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Saver's Credits to Consider

Want to contribute to a company retirement plan but cash flow is tight? The government offers credits to minimize some of the sting that is caused when contibuting to a company plan.

Consider these options before you decide not to make that retirement contribution:

Save Twice with the Saver's Credit

If you are a low-to-moderate income worker, you can take steps now to save two ways for the same amount. With the saver's credit you can save for your retirement and save on your taxes with a special tax credit. Here are six tips you should know about this credit:

1. Save for retirement. The formal name of the saver's credit is the retirement savings contributions credit. You may be able to claim this tax credit in addition to any other tax savings that also apply. The saver's credit helps offset part of the first $2,000 you voluntarily save for your retirement. This includes amounts you contribute to IRAs, 401(k) plans and similar workplace plans.

2. Save on taxes. The saver's credit can increase your refund or reduce the tax you owe. The maximum credit is $1,000, or $2,000 for married couples. The credit you receive is often much less, due in part because of the deductions and other credits you may claim.

3. Income limits. Income limits vary based on your filing status. You may be able to claim the saver's credit if you're a:

  • Married couple filing jointly with income up to $60,000 in 2014 or $61,000 in 2015.
  • Head of Household with income up to $45,000 in 2014 or $45,750 in 2015.
  • Married person filing separately or single with income up to $30,000 in 2014 or $30,500 in 2015.

4. When to contribute. If you're eligible you still have time to contribute and get the saver's credit on your 2014 tax return. You have until April 15, 2015, to set up a new IRA or add money to an existing IRA for 2014. You must make an elective deferral (contribution) by the end of the year to a 401(k) plan or similar workplace program.

If you can't set aside money for this year you may want to schedule your 2015 contributions soon so your employer can begin withholding them in January.

5. Special rules apply. Other special rules that apply to the credit include:

  • You must be at least 18 years of age.
  • You can't have been a full-time student in 2014.
  • Another person can't claim you as a dependent on their tax return.

6. Visit IRS.gov. You figure your credit amount based on your filing status, adjusted gross income, tax liability and the amount of your qualified contribution. Other rules also apply. For more information visit IRS.gov.

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