Q: “Can I still make a contribution to a traditional Individual Retirement Account (“IRA”) and claim a deduction on my 2019 tax return?”

July 10, 2020

Answered by Joe Perera

Yes, you can. Generally, a taxpayer may claim a tax deduction in the year in which the taxpayer pays or incurs a tax-deductible expense (i.e., if a taxpayer pays a deductible expense in 2019, the taxpayer claims the deduction on their 2019 return). However, there is a special rule that allows individuals to make contributions to their traditional IRAs in one year and claim the deduction for the prior year. As long as the individual makes the contribution to their traditional IRA by the due date for filing their return for the year (without regard to any extensions), the taxpayer can claim a deduction for that contribution on that year’s return.

Typically, the due date for filing an individual tax return is April 15th. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the due date for filing 2019 tax returns for individuals is July 15th, 2020. Therefore, as long as an individual makes a contribution to their traditional IRA by July 15th, the taxpayer may be able to claim that contribution as a tax deduction on their 2019 return. Individuals should consult with their tax advisor about the amount of the contribution that may be deductible as the deductible amount depends on an individual’s age, filing status, income, and whether the individual or their spouse is covered by a retirement plan at work.

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