How to Add to an IRA Before the Tax Deadline

By: D. Laverne O'Neal

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.


  • Married couples who file jointly, neither of whom is covered by an employer-sponsored plan, can deduct their entire traditional IRA contribution. As of 2012, couples who do participate see their deduction reduced when they reach a modified adjusted gross income of $92,000.
  • At MAGI of $112,00, the deduction is phased out completely. If you are not covered by an employer-sponsored plan, but your spouse participates in one, the phase-out starts at a MAGI of $173,000.
  • After $183,000, no deduction is allowed. Deductibility for single filers is reduced at $58,000 and eliminated at $68,000.
  • Roth IRA owners do not need to report contributions on their tax returns because Roth contributions are not deductible.
  • You can contribute the maximum of $5,000 or $6,000 to your IRA all at once on the April tax-filing deadline. You can also make monthly or bi-monthly contributions.


About the Author

D. Laverne O'Neal, an Ivy League graduate, published her first article in 1997. A former theater, dance and music critic for such publications as the "Oakland Tribune" and Gannett Newspapers, she started her Web-writing career during the dot-com heyday. O'Neal also translates and edits French and Spanish. Her strongest interests are the performing arts, design, food, health, personal finance and personal growth.

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