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A Roth IRA is a great way to save for retirement, if you qualify. Here are the Roth IRA income limits and contribution limits for 2020.

2020 Roth IRA Contribution Limits

The IRS released its 2020 update to income and contribution limits for Roth IRAs. This year, it remains flat–no change from the bump we got in 2019. If you recall, for the first time in several years, IRA contribution limits actually increased last year. Since 2013, the maximum contribution has been $5,500, but in 2019 it rose to $6,000. The catch-up contribution for those 50 or older, which is not indexed for inflation, still remains $1,000. Remember that the IRA contribution limits apply to any of your IRAs combined–Roth and traditional. So you can contribute up to $6,000 (or $7,000 if you’re aged 50 or older) to any combination of IRAs.

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 whether or not you are covered by an employer-sponsored retirement plan and your income. For a traditional IRA, you can still contribute up to the maximum, but your full contribution may not be tax-deductible. For a Roth IRA, your maximum contribution may be limited by your income or, if your income is high enough, you may be unable to contribute to a Roth IRA at all.

See this information in table form below:

Tax YearContribution Limit (for taxpayers under age 50)Contribution Limit (for taxpayers age 50 or over by the end of the year)
2020$6,000$7,000
2019$6,000$7,000
2018$5,500$6,500
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 or can limit the amount you can contribute to 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 2020, 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 $124,000 to $139,000. If your modified AGI is more than or equal to $139,000, you cannot contribute to a Roth IRA. If it is between those two amounts, you can contribute a reduced amount to your account.
  • For those who are married filing jointly*, the phase-out range is $196,000 to $206,000. If your combined, modified AGI is more than $206,000, you cannot contribute to a Roth IRA in 2020. And if your income is within the phase-out range, you can contribute a limited amount.
  • 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 2020.

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*
2020$124,000 - $139,000$196,000 - $206,000$0 - $10,000
2019$122,000 - $137,000$193,000 - $203,000$0 - $10,000
2018$120,000 - $135,000$189,000 - $199,000$0 - $10,000
2017$118,00 - $133,000$186,000 - $196,000$0 - $10,000
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.

Best IRA Account Brokers in 2020

  • Betterment: The best IRA option for first-time investors. Very easy to use and extremely low fees.
  • Ally Invest: Best hybrid approach. You get access to Ally Invest Cash Enhanced Managed Portfolios, an automated investment service, as well as its award-winning, low-cost brokerage services.
  • M1 Finance: The best free IRA option. Choose between their pre-built portfolios or custom build your own.

Related Questions

You cannot contribute to a Roth IRA in 2020 if you have no earned income. You must earn income from wages, salaries, tips, or other similar methods. If your only income comes from sources like investments (i.e., capital gains or dividends) it doesn’t count as earned income, therefore you can’t contribute to a Roth IRA.
You can contribute to a Roth IRA if you’re retired - but only if you have a source of earned income from being self-employed or employed. So as long as you have earned income, you are good to go. Unlike Traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs don’t have an age contribution limit.
The 5 year rule for a Roth IRA indicates how long you must hold investment earnings before you can withdraw them without penalty. So for example, if you contribute $10,000 over 3 years to a Roth IRA, those contributions may be eligible for withdrawal without penalty, but the money earned from interest on your investments would not be for another two years.
You can definitely open and keep as many Roth IRAs as your heart desires. The catch, however, is that you can still only contribute up to the maximum amount each year - regardless of which account they go to. So for 2020, your maximum contribution limit is $6,000. You can contribute $1,000 to six different Roth IRAs if you’d like (though I don’t know why you would), but no more - since you’d be exceeding the annual limit.

Next Steps

Author Bio

Total Articles: 115
Chris has an MBA with a focus in advanced investments and has been writing about all things personal finance since 2015. He’s also built and run a digital marketing agency, focusing on content marketing, copywriting, and SEO, since 2016.

Article comments

18 comments
Taline says:

Thanks for updating the 2012 limits as I’m an avid believer in Roth IRAs. I really think everyone should have one!

Luiza says:

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.

jojo says:

What if Your filing status is married filing jointly or qualifying widow(er) and your modified AGI is more than $183,000? Can you contribute to any IRA at all?

isabelle says:

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 says:

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.

Keith says:

I’m in the middle bracket and am striving for a 50/50 ratio of Traditional vs. Roth IRA/401k portfolio.

Mike says:

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 says:

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.

Thanks for Information about Roth IRA Contribution and Income Limits for 2016. Your Article is impressive and very informative. I am now regular visitor of your website and bookmarked it.

Phil Weintraub says:

I am married and my adjusted gross income is in excess of the maximum. I had established a Roth IRA when my income met the necessary requirements. The question is do I have to stop contributing to my existing Roth IRA or may I continue since it was established when my income was quite limited

Stephanie Colestock says:

Phil,

Your best option is now going to be a backdoor Roth contribution. Here’s a good article covering the Hows and Whys: https://www.doughroller.net/retirement-planning/best-use-backdoor-roth-ira/

Warmly,
Stephanie
[email protected]

Keogh01 says:

This was not helpful as I was looking for the income limits for Roth contributions when you are covered by an employer plan! I make $108k, contribute to a SEP and want to know if I can also do a Roth!

Stephanie Colestock says:

Are your SEP contributions made by your employer or by you? If your employer is making the contributions, they do not affect your IRA contribution limit. If YOU are making SEP contributions, though, they WILL affect your contribution limit.

ie: If your employer contributes $5000 to your SEP-IRA, you can still contribute the maximum amount ($5,500) to your Roth, traditional IRA, or both combined. However, if your employer contributes $5,000 to your SEP and you contribute another $3,000 to your SEP, you can only contribute a maximum of $2,500 to your Roth or traditional IRA ($3,000-SEP + $2,500-traditional/Roth = $5,500 personal IRA contribution total). Does that make sense?

Please let us know if you have any other questions!

-Stephanie
[email protected]

Christine Tu says:

Hello and thanks so much for the info.

I am married and file jointly with my husband. My husband has not contributed at all to his employer provided 401k plan and I do not have one through my employer. Our MAGI is close to 220k for 2016. Are we eligible for a traditional IRA based on our combined income?

Stephanie Colestock says:

Hello Christine,

While you are certainly able to contribute to a traditional IRA regardless of income (up to the annual contribution max of $5,500 — or $6,500 if over 50), your income is too high to qualify for the tax deduction. This takes away your biggest benefit with IRAs. Is there a reason you two haven’t contributed to the 401k this year? Does his employer offer a match of any kind? It may be worth serious reconsideration.

Best,
Stephanie
[email protected]

Dinesh Gosai says:

For the 2018 tax filing year – I am filing married fililing a joint return. I am the only one with earned income with the MAGI at $149,000. My wife is retired and has no income for 2018. Can I still contribute to the ROTH IRA and af yes, am I faced with any phase out due to my MAGI?

ROGERS R GUNN says:

how long after your contribution can funds be removed from IRA, also if you do so is their a penalty

Hao says:

Please provide a link that will help me to calculate the modified AGI. Knowing how to calculate a MAGI will help to determine where I place funds for retirement (Roth or traditional IRA). Thank you.