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February 15, 2009

Traditional IRA



  • An individual retirement account, which can be established at a bank, credit union, brokerage firm, savings & loan, or other financial institution that satisfies the requirements established under the tax code IRC § 408(n)
  • An individual retirement annuity-contract issued by an insurance company.

An individual is eligible to take a tax deduction for contributions made to his/her traditional IRA, if he/she is not an active participant, nor married to someone who is an active participant.

If an individual is an active participant and/or married to someone who is an active participant, his/her eligibility to take a tax deduction for the traditional IRA contribution is determined by his/her modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) and tax filing status. The MAGI limits can be found here under the definition of IRA

An individual who is eligible to claim a tax deduction for his/her traditional IRA contribution may choose to treat the contribution as nondeductible, if he/she so wishes to do.  IRS Form 8606 is required to be filed to report any nondeductible contributions made to a traditional IRA. This helps the IRA owner and the IRS keep track of these amounts, so that they are not taxed when distributed from the IRA.

Referring Cite

IRC § 408 (a), IRS Publication 590

Additional Helpful Information

Individuals may contribute up to 100% of their taxable compensation/income up to the dollar limit that is in effect for the year to their traditional and/or Roth IRAs. Individuals who reach age 50 by the end of the year may contribute additional amounts referred to as ‘Catch-up’ contributions.

    • An individual can split the annual limit between a traditional and a Roth IRA, or contribute the entire amount to either. However, MAGI limitations apply to Roth IRA contributions.
    • IRA contributions must be made in cash

Keep Learning

Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD)

Definition A distribution that is excludable from the distributee’s income, as a result of meeting the following requirements: It is made after the distributee reaches

Saver’s Credit

Definition Also known as the Saver’s Tax Credit: Nonrefundable tax credit available to eligible individuals who make contributions to their retirement account. The saver’s credit

Catch-up Contribution

Definition An additional contribution that can be made to a retirement plan by a participant who is at least age-50 by the end of the

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IRA Rules