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Are You Allowed to Contribute to a Roth IRA?

Hand holding a stack of coins with plant sprouting from the top

Confused about whether you can contribute to a Roth IRA? The IRS suggests checking these simple rules:

1. Income

To contribute to a Roth IRA, you must have compensation (e.g., wages, salary, tips, professional fees, bonuses). As of 2020, your modified adjusted gross income must be less than:

  • $196,000 — Married Filing Jointly.
  • $10,000 — Married Filing Separately (and you lived with your spouse at any time during the year).
  • $124,000 — Single, Head of Household, or Married Filing Separately (and you did not live with your spouse during the year).

2. Age

There is no age limitation for Roth IRA contributions. Unlike traditional IRAs, you can be any age and still qualify to contribute to a Roth IRA.

3. Contribution Limits

In general, if your only IRA is a Roth IRA, the maximum current year contribution limit is the lesser of your taxable compensation or $4,000 ($5,000 for those age 50 or over). Starting in 2008, this amount increases to $5,000 ($6,000 if 50 or older in 2008).
The maximum contribution limit phases out if your modified adjusted gross income is within these limits:

  • $150,000-$160,000 — Married Filing Jointly
  • $0-$10,000 — Married Filing Separately (and you lived with your spouse at any time during the year)
  • $95,000-$110,000 — Single, Head of Household, or Married Filing Separately (and you did not live with your spouse)

4. Contributions to Spousal Roth IRA

You can make contributions to a Roth IRA for your spouse provided you meet the income requirements.

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