The Roth IRA (Individual Retirement Account), named after Senator William V. Roth, Jr., came into effect on January 1, 1998. A result of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, the Roth IRA provides a benefit which is otherwise not available in any other form of retirement savings. If you meet the criteria and subscribe to the Roth IRA, all your savings will be tax-free when you or your beneficiary draws on them.
Another advantage is that you can also avoid the early distribution penalties, which you would otherwise have to pay with any other type of withdrawals. The picture, however, is not all that rosy. This is because you don’t get a deduction when you contribute to the Roth IRS. But since you already paid the taxes for the money contributed to this account, you don’t have to pay any at the time of withdrawal.
You need to meet certain eligibility criteria in order to contribute to the Roth IRA. One basic condition is that you should have earned income. Also, the gross income should be within certain limits, which will depend on your tax-filing status. There is a limit to the amount that you can contribute towards the Roth IRA. For this year, the contribution can be either up to $4,000, or 100% of your earned income, depending on which is less. The time for filing the contributions is from January 1 of every year until the deadline for filing taxes.
Regarding distribution, the contributed money can be withdrawn from the Roth IRA anytime. As already mentioned, the money is both tax-free and penalty-free, if the Roth IRA has been in existence for at least 5 years. The other conditions include that the money can be withdrawn after the person has attained an age of fifty-nine and a half years, or if the person has become disabled. Also, the named beneficiary can withdraw the money after the person’s death.