How Do I Correct an Excess Contribution to an IRA?
When trying to maximize retirement savings contributions, you may find you have contributed too much to your IRA. Typically, you either have too much income to qualify for a certain IRA or you can’t recall what contributions you made until they are added up at tax time and you discover they were too much. There are steps you can take to correct an excess contribution.
What Is an Excess Contribution?
An excess contribution is the amount by which your total contributions to one or more IRAs exceed the applicable dollar limit for the tax year. Your total contributions also include any rollover contributions completed more than 60 days after a distribution is received from a qualified plan or an IRA. If you contribute more than the allowable amount to all IRAs, the excess is subject to a six percent excise tax.
Steps to Take
The IRS treats an amount distributed from an IRA to the individual making the contribution, before the due date (including extensions) of the individual’s tax return, as not contributed to the IRA. If your excess contribution was made by mistake, you can avoid the excise tax on excess contributions (and premature withdrawals) by withdrawing the contribution and any earnings on the contribution, on or before the due date, including extensions, of your return.
Keep in mind that IRA contributions can only be made up to the due date of the return excluding extensions. The “corrective distribution” can be made up to the due date of the return including extensions. If you withdraw the contribution in a timely manner, you don’t have to include the contribution in your gross income if no deduction is allowed and the interest attributable to the contribution is returned. The interest, however, must be included in your income for the year the contribution was made.
It’s very important that you make certain that contributions to your IRA do not exceed the allowable limits. Otherwise, you could be paying the six percent excise tax. Fortunately, there are remedies. If you discover that you have over-contributed to your IRA, please contact our office immediately. We can help you correct your excess contribution.
Please contact our office for more information on this subject and how it pertains to your specific tax or financial situation.
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