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What Are the IRA Contribution Limits for 2020?

For tax years 2021 and 2022, you can invest up to $6,000 in your IRA if you’re younger than 50, or $7,000 if you’re 50 or older. The IRS limits how much you can contribute to your retirement accounts each year, as they are tax-advantaged accounts. In some cases, there are also stipulations on who can contribute to these accounts. However, these rules aren’t dictated by age, but rather by your income and whether you’re covered by a workplace retirement plan.

Do you need help planning for retirement? Speak with a local financial advisor today.

IRA Contribution Limits for Tax Years 2021 and 2022

For the 2022 tax year, the maximum contribution you can make to a traditional or Roth IRA is $6,000. That is the same as the 2021 limit. This cap only applies if you’re under the age of 50, as those 50 and older can contribute up to $7,000.

Prior to 2020, you could no longer make regular contributions to a traditional IRA beginning the year you were set to turn 70 1/2. However, the SECURE Act of 2019 eliminated the age limit. As a result, regular contributions to traditional and Roth IRAs can continue after age 70 1/2. However, your traditional IRA is still subject to required minimum distributions (RMDs) after you turn 72.

Remember that you can still contribute to your IRA for the most recent tax year until Tax Day of the following calendar year. In other words, for tax year 2021, IRA contributions can begin on Jan. 1, 2021, and go on until April 18, 2022.

Roth IRA Income Limits for Tax Year 2021 and 2022

Your ability to contribute to a Roth IRA is limited depending on your filing status and modified adjusted gross income (MAGI).

For the 2021 tax year, those limits start to kick in for people with a MAGI equal to or exceeding $125,000. Single filers and heads of household with a MAGI from at least $125,000 up to $140,000 can only contribute a reduced amount. If you file single and make equal to or more than $140,000, you cannot contribute to a Roth IRA at all.

For tax year 2021, married couples filing jointly have an income phase-out range of $198,000 up to $208,000. No contributions are allowed if the couple’s MAGI is equal to or more than $208,000. If you’re married, but filing separately, your phase-out range is the same as that of single filers, though it only applies if you and your spouse don’t live together.

For tax year 2022, single filers and heads of household with a MAGI from at least $129,000 up to $144,000 can only contribute a reduced amount. If you file single and make equal to or more than $144,000, you cannot contribute to a Roth IRA at all.

For tax year 2022, married couples filing jointly have an income phase-out range of $204,000 up to $214,000. No contributions are allowed if the couple’s MAGI is equal to or more than $214,000. If you’re married, but filing separately, your phase-out range is the same as that of single filers, though it only applies if you and your spouse don’t live together.

Which IRA Contributions Are Tax-Deductible?

What Are the IRA Contribution Limits for 2020?

Roth IRA contributions are not tax deductible. The benefit you receive is not an upfront deduction, but the ability to take tax-free withdrawals once you hit retirement.

Traditional IRA contributions can generally be deducted on your taxes. As an added bonus, this is considered an above-the-line deduction, which means you can deduct your contribution even if you’re not itemizing deductions.

However, not everyone is eligible to deduct their contribution to a traditional IRA. If you or your spouse have an employer-sponsored retirement plan like a 401(k), you may not be able to deduct your full contribution. Whether you’re eligible for a full or partial deduction also depends on MAGI and filing status.

Let’s say you’re covered by a retirement plan at work and you want a deduction for your IRA contributions. For the 2021 tax year, the phase-out range for single and head of household tax filers is $66,000 to $76,000, with no IRA deduction allowed for filers with a MAGI higher than $76,000 and who have a workplace plan. For tax year 2022, the phase-out range for single and head of household tax filers rises to $68,000 to $78,000, with no IRA deduction permitted for filers with a MAGI above $78,000 and access to a workplace plan.

For married couples filing jointly, the phase-out range for tax year 2021 is $105,000 to $125,000. For tax year 2022, married couples filing jointly have a phase-out range of $109,000 to $129,000.

The phase-out range for married couples filing separately is $0 to $10,000 for both 2021 and 2022. Again, there’s an exception for married people filing separately who did not live together in the last year – for these filers, the income limits for single filers apply. Note, too, that a spouse who’s filing a joint tax return can contribute to an IRA even if he or she has no taxable income (as long as the partner has taxable income).

If neither you nor your spouse uses a workplace retirement plan, there’s no income limit for taking the deduction.

What If I Surpass the IRA Contribution Limit?

What Are the IRA Contribution Limits for 2020?

Sometimes taxpayers overpay into their IRA, and these are called excess contributions. This can happen when you exceed the IRA contribution limit or an improperly roll over a 401(k) into an IRA.

A 6% per year tax rate applies to these excess contributions for each year the extra amounts remain in the retirement account. To avoid this penalty, you’ll need to withdraw your excess contributions by the tax filing deadline. Also, don’t forget to withdraw any earnings generated by your extra contributions.

Bottom Line

It’s important to pay attention to the annual IRA contribution limits. Knowing the rules will allow you to maximize the tax benefits of your retirement contributions. Plus, failure to adhere to these limits may result in a tax penalty. Before filing your taxes, it’s best to double-check and make sure you didn’t contribute more than you were supposed to or claim a deduction you weren’t eligible for.

Tips for Saving for Retirement

  • There are many factors to consider when you’re planning for retirement, including how much money you’ll need, where you’ll live and if you’ll work. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors in your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • The first step in planning for retirement is figuring out how much you’ll need to save to live comfortably. Once you have a sense for what you need, you can adjust your savings and investments accordingly.

Photo credit: ©iStock.com/pinkomelet, ©iStock.com/Ridofranz, ©iStock.com/CatLane

Lauren Perez, CEPF® Lauren Perez writes on a variety of personal finance topics for SmartAsset, with a special expertise in savings, banking and credit cards. She is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance® (CEPF®) and a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing. Lauren has a degree in English from the University of Rochester where she focused on Language, Media and Communications. She is originally from Los Angeles. While prone to the occasional shopping spree, Lauren has been aware of the importance of money management and savings since she was young. Lauren loves being able to make credit card and retirement account recommendations to friends and family based on the hours of research she completes at SmartAsset.
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