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Participants may be eligible for a valuable incentive, which could reduce their federal income tax liability, for contributing to your company’s 401(k) or 403(b) plan. If they qualify, they may receive a Tax Saver’s Credit of up to $2,000 ($4,000 for married couples filing jointly) if they made eligible contributions to an employer sponsored retirement savings plan. The deduction is claimed in the form of a non-refundable tax credit, ranging from 10 percent to 50 percent of their annual contribution.

When participants contribute a portion of each paycheck into the plan on a pre-tax basis, they are reducing the amount of their income subject to federal taxation. And, those assets grow tax-deferred until they receive a distribution. If they qualify for the Tax Saver’s Credit, they may even further reduce their taxes.

Participants’ eligibility depends on their Adjusted Gross Income (AGI), tax filing status and retirement contributions. To qualify for the credit, a participant must be age 18 or older and cannot be a full-time student or claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return.

The chart below can be used to calculate the credit for the tax year 2014. First, participants must determine their Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) –total income minus all qualified deductions. Then they can refer to the chart below to see how much they can claim as a tax credit if they qualify.

Filing Status/Adjusted Gross Income for 2015

Amount of Credit

Joint

Head of Household

Single/Others

50% of amount deferred

$0 to $36,500

$0 to $27,375

$0 to $18,250

20% of amount deferred

$36,501 to $39,500

$27,376 to $29,625

$18,251 to $19,750

10% of amount deferred

$39,501 to $61,000

$29,626 to $45,750

$19,751 to $30,500

Source: IRS Form 8880

For example:

  • A single employee whose AGI is $17,000 defers $2,000 to her retirement plan will qualify for a tax credit equal to 50% of her total contribution. That’s a tax savings of $1,000.
  • A married couple, filing jointly, with a combined AGI of $37,000 each contributes $1,000 to their respective company plans, for a total contribution of $2,000. They will receive a 20% credit reducing their tax bill by $400.

With the Tax Saver’s Credit, participants may owe less in federal taxes the next time they file by contributing to their retirement plan. Please contact us to learn more.