Author Topic: Didn't max TSP for 2014...should I retroactively contribute to Trad IRA in 2014?  (Read 1736 times)

CheapskateWife

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We found MMM In June of 2014 and locked our stuff down, paid off all our debt post haste and then started ramping up our TSP contributions...but we are easily 20K short of our combined possible contributions for 2014 (max was 35K) and we didn't do any Roth IRA or Traditional IRA.  With the TSP, you can't go back and write a check to make contributions...it either comes out of your paycheck or you missed the boat. Our monthly budget is now set for maxing TSP and Roth IRA's for 2015 using DCA and making identical contributions every month so 2015 is covered.

However, we are sitting at the beginning of 2015 with a budget that predicts 15K in cold hard cash by 15 April.  We are expecting a very tiny tax refund. 

If our AGI for 2014 is under 110K, could we reap tax benefits by taking our fat lump of cash in April and making contributions to a Traditional IRA but characterizing the contributions as 2014?  Both of us are federal and have pensions coming to us (me civil and him active duty) so I didn't know if we were able to make tax advantaged investments into a Traditional IRA in addition to our TSP's and pensions.

If we don't qualify for the Traditional IRA contributions, would we then just max out our Roth IRA's for last year?

Any thoughs you wonderful folks have would be most appreciated!

 

MDM

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If our AGI for 2014 is under 110K, could we reap tax benefits by taking our fat lump of cash in April and making contributions to a Traditional IRA but characterizing the contributions as 2014?  Both of us are federal and have pensions coming to us (me civil and him active duty) so I didn't know if we were able to make tax advantaged investments into a Traditional IRA in addition to our TSP's and pensions.

If we don't qualify for the Traditional IRA contributions, would we then just max out our Roth IRA's for last year?
The amount deductible depends how far under $110K.  See http://www.irs.gov/Retirement-Plans/IRA-Deduction-Limits

The short answer to both your questions is "yes" - so congratulations on coming up the learning curve well!


CheapskateWife

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Oh good, I saw that too and wanted to be sure I was interpreting it correctly. 

Lets just say that my AGI is looking like 105K,  and in April 2015, I make retroactive traditional IRA contributions totalling 11K.  Does that then reduce my AGI down to 94K and I get to claim the complete contribution on my tax filing?

MDM

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Oh good, I saw that too and wanted to be sure I was interpreting it correctly. 

Lets just say that my AGI is looking like 105K,  and in April 2015, I make retroactive traditional IRA contributions totalling 11K.  Does that then reduce my AGI down to 94K and I get to claim the complete contribution on my tax filing?
Ha!  Good try, but the IRS isn't that nice.

See http://www.irs.gov/publications/p590a/ch01.html#en_US_2014_publink1000230489 for the specifics.

CheapskateWife

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Ok, so I am firmly in the "partial credit" territory.  I still have a few minor 1099's enroute , but what I think I will do is use turbo tax to game the contributions a little in order to get the best bang for my investment buck (so to speak), write the checks and wait for them to clear, then file my income taxes closer to the April deadline.

Thank you so much for pointing me to the proper IRS policies!