Didn't Make IRA Contributions? It's Not Too Late
Most tax strategies must be employed by the end of the tax year; with IRA contributions, that's not the case. You can make a contribution to your IRA that counts for 2009 tax purposes up until April 15, 2010. Contributing to an IRA lets you defer tax on that income and the earnings you receive on your account are tax-deferred, too.
If you don't already have an IRA set up, that's not a problem. You can establish a new account and contribute to that account up until April 15th . Keep in mind that the IRS is only responsible for sending your refund to your financial institution. It is up to you to instruct the IRA provider as to what year to make the contribution, and then where to invest the money. And if you calculate your taxes based on incorporating your IRA contribution, you can even have the IRS send your refund check directly to the financial institution where your plan is set up. (If you do, just keep in mind the deposit must hit the account by the 15th or it will be considered a 2010 contribution and you'll have to file an amended tax return to reflect the change.)