YOU ASK:

What are the Roth IRA maximum contribution rules and deadlines?

WE ANSWER:

A Roth IRA holder can invest 100 percent of their compensation into their Roth individual retirement plan. The Roth IRA maximum contribution amounts are fixed for every tax year and they are adjusted according to the current level of inflation (see Table 1). As of 2009, the contribution limit will increase in increments of $500, depending on the cost of living index.

Roth IRA Maximum Contributions

Tax Year Contribution Limit Catch-up Contributions
2006 $4,000 $1,000
2007 $4,000 $1,000
2008 $5,000 $1,000
2009 $5,000 $1,000

Table 1. Roth IRA maximum contributions.

Table 1 illustrates the annual contribution limits that apply to Roth IRAs.

Roth IRA owners who are age 50 or older are eligible for additional catch-up contributions that cannot exceed $1,000. An individual who is 45, for example, can contribute to him Roth IRA account a maximum of $5,000, whereas a 55-year-old Roth IRA holder can make a maximum contribution of $6,000 (regular contribution limit of $5,000 plus catch-up contribution of $1,000).

Bear in mind that according to the Roth IRA contribution rules, all contributions must be made in cash.

In order to be eligible for making maximum annual contributions, an individual should have an adjusted gross income (AGI) that does not exceed certain specified limits. The Roth IRA maximum income limits are adjusted every year due to inflation. For tax year 2009, they can be summed up as follows:

  • For single people, and married people filing a separate tax return and living apart, contribution limits are reduced when the AGI exceeds $105,000. When the adjusted gross income of an individual goes over $116,000, they lose the right to make contributions to the Roth IRA.
  • For married people who file a joint return, the contribution limit is reduced when the joint AGI exceeds $159,000 and eliminated when it reaches or exceeds $169,000.

Roth IRA Deadlines

In order to be considered for a Roth IRA contribution, you must meet the following deadlines:

  • Contributions to a Roth IRA plans must be received before April 15 of the tax year.
  • If you use the US postal services for funding your Roth individual retirement account, the envelope should have the postmark of 15 April or earlier.
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