Tax Deadlines for Retirement Contributions

Since the 2012 tax deadline has been extended this year, we have a little more time to make those last minute IRA contributions.

In case you didn’t know, you can actually make an IRA contribution for the previous tax year up to the date when taxes are due.  For the 2011 tax year, that means you can wait until Tuesday April 17th 2012 to make your IRA contribution.

But if you plan on making a contribution for last year between January 01, 2012 and the April 17, 2012 tax deadline, make sure you indicate that it is for 2011.

Here’s a quick chart that you can reference for the IRA contribution deadlines.

Traditional and Roth IRA Contribution Deadlines and Limits

YearMaximum Contribution

(if under age 50)

Maximum Contribution

(if over age 50)

Contribution Deadline
2011$5,000$6,00004/17/2012 (plus extensions)
2012$5,000$6,00004/15/2013 (plus extensions)


If you’re participating in your company 401(k) or 403(b) plan, you’ll need to act a little quicker than April 17.  In fact, the deadline to contribute to your company sponsored retirement plan ends on December 31 each calendar year.

401(k) and 403(b) Contribution Deadlines and Limits

YearMaximum Contribution

(if under age 50)

Maximum Contribution

(if over age 50)

Contribution Deadline

Special Retirement Contribution Rules

You must be under age 70 ½ at the end of the tax year in order to make a traditional IRA contribution.  Roth IRAs don’t have age restrictions.

Your taxable income must be equal to or greater than your retirement contribution for the year.  If you don’t earn any income, but file jointly with a spouse, you can make a contribution based on the income of your spouse.

Any early IRA withdrawals that were made from the previous year will be assessed when you file your taxes.  Use form 5329 if you took an early IRA withdrawal.

Do you plan on making a contribution to an IRA before the tax deadline? 

(If you don’t have an IRA, you can click here to learn more about IRAs.)

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  • Thad P

    I had not planned on last minute contributions, but I may need to think about it. Thanks for a concise list in a single location!

  • Marie at FamilyMoneyValues

    Also remember that if you have extra to invest (over and above the contribution limits), you can still use a tax free vechicle such as a municipal bond. There are no limits to how much you can put in, you don’t have to start withdrawing at a certain age and you NEVER pay taxes.

    • Tim

      Muni bonds have had a lot of bad press lately, especially with cities and counties going bankrupt! Like any investment, it’s wise to do your homework first!

  • PK

    Hopefully with the ‘I got a refund’ articles we’ll see popping up soon we also see a multitude of ‘I maxed out my 2011/2012 IRAs’ articles as well, haha.

    • Tim

      Hopefully! The Roth IRA movement at Good Financial Cents is a good way for us to encourage people to do exactly what you’re talking about PK!

  • Pam at MoneyTrail

    Good advice, Tim.

    We have invested in a few municipal bonds and have had mixed results.

  • Jen @ Master the Art of Saving

    We’re not in a place (yet) to be anywhere close to maxing out our IRA, so I’m not too concerned with the deadlines yet. :-)