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How to find non-deductible IRA contributions
Old 05-06-2022, 07:03 AM   #1
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How to find non-deductible IRA contributions

Hi All,

TLR - Need to find out my non-deductible Trad IRA contributions back to the early 1990s.

Several excellent threads on this site about Traditional to Roth conversions have me doing my research.

One thing that has come up is non-deductible Traditional IRA contributions I've made over the years.

Because I was in the military during all my Trad IRA contributions, they were all non-deductible since my W-2s were always marked that I was eligible for a pension. This was despite the fact that for my first 19 years in the military I was not eligible at all and only "vested" when I hit 20.

Now I'm trying to figure out how to determine all those contributions (I've moved that IRA account several times) and see how that will impact my plan to convert to Roth over the next few years.

I've gone on the IRS website and it offers pdfs of my tax returns back to 2012 but I'm not sure how to go back to the early 90s when I would have made my first contributions.

Anyone here been through this and have any advice? @Nords
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Old 05-06-2022, 09:04 AM   #2
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My earliest non-deductible contributions were in year 2001. I saved all my tax returns, so I could see that in form 8606 from that year. Also, I called Charles Schwab and they sent me a list of all the contributions from that year since.

So, if you do not have your tax returns saved, check with your brokerage firm. They might be able to pull up a historical transaction list for you.
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Old 05-06-2022, 09:29 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by fh2000 View Post
My earliest non-deductible contributions were in year 2001. I saved all my tax returns, so I could see that in form 8606 from that year. Also, I called Charles Schwab and they sent me a list of all the contributions from that year since.

So, if you do not have your tax returns saved, check with your brokerage firm. They might be able to pull up a historical transaction list for you.
You were better organized than me. My IRAs started with Navy Federal, then they were moved to USAA and then briefly at Schwab before I moved them to Vanguard. I believe most of my contributions were at NFCU with maybe some at USAA. I've reached out to NFCU to see if I can get older statements.
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Old 05-06-2022, 09:40 AM   #4
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Every year that you made non-deductible IRA contributions, you were supposed to file a form 8606 with your tax return. Form 8606 is cumulative, so theoretically you only need to find the return for the most recent year when you made a contribution and look at the IRA basis shown on that year's 8606.

If you didn't always file an 8606, or you've discarded the most recent one, then you can try to reconstruct it. Do you know if you always contributed the max amount allowed (those numbers are easy to find online)? Or did you always contribute the same amount? Can you figure out which years you made contributions?
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Old 05-06-2022, 09:54 AM   #5
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[edit: Just noticed that both of my comments below have been already brought up by others]

Did you make the maximum contribution to your IRA each year?
Did you make it every year?

If the answers to these two questions are yes, then reconstructing your contributions from the publicly available yearly IRA maximums may be trivial by comparison.


Another option would be do you have access to statements or other info at the financial institutions where you made the contributions?

-gauss
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Old 05-06-2022, 04:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwdflynavy View Post
Because I was in the military during all my Trad IRA contributions, they were all non-deductible since my W-2s were always marked that I was eligible for a pension. This was despite the fact that for my first 19 years in the military I was not eligible at all and only "vested" when I hit 20.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rwdflynavy View Post
You were better organized than me. My IRAs started with Navy Federal, then they were moved to USAA and then briefly at Schwab before I moved them to Vanguard. I believe most of my contributions were at NFCU with maybe some at USAA. I've reached out to NFCU to see if I can get older statements.
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Originally Posted by cathy63 View Post
If you didn't always file an 8606, or you've discarded the most recent one, then you can try to reconstruct it. Do you know if you always contributed the max amount allowed (those numbers are easy to find online)? Or did you always contribute the same amount? Can you figure out which years you made contributions?
As others have written, @RWDFlyNavy, you can use the most recent 8606. You donít file that form every year but theyíre cumulative.

Another option, if youíre pretty sure you maximized your traditional IRA contributions, is the history of the limits:
https://www.investopedia.com/ira-con...ibution-limits

Finally, Iím not sure whether Form 5498 tracks the history from prior custodians, but you could look for your latest copy. Itís sent out each May and itís not filed with your income tax returns, but it might have your contribution basis. You get one for your traditional IRA and one for your Roth IRA.
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Old 05-07-2022, 04:54 AM   #7
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Thanks to all for the advice.

Unfortunately, I didn't always contribute the maximum. I'll be reaching out to the various custodians and I've been able to recreate some of the data from old tax returns.
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Old 05-07-2022, 05:49 AM   #8
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As was mentioned above find the last tax return you did which included a form 8606. Line 2 will show you your basis for that year’s filing which, if you have never made any Roth conversions or other IRA withdrawals is the total of your non deductible contributions up to that year. But, if you have none that have an 8606 then you’ll have to try and do it the way you suggest by contacting your previous custodians.
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Old 05-07-2022, 06:26 AM   #9
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Iím questioning your first assumption that your Traditional IRA contributions were non-deductible because your W-2 indicated you had a pension plan. Thatís only part of the equation. Contributions may not be deductible if you are covered by a pension plan AND your income is above the threshold.

Now maybe you were a high earner for those nineteen years, but what Iíve heard about military pay makes me think thatís not the case. Perhaps you were married and your spouse had very high wages, putting your MFJ income over the limit? If not, then most of not all of your contributions were deductible.
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Old 05-07-2022, 07:22 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Philliefan33 View Post
Iím questioning your first assumption that your Traditional IRA contributions were non-deductible because your W-2 indicated you had a pension plan. Thatís only part of the equation. Contributions may not be deductible if you are covered by a pension plan AND your income is above the threshold.

Now maybe you were a high earner for those nineteen years, but what Iíve heard about military pay makes me think thatís not the case. Perhaps you were married and your spouse had very high wages, putting your MFJ income over the limit? If not, then most of not all of your contributions were deductible.
I think you are probably right, but my income must have been high enough that I couldn't deduct. I recall how angry I was when I discovered the check box on pension plan meant I couldn't deduct, despite the fact that if I got out at any point of my service before 20 years I'd get exactly zero pension. I was an officer and our pay is better, but it sure didn't seem like much in the early 1990s when I was trying to save up $4000 a year for an IRA.
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