As soon as you set up your traditional IRA, contributions can be made to it through your chosen sponsor (trustee or other administrator). Contributions must be in the form of money (cash, check, or money order). Property cannot be contributed. However, you may be able to transfer or roll over certain property from one retirement plan to another. See the discussion of rollovers and other transfers later in this chapter under Can You Move Retirement Plan Assets
You can make a contribution to your IRA by having your income tax refund (or a portion of your refund), if any, paid directly to your traditional IRA, Roth IRA, or SEP IRA. For details, see the instructions for your income tax return or Form 8888, Direct Deposit of Refund to More Than One Account.
Contributions can be made to your traditional IRA for each year that you receive compensation and have not reached age 701
. For any year in which you do not work, contributions cannot be made to your IRA unless you receive alimony, nontaxable combat pay or file a joint return with a spouse who has compensation. See Who Can Set Up a Traditional IRA
, earlier. Even if contributions cannot be made for the current year, the amounts contributed for years in which you did qualify can remain in your IRA. Contributions can resume for any years that you qualify.
Contributions can be made to your traditional IRA for a year at any time during the year or by the due date for filing your return for that year, not including extensions. For most people, this means that contributions for 2008 must be made by April 15, 2009, and contributions for 2009 must be made by April 15, 2010. taxmap/pubs/p590-006.htm#en_us_publink10006109
If you received nontaxable combat pay in 2004 or 2005, and the treatment of the combat pay as compensation means that you can contribute more for those years than you already have, you can make additional contributions to an IRA for 2004 or 2005 by May 28, 2009. The contributions will be treated as having been made on the last day of the year you designate. If you have already filed your return for a year for which you make a contribution, you must file Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, by the latest of:
- 3 years from the date you filed your original return for the year for which you made the contribution,
- 2 years from the date you paid the tax due for the year for which you made the contribution, or
- 1 year from the date on which you made the contribution.
Contributions cannot be made to your traditional IRA for the year in which you reach age 701/2 or for any later year.
You attain age 701/2 on the date that is six calendar months after the 70th anniversary of your birth. If you were born on or before June 30, 1938, you cannot contribute for 2008 or any later year.taxmap/pubs/p590-006.htm#en_us_publink10006111
If an amount is contributed to your traditional IRA between January 1 and April 15, you should tell the sponsor which year (the current year or the previous year) the contribution is for. If you do not tell the sponsor which year it is for, the sponsor can assume, and report to the IRS, that the contribution is for the current year (the year the sponsor received it). taxmap/pubs/p590-006.htm#en_us_publink10006112
You can file your return claiming a traditional IRA contribution before the contribution is actually made. Generally, the contribution must be made by the due date of your return, not including extensions. taxmap/pubs/p590-006.htm#en_us_publink10006113
You do not have to contribute to your traditional IRA for every tax year, even if you can.