What Records Do I Need to Keep for My IRA Contributions?

Corey —  March 31, 2010

       If you’ve made any IRA contributions, you’ll want to keep a record of those in case you ever need to prove it to the IRS. The best record you can have for an IRA contribution is a Form 5498. The custodian of your IRA is required to file this form with the IRS and send you a copy as well. Form 5498 will show any contributions or conversions you’ve made as well as the required minimum distribution (RMD) if applicable. You should receive this form in May or June.

       By keeping a copy of your Forms 5498, you’ll have a record of your IRA contributions. This is especially handy if you ever take an early distribution from a Roth IRA, convert a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA, or make any nondeductible contributions. If the IRS ever questions the information you file when you do one of those actions, you’ll be able to back up your data with those Forms 5498.

       If you lose a Form 5498 or never receive it, simply contact the custodian of your IRA. They should be able to send you a copy for any year they maintained your IRA. While it’s nice to know that, don’t count on your custodian to always have the information you need. You’re best off keeping the records yourself (in an organized manner…) than relying on your custodian to have them for you.

       So that’s what you need to keep if you make any IRA contributions. It may sound trivial, but it can save you from future headaches. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments!



Corey is currently pursuing a Master of Arts degree in religion. While he enjoys learning and writing about Christianity, another one of his new passions is writing about personal finances in order to help others make wise decisions with their money.

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