Don’t let April 15 pass you by

Published 9:45 am Friday, April 2, 2010

April 15 has long been considered a date to avoid. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could do something to lower your federal income tax burden instead of mailing a big check on April 15? With a traditional Individual Retirement Account (IRA), you may be able to do just that.

A contribution of the 2009 maximum of $5.000 by April 15 could reduce your taxable income, making your federal tax burden less for the year. If you were 50 or older by the end of 2009, you can add a $1,000 catch-up contribution to potentially reduce the tax burden even more. If you already have a traditional IRA, plan to make a contribution by the April 15 deadline. If not, talk to a financial professional as soon as possible to start one.

There are restrictions governing who may deduct contributions to a traditional IRA. If you don’t qualify for a traditional IRA deduction, consider a Roth IRA. You won’t get the federal tax deduction now; but qualified withdrawals can be made free of federal income tax during your retirement years.

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Either way, having a plan for retirement is important. You owe it to yourself to make the best plan as soon as possible.