Roth IRA Contribution and Income Limits for 2017

The IRS recently released its 2017 update to income and contribution limits for Roth IRAs. As detailed below, the contribution limits for a Roth IRA are unchanged for 2017 — they remain at $5,500. The catch-up contribution for those 50 or older, which is not indexed for inflation, remains $1,000. The income limits to qualify for a Roth IRA, however, have risen.  Here are the details.

2017 Roth IRA Contribution Limits

According to the IRS, the maximum amount that can be contributed to a traditional or Roth IRA in 2017 is as follows:

If you are under 50 years of age at the end of 2017: The maximum you can contribute to a traditional or Roth IRA is $5,500. You can split this between a traditional IRA and a Roth IRA if you want, but the combined limit is still $5,500.

In addition, the maximum deductible amount you contribute to a traditional IRA and the maximum amount you contribute to a Roth IRA may be reduced depending on your adjusted income (see below).

If you are 50 years of age or older before the end of 2017: The maximum contribution that can be made to a traditional or Roth IRA is $6,500 ($5,500 + $1,000 catch-up contribution). This limit can be split between a traditional IRA and a Roth IRA, but the combined limit is $6,500.

The maximum deductible contribution to a traditional IRA and the maximum contribution to a Roth IRA may be reduced depending on your modified adjusted gross income.

As noted above, these limits remain unchanged for 2017.

See this information in table form below:

Tax YearContribution Limit (for taxpayers under age 50)Contribution Limit (for taxpayers ave 50 or over by the end of the year)
2017$5,500$6,500
2016$5,500$6,500
2015$5,500$6,500
2014$5,500$6,500
2013$5,500$6,500
2012$5,000$6,000
2011$5,000$6,000
2010$5,000$6,000

Roth IRA Income Limits

Before you get too excited about a Roth IRA, remember that your income can disqualify you from opening one. To determine your eligibility, you need to know your modified AGI (adjusted gross income) and filing status.

The income limits typically rise a bit every year because of inflation. For 2017, the Roth IRA contribution limit is phased out based on the following income levels:

  • For single or head of household filers, the phase-out range is $118,000 to $133,000. If your modified AGI is more than $133,000, you cannot contribute to a Roth IRA.
  • For those who are married filing jointly*, the phase-out range is $186,000 to $194,000. If your combined, modified AGI is more than $196,000, you cannot contribute to a Roth IRA in 2014.
  • Finally, if your filing status is married filing separately (you live with your spouse at any time during the year), the phase-out range is $0 to $10,000. If you make more than $10,000 and file as married filing separately*, you cannot contribute to a Roth IRA in 2017.

Check out this information, along with historical income limits, in table form below:

Tax YearSingle/Head of Household FilersMarried Filing Jointly/Qualified Widow(er) ContributionsMarried Filing Separately*
2016$117,000 - $132,000$184,000 - $194,000$0 - $10,000
2015$116,000 - $131,000$183,000 - $193,000$0 - $10,000
2014$114,000 - $129,000$181,000 - $191,000$0 - $10,000
2013$112,000 - $127,000$178,000 - $188,000$0 - $10,000
2012$110,000 - $125,000$173,000 - $183,000$0 - $10,000
2011$107,000 - $122,000$169,000 - $179,000$0 - $10,000
2010$105,000 - $120,000$167,000 - $177,000$0 - $10,000

*Note: If you file married, filing separately and do not live with your spouse at any point during the tax year, you can use the limits for single/head of household filers. If you do live with your spouse at any point during the year, you’ll be limited to the $0-$10,000 phase out range.

If you want to open an IRA account, I think Betterment is worth serious consideration. If you want to trade individual stocks and ETFs in your IRA, check out our list of IRA discount brokers.

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9 Responses to “Roth IRA Contribution and Income Limits for 2017”

    • The medical epnsxee deduction can be mentally matched to to any other income to make it tax free, correct? Suppose you have some other income plus Roth IRA withdrawals, you are not really at a disadvantage versus other income plus traditional IRA withdrawals. It all comes down to the marginal tax rate, as you mentioned in the previous post.

  1. All right, I want to maximize my roth IRA or/and IRA like always and like always do not know if I need to contribute to one instead or the other? What is best in term of savings and IRS avantages??? I know you do not own a crystal ball to know the taxes pressure in years from now but I am really at lost on this one. Any advice???

    Thanks,
    Isabelle

    • Rob Berger

      Isabelle, the decision between a Roth IRA and deductible IRA is never an easy one. The key is whether your tax rates will be higher when you eventually withdraw the money in retirement than it is when you make the contributions. If your tax rate will be higher, the Roth is a better deal. Of course, there’s usually no way to know for certain. For me, I would contribute to a Roth if I was in the lower two federal tax brackets, a deductible if I were in the highest two, and it would be a toss up if I were in the middle tax brackets. That’s how I evaluate it.

  2. I’m a 100% Commission Sales Person and not sure if my income will or will not surpass the $131k mark this year. Any advice? Some months my “average” is above and some below ($10,916)/ month.

    • Keith

      My advice is to wait until the tax year is over and see where you landed. I know there are people who contribute throughout the year to their IRA but how do they know where they are going to land (For example, What if one hits it big at the casino 😉 and thus unexpectedly raises their income to be over the limit that year?) I play it safe and wait until I know where I landed this way I don’t have to worry about having to deal with the IRS. I do set aside $917 aside every month and put it in a CapitalOne360 savings account so that I know the IRA contribution money ($11k for my wife and I) is there and ready to be put into either a Roth or a Trad IRA.

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