IRA Contributions Are Due by Tax-Filing Deadline

March 28, 2016

The cut-off to make 2015 IRA contributions is the tax-filing deadline, but it may not be the date you expect this year.

The tax-filing due date for the 2015 tax year is Monday, April 181,which is not the usual date we’ve all come to love and hate. Due to Washington D.C.’s recognition of Emancipation Day, we have an extra business day to get it together and make sure we’ve accurately represented our 2015 financial revels in our tax filing. Although we may have a few extra days to prepare our filings, nobody wants to spend weekends pushing paper and worrying about taxes. With that in mind, preparation is key. Here are a few items you may want to be aware of as we slide into the home stretch of tax season:

  • The 2015 IRA contribution maximum is $5,500 with a $1,000 catch-up contribution for individuals age 50 or older. This figure has remained unchanged from 2014 and was not adjusted for 2016.

  • The figures in the previous paragraph are the same for Roth IRAs, and contributions are aggregated with traditional IRAs to determine the maximum contribution. 
  • To make an IRA contribution, the taxpayer must have earned income, which is generally defined as monies received for services performed and typically reported on a W-2 form from an employer. Yet, speak with your clients’ CPAs to determine if the monies they’ve received this year are defined as “earned income,” as there are other situations, working or otherwise, that may produce earned income.

  • Traditional IRA contributions are no longer allowed beginning in the year in which the individual turns 70½. There is no age limit for contributions to a Roth IRA.

  • Even if the taxpayer files early, contributions can still be made up to the tax-filing deadline.

  • If the taxpayer makes a planned contribution after filing his/her taxes but before the tax-filing deadline, he/she should inform the financial institution the year for which the contribution is made. Otherwise, the institution will report to the IRS (Form 5498) that the contribution is for the year in which it was received. 


1Residents of Maine and Massachusetts have until April 19, 2016, to make 2015 IRA contributions due to the Patriot Day holiday celebrated in those states.

Source: "Retirement Topics - IRA Contribution Limits." Topics for Retirement Plans. Internal Revenue Service, 23 December 2015.


If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact Retirement Strategies Group at (800)722-2333, ext. 3939, or e-mail us at


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Caroline Elrod is a Retirement Strategies Consultant with the Retirement Solutions Division at Pacific Life. She brings several years of industry experience to her role that includes tax planning with insurance products. Caroline enjoys educating financial advisors on creative and practical solutions to business, estate and retirement planning concerns.

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