How to Claim a Roth IRA on a Federal Income Tax Return

Contributions to a Roth IRA are not tax-deductible, but you might qualify for a certain tax credit.

Contributions to a Roth IRA are not tax-deductible, but you might qualify for a certain tax credit.

Contributions to a Roth individual retirement account are made with after-tax dollars, and you may not take a deduction for Roth IRA contributions on your income tax return. If you meet certain income criteria established by the Internal Revenue Service, however, you might qualify for the retirement savings contributions credit.

Determine whether you qualify for the retirement savings contribution credit. As of the 2012 tax year, to qualify for the credit, your adjusted gross income must be below $28,250 if you are single, $56,500 if you are married filing jointly, or $42,375 if you can claim the head of household filing status. To locate your adjusted gross income, refer to line 37 on Form 1040 or line 21 on Form 1040A.

Complete Form 8880 to determine the amount of your credit. To complete the form, you must have your adjusted gross income and the amount you contributed to the Roth IRA. You can find the amount contributed to the account in box 12 of your Form W-2 if your employer also makes contributions. If you have multiple items listed in box 12, contributions to a Roth IRA are generally listed under code AA, BB, DD or EE. If you set up your own Roth IRA through a financial institution, you can find the amount contributed to the account in Box 10 of Form 5498, which will be provided to you by the financial institution through which you have the account.

Enter the amount of your credit as shown on the last line of Form 8880 on line 50 of Form 1040 or line 32 of Form 1040A; on both forms, the appropriate line is further identified as “Retirement savings contribution credit” and is accompanied by the instruction "Attach Form 8880."

Tips

  • You can’t claim the retirement savings contribution credit if you use Form 1040EZ to prepare your income taxes.
  • The IRS also allows you to claim contributions to other qualified retirement plans.
  • Employer contributions do not qualify for the retirement savings contribution credit.
 

About the Author

Angela M. Wheeland specializes in topics related to taxation, technology, gaming and criminal law. She has contributed to several websites and serves as the lead content editor for a construction-related website. Wheeland holds an Associate of Arts in accounting and criminal justice. She has owned and operated her own income tax-preparation business since 2006.

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