Reminder: You Can Still Cut Your 2016 Taxes By Making IRA Contributions

Image courtesy of Alan Levine

Looking for a way to cut your tax bill or boost your refund before you file? Don’t forget that contributions that you make to your retirement accounts between Jan. 1 and April 16 of this year can count toward either your 2016 or 2017 tax return.

Unfortunately, no one has put the IRS publication on individual retirement arrangements in comic book form, so you’re going to have to actually read it to glean any useful information.

An IRA is a retirement account that is separate from any retirement account that you may have through your employer, and is also useful for people whose jobs don’t offer a retirement plan as a benefit. Any bank will be happy to set you up with one.

There are two types: You may also be familiar with a Roth IRA, where making contributions doesn’t affect how much you owe in taxes now, but the money won’t be subject to taxes when you withdraw it after you reach retirement age.

If you have a traditional IRA, which includes the MyRA program that the federal government created, you can check to see whether you’ve reached the contribution limit and add more money to your IRA through the income tax filing deadline, April 18.

There’s also an additional tax credit, the Saver’s Credit, for which you might be eligible if your income is $30,750 or below for a single person, $30,750 for a head of household, and $61,500 for a married couple filing jointly.

If you’re able to deduct any more of your IRA contributions, which you may not be depending on how much you’ve already contributed, then making more deposits for the 2016 tax year isn’t very helpful. You can still save that money for retirement, but you won’t get any tax benefit.