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With the Tax season approaching I decided to look at my Traditional, Roth and the Education IRA account for the kids again before it's too late.
[ For readers who want to get to the goods fast, scroll down to the spreadsheet link ]
This year for a change I'm early, but usually every year, I waste time reconstructing the story to see figure one of these questions.
Did I make a contribution already?
Was it at the last minute in April for last year or was it an early deposit for the current year or was it both?
Did I contribute a portion only or did I max out already?
... You get the picture.
Every year is the same, I do some research on the Internet to figure if the limits and rules have changed, then decide with my wife on the course of action.
AHHHRG... This exercise drives me crazy! (read on if this sounds familiar, I got a solution for you my friend)
As time goes by, it becomes more important to know how your contributions were made because as you may know if you have a Roth IRA, when the time comes to take the money out, the IRS may tax you on the earnings but not on the contributions or the conversion portion. So you need to know which one from the other. Plus the rules are constantly changing. (New pension Act of 2006 will kick progressively in the next few years affecting the rules and changing the numbers)
Also if I take the money out early for any reason, the early distribution rules may or may not apply depending on when I put the money in (5 year rule stuff) and several other factors. To find out about all the details refer to the IRS pub 590.
This year I decided to get a little bit more organized and decided to record my findings in a simple spreadsheet where I can keep the amounts, the rules, the websites visited and notes about each account to make it easier for next year.
I dug the IRS website to figure what the past contribution limits were in the last 10 years, went back in time with my statements in hand and recorded when I contributed, for what fiscal year, how much, for what contribution or conversion and wrote down the balance in the account at the point the transaction was done.
I posted my notes below in Excel. Click on the link to view the spreadsheet. The first sheet on the bottom tab is for the notes and rules, the second tab is for the Roth IRA and the third tab is for the Coverdell ESA etc.
Feel free to use the spreadsheet for your own good, modify it for your own taste and let me know if this is of any use to you or if you know of a better way to do this. Of course I am not an expert in the field of financial planning so do your own due diligence and check to make sure the rules for your own situation. At least this should get you started on tracking your investment contribution every year.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.