As long as you have an IRA or HSA that was established in the previous tax year you can make contributions for that tax year up until April 15th, tax day, of the following year. But what if you’ve already filed your taxes and want to make a contribution to the previous year? You can still do that as long as you are willing to file a bit more paperwork.
Let’s say that you filed your taxes the minute you got your W-2s in order to get your refund fast, but then read my article on the retirement savers tax credit and realized you could get an additional $500 refund for contributing $1,000 to an IRA? By using the amended return process you could use the cash you already got back from your tax return to fund your IRA for the previous tax year, then file an amended return claiming that contribution. It may take a few weeks to get your amended return back, but it is certainly worth it.
You only have until April 15 to make it happen, so run your numbers as soon as possible. There is still time to shield some of last years money from the tax man even if you have already filed your taxes!
- Collect refund from the taxes you already filed
- Verify that you will get a decent extra return by contributing more to your retirement account or HSA
- Make a contribution to your EXISTING IRA or HSA that was openned before December 31, 2014 AND check the box stating the contribution is for the previous tax year (2014).
- File Form 1040X, Amended IRS tax form. Because these are an amended return the IRS looks at them more closely and they also get put at the bottom of the pile (after initial returns for processing). The IRS states that you should allow up to 16 weeks for them to process your amended return.
- Get Your Refund
- BONUS STEP: Invest the extra refund money into your 2015 IRA or HSA
Have you ever filed an amended return? How long did it take the IRS to get your refund to you?