In response to The Ultimate Guide to Traditional and Roth 401(k) and IRA Retirement Accounts, a reader recently asked the following question:
I retired 12/31/2010. I received my last pay check in 01/2012. Can I put money into my Roth IRA in 01/2012 (up to the amount of my gross or net income)?
When it comes to tax questions, it’s always safest to seek the advice of tax professional. But I always do my own research, too. And the starting point for this question is to understand the Roth IRA contribution and income limits.
2014 Combined Traditional and Roth IRA Contribution Limits
According to the IRS, the maximum amount that can be contributed to a traditional or Roth IRA in 2014 is as follows:
If you are under 50 years of age at the end of 2014: The maximum you can contribute to a traditional or Roth IRA is the smaller of $5,500 or the amount of your taxable compensation for 2014. 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 2014: The maximum contribution that can be made to a traditional or Roth IRA is the smaller of $6,500 or the amount of your taxable compensation for 2014. 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.
See this information in table form below:
Contribution Limit (for taxpayers under age 50)
Contribution Limit (for taxpayers ave 50 or over by the end of the year)
2014 Roth IRA Income Limits
Before you get too excited about a Roth IRA, remember that your income can disqualify you from even 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 2014, 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 $114,000 to $129,000. If your modified AGI is more than $129,000, you cannot contribute to a Roth IRA.
- For those who are married, filing jointly, the phase-out range is $181,000 to $191,000. If your combined, modified AGI is more than $191,000, you cannot contribute to a Roth IRA in 2014.
- Finally, if your filing status is married filing separately (you lived with your spouse at any time during the year), the phase-out range is $0-$10,000. If you make more than $10,000 and file married filing separately, you cannot contribute to a Roth IRA in 2014.
Check out this information, along with historical income limits, in table form below:
Single/Head of Household Filers
Married Filing Jointly/Qualified Widow(er) Contributions
Married Filing Separately*
|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 did 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 did live with your spouse at any point during the year, you’ll be limited to the $0-$10,000 phase out range.