As I prepare to write an article about filing taxes on a hot, humid day, I can’t help but think about the old TV commercial for a local electronics manufacturer that touted its “Christmas in August Sale.” It just seems wrong, but for millions of Americans, the early summer weeks will include preparing and paying taxes. Because of the pandemic’s timing and impact, the IRS delayed the tax-filing and payment deadlines from April 15 to July 15. The agency also moved back Q2 quarterly estimates, which would have been due on June 15, to July 15.

Importantly, the agency also made July 15 the date by which you have to fund a Traditional or Roth IRA. If you had not made a contribution when you filed your taxes earlier in the year, but now may have the cash on hand to do so, you should definitely take advantage of the extended time horizon. Remember to file an amended return (Form 1040-X) if you are taking a deduction for a Traditional IRA–you don’t need to do anything if you are making a Roth contribution. IRA and retirement expert Ed Slott recommends making a notation on your contribution check (physical or electronic) to make sure that the IRA custodian knows that the contribution is for tax year 2019.

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