Federal Form 8880 - Retirement Savings Contribution Credit Instructions

General Instructions  

Future Developments 

For the latest information about developments related to Form 8880 and its instructions, such as legislation enacted after they were published, go to www.irs.gov/form8880.

Purpose of Form 

Use Form 8880 to figure the amount, if any, of your retirement savings contributions credit (also known as the saver’s credit).

TIP: This credit can be claimed in addition to any IRA deduction claimed on Form 1040, line 32; Form 1040A, line 17; or Form 1040NR, line 32.

Who Can Take This Credit 

You may be able to take this credit if you, or your spouse if filing jointly, made (a) contributions (other than rollover contributions) to a traditional or Roth IRA, (b) elective deferrals to a 401(k), 403(b), governmental 457, SEP, or SIMPLE plan, (c) voluntary employee contributions to a qualified retirement plan as defined in section 4974(c) (including the federal Thrift Savings Plan), or (d) contributions to a 501(c)(18)(D) plan.

However, you cannot take the credit if either of the following applies:

  • The amount on Form 1040, line 38; Form 1040A, line 22; or Form 1040NR, line 37, is more than $28,750 ($43,125 if head of household; $57,500 if married filing jointly).
  • The person(s) who made the qualified contribution or elective deferral (a) was born after January 1, 1995, (b) is claimed as a dependent on someone else’s 2012 tax return, or (c) was a student.

CAUTION! You will need to refigure the amount on Form 1040, line 38, if you are filing Form 2555, 2555-EZ, or 4563 or you are excluding income from Puerto Rico. See Pub. 590 for details.

You were a student if during any part of 5 calendar months of 2012 you:

  • Were enrolled as a full-time student at a school, or
  • Took a full-time, on-farm training course given by a school or a state, county, or local government agency.

A school includes technical, trade, and mechanical schools. It does not include on-the-job training courses, correspondence schools, or schools offering courses only through the Internet.

Specific Instructions 

Column (b) 

Complete column (b) only if you are filing a joint return.

Line 2 

Include on line 2 any of the following amounts.

  • Elective deferrals to a 401(k) or 403(b) plan (including designated Roth contributions under section 402A), or to a governmental 457, SEP, or SIMPLE plan.
  • Voluntary employee contributions to a qualified retirement plan as defined in section 4974(c) (including the federal Thrift Savings Plan).
  • Contributions to a 501(c)(18)(D) plan.

These amounts may be shown in box 12 of your Form(s) W-2 for 2012.

Note. Contributions designated under section 414(h)(2) are treated as employer contributions and as such they are not voluntary contributions made by the employee. They do not qualify for the credit and should not be included on line 2.

Line 4 

Enter the total amount of distributions you, and your spouse if filing jointly, received after 2009 and before the due date of your 2012 return (including extensions) from any of the following types of plans.

  • Traditional or Roth IRAs.
  • 401(k), 403(b), governmental 457, 501(c)(18)(D), SEP, or SIMPLE plans.
  • Qualified retirement plans as defined in section 4974(c) (including the federal Thrift Savings Plan).

Do not include any:

  • Distributions not taxable as the result of a rollover or a trustee-to- trustee transfer.
  • Distributions that are taxable as the result of an in-plan rollover to your designated Roth account.
  • Distributions from your eligible retirement plan (other than a Roth IRA) rolled over or converted to your Roth IRA.
  • Loans from a qualified employer plan treated as a distribution.
  • Distributions of excess contributions or deferrals (and income allocable to such contributions or deferrals).
  • Distributions of contributions made to an IRA during a tax year and returned (with any income allocable to such contributions) on or before the due date (including extensions) for that tax year.
  • Distributions of dividends paid on stock held by an employee stock ownership plan under section 404(k).
  • Distributions from a military retirement plan.

If you are filing a joint return, include both spouses’ amounts in both columns.

Exception. Do not include your spouse’s distributions with yours when entering an amount on line 4 if you and your spouse did not file a joint return for the year the distribution was received.

Example. You received a distribution of $5,000 from a qualified retirement plan in 2012. Your spouse received a distribution of $2,000 from a Roth IRA in 2010. You and your spouse file a joint return in 2012, but did not file a joint return in 2010. You would include $5,000 in column (a) and $7,000 in column (b).

Line 7 

Add the amounts from line 6 columns (a) and (b), and enter the total.

Line 12 

Before you complete line 12, figure the amount of any credit for the elderly or the disabled you are claiming on Form 1040, line 53. See Schedule R (Form 1040A or 1040) to figure the credit.