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IRA contribution deadlines for 2023

Key takeaways

  • The 2023 contribution deadline for Roth and traditional IRAs is April 15, 2024.
  • The 2023 contribution deadline for SEP IRAs is by the employer's tax filing deadline in 2024.
  • SIMPLE IRAs have 2 contribution deadlines. The deadline to deposit employee deferral contributions in the employee's account is as soon as possible but no later than within 30 days of the end of the month that the salary was deferred. For example, pay that was deferred from the employee's pay in November must be deposited no later than December 30. Employers have until the due date of their business tax return, including extensions, to make their contributions.

Tax Day isn't just the deadline for filing your taxes or requesting an extension. It's also the last day you can contribute to most types of individual retirement accounts (IRAs). Whether you want to save more for retirement or use the contributions to potentially reduce your tax bill, here's what you need to know to fit in one more contribution before the deadline.

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Roth IRA and IRA contribution deadlines 2023

If you have a traditional IRA or Roth IRA, you have until the tax deadline, or April 15, 2024, to make contributions for the 2023 tax year. You can contribute up to $6,500 to your IRA if you're under 50 or $7,500 if you're 50 or older for tax year 2023. The exact amount you can sock away may be reduced, depending on your income. Check out our guides to IRA contribution limits and Roth IRA contribution limits to see what your contribution eligibility is.

SEP IRA contribution deadline 2023

If you're a small business owner with a Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) IRA, you have until the due date for your business tax return—including extensions—to make your 2023 SEP IRA contributions of between 0% to 25% of total compensation, adjusted for self-employment taxes and the selected contribution percentage (with a maximum of $66,000). Tax filing deadlines (and therefore SEP IRA contribution deadlines) vary by business structure.

SIMPLE IRA contribution deadline 2023

Because SIMPLE IRAs are essentially IRAs that are eligible for both employer and employee contributions, they have 2 different contribution deadlines. This is an important distinction to be aware of if you're self-employed and contributing as both an employee and employer, as you may have more time to contribute as an employee or the employer.

The Employee 2023 deferral contribution must be made as soon as possible but no later than within 30 days of the end of the month that the employee's pay was deferred. For pay deferred in December 2023, the deadline is as soon as possible but no later than January 30, 2024. Employers have until the due date of their business tax return for tax year 2023—including extensions—to make matching or nonelective contributions.

The maximum SIMPLE IRA employee contribution for 2023 is $15,500, plus an additional $3,500 for those 50 and older.

Tips to help maximize your IRA contributions

Here's how to help make the most of every IRA contribution.

Choose the best account for you

A common choice when considering opening an IRA is whether you'll opt for a traditional IRA or Roth IRA. Which is better for you may boil down to how you prefer to manage your taxes.

Contributions to traditional IRAs could be tax-deductible if your income is below the threshold, and your withdrawals will be taxed as ordinary income. On the other hand, Roth IRA contributions are made after you've paid taxes on the money. So there's no tax break today, but any potential earnings in a Roth IRA grow tax-free and withdrawals are tax-free, provided certain requirements are met.

You can withdraw penalty-free after you turn 59½. Withdrawals prior to age 59½ are not qualified per IRS Pub 590-B are also subject to a 10% penalty.

Not sure which IRA to choose? Check out our guide to traditional vs. Roth accounts.

Contribute to your IRA early and often

How can you build a sizable balance in IRAs to help save for retirement? There are 2 main keys:

  1. Save regularly. Try to make a habit of saving in your IRA, whether that's monthly contributions, or a lump sum once a year. The more you contribute and invest in your IRA, the better chance you may have at reaching your retirement savings goals.
  2. Start saving as soon as you can. Saving early in your career is crucial to meeting your retirement goals. If you save early and keep those savings invested over decades, you have the potential to benefit from compound interest.

Keep in mind that contributions to an IRA may be tax-deductible and may qualify for the Saver's Credit. Those tax savings can be applied to your 2023 return for contributions made before the applicable deadline. Looking ahead to 2024, if you automate savings into an IRA, you may want to automate your tax savings, as well. Instead of waiting to file a return, you can accelerate your tax savings by adjusting your Form W-4, if you have one. The IRS has a tool to do this. If you are self-employed, you may want to revisit your estimated tax payments in consideration of any impact to deductions and credits.

Tax-free retirement income? Sounds good.

A Roth IRA can be a powerful way to save for retirement since potential earnings grow tax-free.

More to explore

1. For a distribution to be considered qualified, the 5-year aging requirement has to be satisfied, and you must be age 59½ or older or meet one of several exemptions (disability, qualified first-time home purchase, or death among them). Withdrawals prior to 59 1/2 or are not qualified per IRS Pub 590-B are also subject to a 10% penalty.

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