As we near the tax filing deadline, there are a few things you need to be aware of as you consider your retirement plan contributions for tax year 2012 (or whatever the prior tax year is, if you’re reading this sometime later).
Regular IRA contributions are due by the filing deadline, with no extensions. That means April 15, 2013 for the 2012 tax year. Your contribution for 2012 is considered made “on time” if your payment is postmarked by midnight on April 15, 2013.
Perhaps you wish to make a more substantial contribution to a retirement plan – in 2012, you can contribute up to $50,000 to a Keogh plan. That amount is limited to 20% of the net self-employment income, or 25% of wage income if the individual is an employee of the business. Keogh plan contributions can be made by the extended due date of your return – in most cases this is October 15, 2013 (for tax year 2012). The downside is that you must have established the Keogh plan by December 31, 2012 in order to make contributions for the 2012 tax year. If you have not established your Keogh plan yet, it’s too late for tax year 2012.
However, you still have another option if you want to make significant retirement plan contributions (above and beyond the $5,000/$6,000 limit on traditional IRAs) – and this is to establish and fund a SEP-IRA. The funding limit for SEP-IRAs is the same as for Keogh plans, but you can establish the SEP-IRA as late as the extended filing date (October 15) and fund it for the prior tax year.