The following information is taken directly from the IRS’s Web site on the Retirement Savings Contribution Credit (Saver’s Credit) program:
You may be able to take a tax credit for making eligible contributions to your IRA or employer-sponsored retirement plan.
You’re eligible for the credit if you’re:
- Age 18 or older;
- Not a full-time student; and
- Not claimed as a dependent on another person’s return.
See the instructions for Form 8880, Credit for Qualified Retirement Savings Contributions, for the definition of a full-time student.
Amount of the credit
The amount of the credit is 50%, 20% or 10% of your retirement plan or IRA contributions up to $2,000 ($4,000 if married filing jointly), depending on your adjusted gross income (reported on your Form 1040 or 1040A). Use the chart below to calculate your credit.
*Single, married filing separately, or qualifying widow(er)
2017 Saver’s Credit
Married Filing Jointly
Head of Household
All Other Filers*
50% of your contribution
AGI not more than $37,000
AGI not more than $27,750
AGI not more than $18,500
20% of your contribution
$37,001 – $40,000
$27,751 – $30,000
$18,501 – $20,000
10% of your contribution
$40,001 – $62,000
$30,001 – $46,500
$20,001 – $31,000
0% of your contribution
more than $62,000
more than $46,500
more than $31,000
The Saver’s Credit can be taken for your contributions to a traditional or Roth IRA; your 401(k), SIMPLE IRA, SARSEP, 403(b), 501(c)(18) or governmental 457(b) plan; and your voluntary after-tax employee contributions to your qualified retirement and 403(b) plans.
Rollover contributions (money that you moved from another retirement plan or IRA) aren’t eligible for the Saver’s Credit. Also, your eligible contributions may be reduced by any recent distributions you received from a retirement plan or IRA.
Example: Jill, who works at a retail store, is married and earned $37,000 in 2016. Jill’s husband was unemployed in 2016 and didn’t have any earnings. Jill contributed $1,000 to her IRA in 2016. After deducting her IRA contribution, the adjusted gross income shown on her joint return is $36,000. Jill may claim a 50% credit, $500, for her $1,000 IRA contribution.
In my experience, anytime you can get “free” money, go for it. There are many people making less than $36,000 a year and to receive a $1,000 credit for saving $2,000 can make a big difference over 10 and 20 years. In the above example for Jill, she is trying to save 10 percent of her annual income every year, so in her case that’s $3,600. When she adds this $1,000 credit to that annual 10 percent savings and keeps this money safe over 30 years it will grow to $265,000. That’s a little over a quarter of a million dollars and an average annual growth rate of 8 percent!
This may not seem to be a big deal, but a “free” $1,000 a year for someone making $30-35,000 annually, is like getting a 33 percent bonus. If you will prepare a Get Out of Debt report and a Spending Plan using the Money Mastery tools, you will find even more money. The younger you start, the better it will be. Contact me for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org.