Deadline for 2011 Roth IRA Contributions – Is It Too Late to Contribute?

by Lena

Every year, I find myself in the same predicament I’m sure thousands of other taxpayers face – waiting until the very last minute to contribute to a Roth IRA.  I know contributing to one is good for me, and I know investing sooner rather than later is good for me, but I can never seem to get myself to make an early Roth IRA contribution.

So, to salute my fellow late contributors, I wanted to cover a few burning question I’m sure many people will have as the deadline for 2011 Roth IRA contributions approaches.

When Exactly is the Deadline for 2011 Roth IRA Contributions?

You always have until the tax year’s original filing deadline to make a contribution.  So, for the 2011 tax year, you have until the 2011 tax return deadline of Tuesday, April 17, 2012 to make a 2011 Roth IRA contribution. Luckily for us late birds, the 2011 tax filing deadline is a little later than usual!

Is it Too Late to Make a 2011 Roth IRA Contribution?

If you already have a Roth IRA set up, you should have time (barely) to make a contribution by the deadline, assuming your brokerage can make bank transfers within two business days and you initiate the transaction no later than first thing Monday morning.

If that’s not the case, or if you haven’t even set up a Roth IRA account yet, you just might be out of luck for the 2011 tax year.  But don’t let that stop you from going ahead and setting up a Roth and making a contribution for the 2012 tax year.

What is the Max You Can Contribute to a 2011 Roth IRA?

The maximum contribution for someone under age 50 in 2011 is $5,000 (or the amount of taxable compensation for the year if you made less than $5,000).  If you are 50 years of age or older, you may make an additional $1,000 “catch-up” contribution for good measure, for a total of $6,000.  This neat chart on the IRS website illustrates these limits very nicely.

This post was inspired by the Roth IRA Movement started by Jeff Rose of

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