Understanding Roth IRA Contributions and Tax Reporting

Learn about reporting requirements for contributions and distributions from Roth IRAs. Understand how conversions from traditional IRAs are reported on Form 1099-R and how Form 5498 is used to report contributions.

Understanding Roth IRA Contributions and Tax Reporting

Roth contributions are not tax-deductible and qualified distributions are not taxable income, so you won't need to report them on your return. However, if you receive an unqualified distribution from your Roth IRA, you will need to report that distribution on IRS Form 8606.It is highly recommended that you keep a record of your Roth IRA contribution, along with your other tax records for each year. This will help you demonstrate that you have met the five-year withholding period for taking tax-free earnings distributions from the account. You should also review current IRA contribution limits and understand the details of conversions from a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA, which are reported on Form 1099-R. Additionally, it is important to be aware of contributions, conversions and requalifications, as well as deductions, legacy IRAs, renewals and more.

When you save for retirement with an individual retirement agreement, you will likely receive a Form 5498 each year. This form is used to report all contributions made to the account during the tax year. The only time Roth IRAs will appear anywhere on your taxes is if you are applying for the Retirement Savings Credit. When you transfer money to a Roth IRA from a tax-deferred account, such as a traditional IRA, you must include the amount of the conversion, minus any non-taxable portion, in your taxable income for the year. Saving with a Roth IRA has some tax advantages, but you cannot use your contributions as a tax deduction. Previously, if you converted another tax-advantaged account (Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) IRA, Employee Savings Incentive Match (SIMPLE) IRA, traditional IRA, 401 (k), or 403 (b) plan) into a Roth IRA and then changed your mind, you could undo the action in the form of a requalification. There is a place to report deductible contributions to traditional IRAs and a place to also report contributions to non-deductible traditional IRAs.

In addition, participating in a qualifying retirement plan has no bearing on your eligibility to make contributions to the Roth IRA. Contributions to Roth IRAs are not deductible for the year they are made; they consist of money after taxes. Therefore, if you have the money and meet income limits, you can contribute to a 401 (k) plan at work and then contribute to your own Roth IRA. The great thing about a traditional IRA is that even if you make contributions in the following tax year, the IRS allows you to deduct some of these IRA contributions on your previous year's tax return (you must make contributions by the filing deadline, not including the extension, unless specifically granted by the IRS).The best measure is to avoid taking any distribution from your Roth IRA until you reach retirement age. But if they can pay taxes up front without significantly affecting their budget, Roth IRAs could be a good option.

When your employer uses a SEP plan, only your employer can make contributions to your IRA account; therefore, the amounts you see on Form 5498 for the SIMPLE IRA are not deductible for you. You can withdraw your Roth IRA contributions at any time for any reason without having to pay taxes or penalties. The IRS will collect federal tax on the conversion of a Roth IRA and the rest of your income taxes due on the return you file for the year of conversion.