retirement

How Long Do You Need to Keep IRA Tax Form 5498?

You don’t need to file Form 5498 with your taxes because the IRS gets a copy, too. But you should review it, in case there are errors.

I just received Form 5498 in the mail from my IRA administrator, reporting my 2014 contribution to my IRA. What do I need to do with this form, and why did I receive it now?

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Form 5498 reports your contributions to a traditional or Roth IRA, or a SEP or SIMPLE account, for 2014. It also reports whether you rolled money over from another retirement plan, such as a 401(k), into an IRA or converted a traditional IRA to a Roth. Plan custodians must send these forms by May 31 to anyone who made a contribution, rollover or conversion for 2014.

You don’t need to file this form with your tax return because the custodian sends a copy both to you and to the IRS. But it’s important to review the document for errors. Mari Adam, a certified financial planner in Boca Raton, Fla., has seen a variety of mistakes that plan custodians needed to fix, such as reporting an IRA contribution as a rollover (which could cause a problem if you took a tax deduction for the contribution). Another client consolidated several retirement plans and rolled them into an IRA, but the 5498 didn’t show the rollover.

“If your tax return doesn’t match the 5498 or 1099-R filed with the IRS, that might generate an IRS inquiry,” Adam says. She recommends contacting the custodian right away and asking the custodian to send a corrected form to the IRS.

Keep Form 5498, in case you switch custodians or need to track down information about past contributions. “Your custodian will normally archive these forms online for 10 years, but if you change custodians or close accounts, you may lose access to the online forms,” Adam says. And if you make non-deductible IRA contributions, remember to file Form 8606, which keeps track of the cumulative basis in your IRAs, so you don’t end up paying extra taxes when you finally withdraw the money. See Don’t Throw Away These Tax Records for details.

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