I hate to post a generic tax question on here but I've been unable to find the answer to this using other resources. When filing taxes, when I'm prompted to enter my "2018 contributions to traditional IRA", what is defined as "my" contribution?

In other words, is this ONLY money that I have personally put in, or does it include dividends and employer contributions as well? Thanks!

  • Where exactly are you being prompted to enter this information? Which piece of software, which section of the questionaire, etc.
    – Ben Miller
    Mar 1, 2019 at 21:58
  • Was referring to a turbotax prompt and may have paraphrased a bit, which led to the roth/ traditional contributions confusion seen below. Aganju answered my question. Was essentially wondering if employer contributions counted as "my" contributions. Mar 1, 2019 at 22:13

2 Answers 2


It does not include dividends - they are not contributed but earned.

Employers cannot contribute to Traditional IRA - you might mix it up with a 401(k), but those you cannot contribute, only the employer does, so you would never have that question to answer.

  • 3
    What's a 401(k) IRA?? Mar 1, 2019 at 22:10

The word "traditional" in this case refers to the type of IRA, not the type of contribution. A traditional IRA is an IRA that is not a Roth IRA. Contributions to traditional IRAs can be tax-deductible.

A contribution is new money that is put into the IRA. Earnings inside your IRA, such as dividends, interest, capital gains, etc. are not contributions.

Employers generally don't contribute to regular IRAs. There are employer retirement accounts that have "IRA" in the name, but are really different, such as SIMPLE IRA or SEP IRA. The question you are being asked by the software is probably not including those, as employer retirement accounts are generally not accounted for on your tax return.

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