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, military differential 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 2009 must be made by April 15, 2010, and contributions for 2010 must be made by April 15, 2011. taxmap/pubs/p590-006.htm#en_us_publink1000230429
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, 1939, you cannot contribute for 2009 or any later year.taxmap/pubs/p590-006.htm#en_us_publink1000230430
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_publink1000230431
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_publink1000230432
You do not have to contribute to your traditional IRA for every tax year, even if you can.