional IRA contribution when you file your tax return. Contributions to a traditional IRA may be tax-deductible, depending on your income and tax-filing status and whether you are eligible to participate in a retirement plan at work.