Dividends are taxed at different rates depending on how much time you have. The tax rate on qualifying dividends is 0%, 15%, or 20%, depending on your taxable income and tax status. The tax rate on unqualified dividends is the same as that of your regular income tax bracket. In both cases, people in the higher tax brackets pay a higher dividend tax rate.
You'll still have to pay taxes before or after you contribute the money, but you won't have to pay taxes as your savings grow in the account. Owning domestic investments that pay dividends could protect dividends from taxes or defer taxes on them. If your dividends are ordinary (unqualified) dividends, they will be taxed at your marginal tax rate on regular income. There are a lot of exceptions and unusual scenarios with special rules; see IRS Publication 550 for more information, but in general, this is how dividend tax works.
If you open a Roth IRA, your money will be taxed now, but you won't pay any additional taxes when you retire. This is true regardless of the investor's tax bracket, although the biggest savings are achieved by investors in the two upper brackets, where the difference in tax rates between the two types of dividends can reach up to 20%. While unqualified dividends are taxed at the same rate as ordinary income, other dividends are taxed at a lower rate. Your employer withholds taxes from your paycheck and sends them to the IRS on your behalf, but generally no one does the same with your dividends.
For example, if you're in the 27% tax bracket, you'll pay a 27% dividend tax on your unqualified dividends. While unqualified dividends are taxed at a lower rate, there are still some cases where an investor will pay a higher tax rate on dividends, regardless of their type. One way to minimize the taxes that are paid on dividends is to try to have qualified dividends, those that incur a lower tax rate than unqualified dividends. If you don't hold the stocks long enough, the IRS might consider them unqualified and you'll pay taxes at the highest, unqualified rate.
Your dividends would then be taxed at 15%, while the rest of your income would follow federal income tax rates. Like other investment income, dividends may be subject to better tax rates than other forms of income if the IRS qualifies them. Currently, the maximum tax rate for qualifying dividends is 20%, 15%, or 0%, depending on your taxable income and tax status. The federal government taxes unqualified dividends according to regular income tax rates and brackets.