What’s that IRS Form 5498 arriving in May? You might receive a Form 5498 if you have a Health Savings Account, a Roth IRA, or other IRA.
Now, you might have just filed after compiling all your forms and statements, but now your financial institution sends another form? Hello, isn’t that a little late? Do you have to call your accountant or financial planner, again?
Hold the calls. You may remember reporting to your accountant (or TurboTax) that you made some contributions to an HSA or IRA. Perhaps you made them last year, or perhaps you made them before the April 18 deadline and had them count for 2022. Or, you took money out of these accounts or are getting ready to start your required minimum distributions (RMDs). These are reasons why you are receiving the form.
What’s Form 5498 for?
One purpose of the Form 5498 is for the financial institution that holds your account (called a “custodian”) to verify to the IRS that you did indeed make the contribution that you claim you did on your tax return.
Since everyone usually has until the tax filing deadline to make contributions, the IRS gives custodians until May 31 to send Form 5498 to account holders.
Another is to verify distributions. If you are over the age for required minimum distributions (RMDs), Form 5498 also tells the IRS what your RMD will be for the current year. The RMD is determined by the account balance on the final day of the previous year (December 31, 2022 for 2023).
So all you need to do with it is check that it matches up with what actually happened and what you actually reported on your return.
Check Form 5498 For Errors
Before you file the 5498 away, make sure it’s correct. Mistakes are common.
In 2018, my husband and I both received erroneous 5498’s for our Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). Mine showed $0 contributions for 2017 and his showed 2 years’ worth. What the….? So we called the bank, got the records straight, and had them send corrected 5498s to the IRS.
Why go to the trouble? If your 5498 contribution or distribution differs from what you reported on your 1040, at some point it could get noticed. One fantastic sunny day in the future as you skip to your mailbox, you may find inside a skinny white envelope with “Internal Revenue Service” in the return address. Fantastic day ruined.
More than likely, all the letter will say, essentially, is, “Hey, we noticed your 5498 doesn’t match your 1040. What gives?” But still. It will be in IRS-Speak and look and sound and feel serious, with a deadline for giving them an answer. Save yourself the trouble of having to answer (or pay your accountant to answer for you) and do a quick check now.
It only takes a few minutes.
- Does your contribution amount for 2022 look correct?
- Did you take any 2022 HSA or IRA distributions, and if so, do those look correct?
- (If not, make sure the distributions say $0.)
- Does the reported year-end account balance look accurate?
- Is your SSN correct?
- How about your name, including your middle initial?
If anything looks amiss, contact your custodian to get a corrected 5498 issued ASAP.
One More Tax Task
By this time of year, it’s normal to feel sick of tax stuff. The last thing you may want to do is deal with another form, especially an erroneous one. If you don’t want the bother, at least forward it to your financial or tax professional to check it out and help. We deal with tax stuff all year long. Even in May.
If it feels like you could be paying less in taxes, start by subscribing to our award-winning monthly e-letter, “The View From the Porch” for monthly tax tips sprinkled with fun and reader-only event offerings.