The IRA Contribution Deadline for 2023 is the Tax Deadline (April 15, 2024)

When is the 2023 IRA Contribution Deadline? The Tax Filing Deadline in 2024.

Here’s a personal finance 101 must-know special: the deadline for IRA contributions for a calendar year is the tax deadline for that year (usually April 15 of the next year, unless it falls on a weekend or holiday). And you can even set up and fund an IRA, for a calendar year, up until that year’s tax filing deadline. Update: the IRA contribution deadline for 2023 is Monday, April 15, 2024.

Why is this important to know? I’ll tell you why.

The Importance of the IRA Contribution Deadline

Beyond the obvious that it allows you more time to save up and make a retirement contribution in the first place, there are significant potential tax benefits that you should be aware of.

Once you hit the end of a calendar year, you are extremely limited in the actions you can take to reduce your tax obligation for that tax year. Contributions to an IRA are one big exception.

IRA contributions are often tax deductible (based on income – more details below). In addition to providing significant tax savings, in some cases reducing your taxable income could impact your eligibility for certain income-based entitlement programs. Your contribution could even be eligible for the Saver’s Credit, which is a government funded tax credit that matches a percentage of your retirement contribution, up to 50%.

IRA contributions are also “above the line”, which means that you can claim a deduction even if you do not itemize your taxes and take the standard deduction instead. Any contribution will reduce your adjusted gross income on a dollar-per-dollar basis.

Traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, and SEP IRAs are all eligible for contributions for the prior year up through the tax deadline, but there are some things to be aware of:

  • Roth IRA contributions are not tax deductible, so they won’t help if you’re looking for a last-minute tax saving strategy.
  • Traditional and Roth IRAs have inflation-adjusted contribution limits and an additional catch-up contribution for those aged 50 and over. The 2023 maximum IRA contribution is $6,500 ($7,500 for those age 50+). The 2024 maximum IRA contribution is $7,000 ($8,000 for those age 50+).
  • Not everyone is eligible to deduct Traditional IRA contributions or make direct Roth IRA contributions – there are IRA income limits that change annually that you need to be aware of if you and/or your spouse also have an employer-sponsored plan such, as a 401K.
  • SEP IRAs have maximum contributions that are 20% of your net self-employment income.
  • SIMPLE IRA employee contributions must be made by January 30 of the subsequent year, as an exception. “Employer” classified contributions have until the tax filing deadline as well.

Note: the HSA contribution deadline is also at the tax deadline!

If you Get a Tax Extension, is the IRA Contribution Deadline Also Extended?

Normally, when you get a tax extension from the IRS, your return is due 6 months after the standard April 15 tax deadline. So, you may be wondering if you get a tax extension, does that also push the IRA contribution deadline back 6 months to the new extension deadline?

On this matter, for Traditional and Roth IRAs, the IRS says:

What is the deadline to make contributions? Your tax return filing deadline (not including extensions).

Emphasis bolded on “not including extensions”. Traditional and Roth IRA contribution deadlines are still due on the standard (non-extended) tax deadline date. The IRS has extended the IRA and HSA contribution deadlines in a few recent years due to special circumstances, but the IRA contribution deadline in most years will be the standard tax deadline.

There does appear to be different rules for “employer” classified contributions to SIMPLE IRA and SEP IRA self-employed retirement accounts. On SIMPLE IRAs, the IRS says:

You must deposit your employer contributions by the due date (including extensions) of your federal income tax return for the tax year that includes the last day of the calendar year for which you made the contributions. For most people, this means employer contributions for a year must be made by April 15 of the following year, or by October 15 if on extension.

On SEP IRAs, the IRS says:

You must deposit contributions for a year by the due date (including extensions) for filing your federal income tax return for the year. If you obtain an extension for filing your tax return, you have until the end of that extension period to deposit the contribution, regardless of when you actually file the return.

How to Make an IRA Contribution for the Previous Year

To make an IRA contribution for the previous year, you simply choose which year you would like to apply the contribution to within your broker account (here’s a screenshot from my Vanguard IRA account).

IRA contribution deadline

As you can see, it’s even possible (with Vanguard, at least) to make an IRA contribution for both years at the same time.

If you didn’t know that all of this was a thing, don’t feel bad, you’re not alone. Only 41.9% of Americans have an IRA, and much less than that contribute annually to one.

For more information, refer to the links in this article or IRS Publication 590A for Traditional and Roth IRAs and IRS Publication 560 on SEP IRAs.

Have a last-minute IRA contribution success story? Please share in the comments!

Related Posts:

Leave a Reply