I.R.S. form 5498 - IRA Contribution Information

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AAA
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I.R.S. form 5498 - IRA Contribution Information

Post by AAA » Wed Aug 29, 2018 2:06 pm

I'm in the process of reducing the load of paperwork that I've collected and have these forms going back many years. In more recent times, I was supplied these in electronic form but didn't bother to print them out. I've searched several sources for suggestions about how long to retain them and just wanted to make sure of what I've concluded, namely, that if you are over 59 1/2 and have had a Roth IRA for more than five years, there is no need to keep the forms. Likewise if you have a traditional IRA with all pre-tax contributions, the last of which was made many years ago. Thanks.

bberris
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Re: I.R.S. form 5498 - IRA Contribution Information

Post by bberris » Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:41 am

I think a 5+ year old statement suffices to prove five-year opening of the account. You don't have to wait 5 years from each contribution, the wait begins from the first contribution tax year (which might have been the following year) from any roth account.

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Tamarind
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Re: I.R.S. form 5498 - IRA Contribution Information

Post by Tamarind » Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:51 am

I tend to accumulate paper too, but I would keep the annual doc (whether IRS form or account statement) that could serve as proof of your contribution amount, especially if you've changed custodians. If you needed to make an early withdrawal due to some hardship, you should be able to prove the amount you are withdrawing is from contributions and so not subject to penalties. No need to keep hardcopy - scan it and keep the file backed up.

NoHeat
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Re: I.R.S. form 5498 - IRA Contribution Information

Post by NoHeat » Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:42 pm

AAA wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 2:06 pm
just wanted to make sure of what I've concluded, namely, that if you are over 59 1/2 and have had a Roth IRA for more than five years, there is no need to keep the forms.
That’s a very good and specific question, re form 5498. I’ve never seen an authoritative answer anywhere, including in the IRS publication that talks of how long to keep tax returns.

Not having any good info, I’ve been keeping a hard copy forever.

tomd37
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Re: I.R.S. form 5498 - IRA Contribution Information

Post by tomd37 » Thu Aug 30, 2018 4:54 pm

You never know when you might need the Form 5498 so I would recommend you keep each one. When our son passed away those forms came in very handy for our daughter, who inherited his Roth IRAs, to prove when the IRAs were funded. I am sure there are other reasons to keep them also.
Tom D.

SoAnyway
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Re: I.R.S. form 5498 - IRA Contribution Information

Post by SoAnyway » Thu Aug 30, 2018 5:39 pm

For what it's worth OP, I have scanned .pdf copies of every Form 5498 and Form 8606 - and Form 1040, related schedules, and every other form I've ever filed with the IRS, for that matter. These electronic copies are all stored in 3 places - computer hard drive, external hard drive, cloud back-up. They date back to the early 80s.

Why do I keep these records (electronic, NOT paper)? Well, you never know when the IRS might come knocking with some bogus assertion that you screwed up something years ago, and you now owe the government more in taxes - plus interest and penalties. This scenario is even more likely now that the IRS is using computers to robo-send "automated underreporter inquiries". (Search for "CP2000" on this site, and you'll understand.) Under the US tax code (admittedly oversimplifying a bit here), unlike in a criminal court, a taxpayer contacted by the IRS is guilty as charged until the taxpayer can PROVE him/herself innocent.

I've only been contacted twice by the IRS. In each instance, I was SO glad I had the records. A simple letter, very respectful in tone, very organized in presentation, with copies of all relevant back-up documentation, quotes from the relevant IRS publications, and an invitation to the IRS to contact me in any of three ways (email, phone, snail mail) was enough to make them go away in each situation.

My advice: By all means, shred all that paper. Before doing so, though, scan it and store it in some organized/accessible fashion that suits your preferences. Just in case.
Nothing in this post constitutes legal or medical advice. | Consult your attorney or physician to verify if/how anything stated might or might not be applicable to your specific situation.

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