Contribution Deadline for IRAs and More Changed to May 17th

March 30, 2021

Mat Sorensen

What is the last day to contribute to an IRA for 2020?

Taxpayers now have until May 17, 2021, to contribute to their Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), and Coverdell Education Savings Accounts (ESAs), according to a statement by the IRS on Monday, March 29th. Any taxes due on 2020 distributions from IRAs or work-based retirement plans like 401(k)s are also due May 17th.

For those self-employed persons who are sole proprietors, the Solo 401(k) and SEP IRA contribution deadlines are also extended to May 17, 2021, for 2020 contributions.

The SEP IRA contribution deadline is April 15th for the prior year contributions for sole proprietors and independent contractors who file their business returns on schedule C of their personal 1040 tax return. For 2020 only, the April 15th deadline was moved to May 17, 2021. The SEP IRA contribution deadline can always be extended if the business return for the company supporting the SEP IRA is extended. For sole proprietors, that would be the personal 1040 tax returns (schedule c) which can be extended 6 months to October 15th each year. For partnerships and s-corps, their deadline is March 15th (company returns deadline) but can be extended 6 months to September 15th. As a result, it is possible for a sole proprietor who has extended their personal return to make 2020 SEP IRA contributions up until October 15, 2021. 

What does this mean exactly?

It means that you have more time to make contributions to your IRAs, HSAs, and ESAs accounts for 2020. The regular deadline is always April 15th but was extended by the IRS along with other pandemic relief.

The period beginning on April 15, 2021, and ending on May 17, 2021, will be disregarded in the calculation of any interest, penalty, or addition to tax for failure to file the Federal income tax returns or to pay the Federal income taxes postponed by this notice. All penalties begin to accrue on May 18, 2021.

This also postpones the time for reporting and payment of the 10-percent additional tax on amounts includible in gross income from 2020 distributions from IRAs or 401(k)s.

When is the last day I can contribute to an IRA?

You now have until the May 17, 2021 tax deadline to contribute to an IRA, either Roth or Traditional, for the 2020 tax year. The maximum contribution amount for either type of IRA is $6,000, or $7,000 if you are age 50 or older.

Does the extension apply to Solo 401ks and SEP IRAs?

This extension also applies to Solo 401(k) and SEP IRA owners who are sole proprietors. It does not apply to Solo 401(k)s and SEP IRAs who are s-corps, LLC partnerships, or c-corps. However, these Solo(k) and SEP IRA owners can extend their 2020 contribution if they have filed an extension to their company return (the adopting employer of the plan). This requires the filing of an extension of the company tax return. For Solo(k) owners, please refer to 2020 Solo 401(k) Contribution Deadlines: Rules, Steps, and Strategies.


Mat Sorensen

Mat Sorensen

Mat has been at the forefront of the self-directed IRA industry since 2006. He is the CEO of Directed IRA & Directed Trust Company where they handle all types of self-directed retirement accounts, which are typically invested into real estate, private company/private equity, IRA/LLCs, notes, precious metals, and cryptocurrency. Mat is also a partner at KKOS Lawyers. He is published regularly on retirement, tax, and business topics, and is a VIP Contributor at Mat is the best-selling author of The Self-Directed IRA Handbook, the most widely used book in the self-directed IRA industry.