What Is IRS Form 8880?

IRS Form 8880 reports contributions to qualified retirement savings accounts. Specifically, this form determines whether you qualify for the retirement saver's credit and, if you do, how much money you can claim. The saver's credit is a tax credit that's available to certain individuals who make contributions to eligible retirement plans, including:

If you make contributions to any of these accounts, you're required to complete Form 8880 and submit it with your Form 1040 when filing your tax return.

Key Takeaways

  • IRS Form 8880 calculates how much of a tax credit you may qualify for if you made contributions to an eligible retirement savings plan.
  • Eligible plans to which you can make contributions and claim the credit include traditional and Roth IRAs and 401(k), 457, and 403(b) plans.
  • You'll need to calculate your adjusted gross income (AGI) for the year and add up your total retirement savings contributions to complete Form 8880.
  • Form 8880 can be printed out and filed with a paper return or completed electronically if you plan to file your taxes online.

Who Can File IRS Form 8880?

Anyone who plans to claim the saver's credit on their taxes will need to complete Form 8880 and file it with their tax return. Not everyone is eligible for this credit, however, so even if you made retirement plan contributions, you may not need to complete this form.

To be eligible for the saver's credit, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Not be a student
  • Not be claimed as a dependent on another person's tax return

If you meet those criteria, you can fill out Form 8880 to determine the tax credit you may be able to claim for your retirement plan contributions.

For IRS purposes, you're considered a student if you were enrolled as a full-time student at a school or took a full-time, non-farm training course given by a school or a state, county, or local government agency for any part of five calendar months of the tax year.

How to File IRS Form 8880

You can file Form 8880 by printing out a copy of the form and completing it, then mailing it to the IRS. If you prefer to file your taxes electronically, you can complete Form 8880 online. If you're using online tax filing software, you can follow the prompts to enter the correct information and calculate the credit.

On March 17, 2021, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that the federal income tax filing due date for all taxpayers for the 2020 tax year will automatically extend from April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021. This only applies to individual federal income returns and tax payments otherwise due April 15, 2021, not state tax payments or deposits or payments of any other type of federal tax. This extension also does not apply to quarterly estimated tax payments for self-employed individuals.

It's helpful to understand how these calculations work, especially if you're completing the form by hand. The one-page form is simple, but it does require that you enter specific information, including:

  • Total contributions to traditional IRA, Roth IRA, and ABLE accounts for the year (not including rollover amounts)
  • Total elective deferrals to a 401(k) or another qualified employer plan
  • Certain distributions received from those plans after 2017 but before the due date of your 2020 return

You also need to know your adjusted gross income (AGI), because this determines the percentage of the credit you can claim. The saver's credit is worth 10%, 20%, or 50% of your:

$1,000

The maximum credit you may qualify for if you're a single filer. The maximum credit is $2,000 if you're married and file a joint return.

The following tables illustrate the saver's credit you may be able to claim for 2020 and 2021, based on your income.

2021 Retirement Saver's Credit Income Thresholds
Credit Rate Married Filing Jointly Head of Household All Other Filing Statuses
50% of contributed amount  AGI not more than $39,500  AGI not more than $29,625  AGI not more than $19,750
20% of contributed amount  $39,501–$43,000  $29,626–$32,250  $19,751–$21,500
10% of contributed amount  $43,001–$66,000  $32,251–$49,500  $21,501–$33,000
0% of contributed amount  more than $66,000  more than $49,500  more than $33,000
2020 Retirement Saver's Credit Income Thresholds
Credit Rate Married Filing Jointly Head of Household All Other Filing Statuses
50% of contributed amount  AGI not more than $39,000  AGI not more than $29,250  AGI not more than $19,500
20% of contributed amount $39,001–$42,500 $29,251–$31,875 $19,501–$21,250
10% of contributed amount $42,501–$65,000 $31,876–$48,750 $21,251–$32,500
0% of contributed amount more than $65,000 more than $48,750 more than $32,500

Download IRS Form 8880 Here

You can download the most current revision of IRS Form 8880 directly from the IRS website. You may only need to download this form if you plan on filing a paper return.

IRS Form 8880

If you plan to file your return electronically, you can complete Form 8880 online. This may be the simpler option, as your tax filing software program can carry over your adjusted gross income amounts for you to help when calculating the credit. All you'll need to do is enter the amount you contributed to any eligible retirement plans along with any amounts that were distributed from those accounts prior to the tax filing deadline.

Filing a tax extension gives you extra time to file, but not extra time to pay. If you owe taxes, penalties and interest can accrue as long as your taxes remain unpaid.

Form 8880 is due at the same time as your regular tax return each year. For 2021, the tax filing deadline is April 15. If you need more time to complete your return, you can request a six-month extension by completing Form 4868. This gives you until Oct. 15, 2021, to get your return to the IRS.