Are there any Roth IRA maximum income limits?


The maximum Roth IRA contribution is subject to certain income limits which are determined by the tax-filing status and income range of every individual. Generally, one's Roth IRA contributions can be reduced and even eliminated if one's income is too high.

There are certain income ranges for the different tax-filing categories, which determine whether the individual is eligible to contribute up to 100% of their compensation. If the Roth IRA holder earns less than the income range specified for the category that they fall into, they can contribute all of their earnings, or the amount of the contribution limit, whichever is less. If a Roth IRA owner's modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) falls within the specified range (see Table 1), the maximum annual contributions are phased out.

Phase-out Rules for Roth IRA Contributions

The only people affected by the phase-out rules, are the ones whose modified adjusted gross income is above the levels specified in Table 1. These Roth IRA maximum income limits are adjusted every year due to inflation.

For single people, and married people filing a separate tax return and living apart, contribution limits are reduced when the MAGI exceeds $101,000 and eliminated when the modified adjusted gross income reaches  or exceeds $116,000.

For married people filing a joint return, the contribution limit is reduced when the joint MAGI exceeds $159,000. If the joint modified adjusted gross income of a family goes over $169,000, the Roth IRA holder loses the right to make contributions altogether.

The phase-out range for single people is $15,000, whereas for married couples it is $10,000. If your income falls between the figures specified in Table 1, the limit will be reduced proportionately to the income amount that is in excess. For example, if you are single and your MAGI exceeds the Roth IRA maximum limit by $5,000 (which amounts to 1/3 of the single taxpayer category phase-out range), the limit will be reduced by one-third.

Category Adjusted Gross Income Range
Single taxpayer $101,000 - $116,000
Married, filing jointly $159,000 - $169,000
Married filing separately, living apart $101,000 - $116,000

Table 1. Roth IRA maximum income limits, 2009.

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