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Publication 590-A

When Can Contributions Be Made?(p9)

As soon as you open your traditional IRA, contributions can be made to it through your chosen sponsor (trustee or other administrator). Contributions must be in the form of money (cash, check, or money order). Property can’t be contributed.
Although property can’t be contributed, your IRA may invest in certain property. For example, your IRA may purchase shares of stock. For other restrictions on the use of funds in your IRA, see Prohibited Transactions, later in this chapter. You may be able to transfer or roll over certain property from one retirement plan to another. See the discussion of rollovers and other transfers later in this chapter under Can You Move Retirement Plan Assets.
You can make a contribution to your IRA by having your income tax refund (or a portion of your refund), if any, paid directly to your traditional IRA, Roth IRA, or SEP IRA. For details, see the instructions for your income tax return or Form 8888, Allocation of Refund.
Contributions can be made to your traditional IRA for each year that you receive compensation and haven’t reached age 701/2. For any year in which you don’t work, contributions can’t be made to your IRA unless you receive alimony, nontaxable combat pay, military differential pay, or file a joint return with a spouse who has compensation. See Who Can Open a Traditional IRA, earlier. Even if contributions can’t be made for the current year, the amounts contributed for years in which you did qualify can remain in your IRA. Contributions can resume for any years that you qualify.

Contributions must be made by due date.(p10)

Contributions can be made to your traditional IRA for a year at any time during the year or by the due date for filing your return for that year, not including extensions. For most people, this means that contributions for 2017 must be made by April 17, 2018.

Due date for contributions.(p10)

Because April 15, 2018, falls on a Sunday, and Emancipation Day, a legal holiday in the District of Columbia is observed on Monday, April 16, 2018, the due date for making contributions for 2017 to your IRA is April 17, 2018, even if you don’t live in the District of Columbia.

Age 701/2 rule.(p10)

Contributions can’t be made to your traditional IRA for the year in which you reach age 701/2 or for any later year.
You attain age 701/2 on the date that is 6 calendar months after the 70th anniversary of your birth. If you were born on or before June 30, 1947, you can’t contribute for 2017 or any later year.

Designating year for which contribution is made.(p10)

If an amount is contributed to your traditional IRA between January 1 and April 17, you should tell the sponsor which year (the current year or the previous year) the contribution is for. If you don’t tell the sponsor which year it is for, the sponsor can assume, and report to the IRS, that the contribution is for the current year (the year the sponsor received it).

Filing before a contribution is made.(p10)

You can file your return claiming a traditional IRA contribution before the contribution is actually made. Generally, the contribution must be made by the due date of your return, not including extensions.

Contributions not required.(p10)

You don’t have to contribute to your traditional IRA for every tax year, even if you can.