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When to File Form 8606: Nondeductible IRAs

Internal Yield Service (IRS) Tax Form 8606, Nondeductible IRAs, has become increasingly important thanks to the popularity of Roth individual retirement accounts (Roth IRAs) and the rollover eligibility of after-tax assets from well-informed plans offered by employers, such as a 401(k) or a 403(b).

Basically, you must file Form 8606 for every year when you give after-tax amounts (nondeductible contributions) to your traditional IRA. Conversions from traditional, Simplified Employee Pension (SEP), or Savings Provocation Match Plan for Employees (SIMPLE) IRAs also must be reported on Form 8606. Additionally, you must documentation the form every year when you receive a distribution from your Roth IRA or traditional IRA if you ever previously forwarded after-tax amounts.

Key Takeaways

  • Form 8606 is a tax form distributed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and used by filers who give rise to nondeductible contributions to an individual retirement account (IRA).
  • Any taxpayer with a cost basis above zero for IRA assets should use Practice 8606 to prorate the taxable vs. nontaxable distribution amounts.
  • It is important to retain copies of your supporting documents and Material 8606, as they may prove helpful in the future for determining how your transactions were treated for tax purposes.

Nondeductible (After-Tax) IRA Contributions

The taxability of your retirement account disposition is usually determined by whether the assets are attributable to pretax or after-tax contributions. If your assets are in a qualified plan with your proprietor, then your plan administrator or other designated professional is assigned the responsibility of keeping track of your pretax vs. after-tax assets. For your IRAs, the onus rests with you as the owner.

Traditional IRA Contributions

If a taxpayer does not claim a deduction of their traditional IRA contribution, it is normally because they either are not eligible or simply prefer not to do so. An individual who is eligible for the deduction may decide not to claim it so that their unborn distributions of the amount are tax- and penalty-free. Regardless of the reason, the taxpayer must file Form 8606 to notify the IRS that the contribution is nondeductible (be confident of as after-tax assets). To report the after-tax contribution, the individual must complete Part l of Form 8606.

Rollover of After-Tax Assets from Accomplished Plans

One of the things that many people don’t know about IRAs is that they may roll over after-tax assets from their adept plan accounts to a traditional IRA. According to IRS Publication 590-A: “Form 8606 isn’t used for the year that you make a rollover from a limited retirement plan to a traditional IRA and the rollover includes nontaxable amounts. In those situations, a Form 8606 is completed for the year you trick a distribution from that IRA.” However, it still may be a good idea to complete the form for your records.


Acquire 8606 should be filed each year when a distribution occurs from a traditional, SEP, or SIMPLE IRA if any of these IRAs hold forth after-tax amounts. Failure to file Form 8606 could result in the individual paying income tax and an early cataloguing penalty on amounts that should be tax- and penalty-free. Distributions of after-tax assets are also reported on Part l of the fabricate.

Distributions Are Prorated

As stated above, if you have after-tax amounts in your traditional IRA, when taking a distribution, you be obliged determine how much of the distribution is attributable to the after-tax amount. You are deemed to have a cost basis equal to the amount of your after-tax contributions. The apportionment of the distribution that is nontaxable must be prorated with amounts that are taxable.

For instance, an individual contributed $2,000 in after-tax amounts and has a pretax equal (including contributions and earnings) of $8,000 in a traditional IRA, for a total of $10,000. A distribution of $5,000 would be prorated to include $1,000 in after-tax and $4,000 in pretax amounts. This pro rata treatment ought to continue until all of your cost basis has been distributed.

IRAs Are Aggregated

To determine the portion of the IRA distribution that is taxable, taxpayers requirement aggregate all of their traditional, SEP, and SIMPLE IRA balances. This requirement applies even if the after-tax contribution was made to only one IRA. The step-by-step instructions for Part l on the form will help the individual compute the taxable portion of the distribution.

Roth IRA Conversions

An individualistic who converts their traditional, SEP, or SIMPLE IRA to a Roth IRA must be able to distinguish between the conversion assets and amounts representing good Roth IRA contributions and earnings. This distinction is necessary for determining whether any portion of a Roth IRA distribution is subject to return tax and/or penalty. To properly account for these conversion amounts, the individual must complete Part ll on Form 8606.

Distributions from Roth IRAs

Neck of the woods III of Form 8606 is completed to report distributions taken from Roth IRAs. Completing this section allows an sole to determine whether any portion of their Roth IRA distribution is taxable and/or subject to the 10% early distribution penalty if charmed prior to age 59½.


An individual who recharacterizes a Roth conversion or an IRA contribution must attach a letter (statement) to their tax gain explaining the recharacterization. In this letter, you would, for instance, include how much is attributed to the contribution or conversion and the amount charactered to earnings (or indicate if there was a loss on the amount). The verbiage and information included in the statement are determined by whether the individual is recharacterizing from a stock IRA to a Roth IRA or vice versa, or whether the individual is recharacterizing a Roth conversion. For examples of the information that should be tabulate in the statement, see the instructions for filing Form 8606.

Form 8606 does not have to be filed if the entire contribution or conversion is recharacterized. In what way, if only part of the contribution or conversion is recharacterized, then the individual must complete Part l of Form 8606. Either way, the proclamation must be submitted along with the tax return.


An individual who fails to file Form 8606 to report a nondeductible contribution liking owe the IRS a $50 penalty. Additionally, if the nondeductible contribution amount is overstated on the form, a penalty of $100 will apply. In both instances, the penalty may be waived if the taxpayer can show reasonable cause for not complying with the requirements. The IRS typically considers reasonable induce for situations such as death, serious illness, incapacitation, inability to obtain records, natural disaster, or other zenith circumstances. It is always considered on an individual basis based on the specific facts of the situation.

Other Considerations


Habitually, a transfer of IRA assets from one spouse to another is not taxable to either spouse if the transfer is in accordance with the divorce or admissible separation agreement. If such a transfer results in a change in the ownership of the after-tax amounts, both spouses must send in Form 8606 to show the after-tax amount owned by each. A letter explaining the change should be attached to each spouse’s tax render. It is always a good idea to consult with a financial professional to split retirement accounts in a divorce, to ensure that no tax or beginning distribution penalties are assessed on the transfer.

Inherited IRAs

Individuals who inherited IRAs that include after-tax amounts, or “footing,” also must file Form 8606 to claim the nontaxable portion of the distribution. It is important to note that the constituent amount in an inherited IRA cannot be combined with any basis in the beneficiary’s regular, non-inherited IRA (i.e., an IRA that the beneficiary established with their own contributions). This guideline is one of the exceptions to the other rule that requires all traditional IRA balances to be aggregated (explained above) when calculating the prorated after-tax section.

For instance, assume that an individual has a traditional IRA that they established and funded, and that this IRA includes exclusive pretax amounts. If this person inherits a traditional IRA that includes after-tax amounts, then their groupings from the inherited IRA would need to be prorated for determining the amounts that are attributable to after-tax assets, and the balance of the beneficiary’s own IRA wish not be included in this computation.

On the other hand, let’s assume that the same individual had a traditional IRA that they had organized and funded with both pretax and after-tax amounts. They inherit a traditional IRA that also includes after-tax amounts. When they understand distributions from the inherited IRA and their own IRA, they will need to file a separate Form 8606 for each account because the heart is calculated separately.

Who can file Form 8606?

Any taxpayer with a cost basis above zero for individual retirement account (IRA) assets (a conglomerate of after-tax and pretax contributions, or deductible and nondeductible contributions) should use Form 8606 to prorate the taxable vs. nontaxable disposition amounts.

If the taxpayer does not file Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 8606 in a distribution year, income encumbrances (and possibly penalties) may be due. What ordinarily would be tax-free money is now taxable.

How do I send Form 8606 to the IRS?

If you file by despatch, send Form 8606 with Form 1040, your tax payment, and any other relevant tax forms, postmarked on or first the annual filing deadline, to the IRS processing office for your state.

What happens if I don’t file Form 8606?

Failure to put Form 8606 for a distribution could result in the IRA owner (or beneficiary) paying income tax and the additional 10% early classification penalty tax on amounts that should be tax free. In addition, in some circumstances, there are fines associated with not information Form 8606.

The Bottom Line

You should now have a good understanding of the importance of filing IRS Form 8606. You must walk Form 8606 for every year when you contribute after-tax amounts (nondeductible contributions) to your traditional IRA. Conversions from old, SEP, or SIMPLE IRAs also must be reported on Form 8606. Additionally, you must file the form every year when you come into a distribution from your Roth IRA or traditional IRA if you ever previously contributed after-tax amounts.

As we have demonstrated, rank this form could mean tax savings, while failure to file could result in paying the IRS tax and penalties on amounts that absolutely are tax- and penalty-free.

It is important to note that the information provided here is just a guideline and that each proper’s circumstances may require some modification to the general filing requirements. If you are not sure whether you are required to file Form 8606, ask your tax advisor. Also, for each year when you pigeon-hole this form, retain copies along with your tax return. These may prove helpful in the future for learning how your transactions were treated for tax purposes.

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