Massachusetts Legal Blog

The Value of Contributing to Retirement Accounts

If you have not already done so, it is an excellent idea to fund your retirement account for 2016 (specifically by April 17, 2017). April 17, 2017 is the deadline for contributions to an IRA (traditional), whether deductible or not. This is also the deadline for a Roth IRA.

If you have a Keogh or SEP, you are permitted to get a filing extension to October 16, 2017. However, if your goal to being tax-free compounding as soon as possible, you should not wait to make your contributions.

Deductible contribution will help you lower your tax bill this year. Also, your contributions will compound tax deferred.

To qualify for the full annual IRA deduction in 2016, you must: 1) not be eligible to participate in a company retirement plan, or 2) if you are eligible, you must have adjusted gross income of $61,000 or less for a single, or $98,000 or less for married joint filers. If you are not eligible for a company plan but your spouse is, your traditional IRA contribution is fully-deductible if your combined gross income does not exceed $184,000.

For 2016, the maximum IRA contribution you can make is $5,500. If you are self-employed, the maximum annual addition to SEPs and Keoghs for 2016 is $53,000.

Even though choosing to contribute to a Roth IRA instead of a traditional IRA will not reduce your taxes for 2016 (Roth contributions are not deductible), it is still a relatively good approach because all withdrawals from a Roth can be tax-free in retirement. Withdrawals from a traditional IRA are fully taxable in retirement.

Over time (and depending on your tax bracket, contribution amount, and the time spans you keep the money invested) future contributions can save you thousands.