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For 2020, your total contributions to all of your traditional and Roth IRAs cannot be more than:

  • $6,000 ($7,000 if you’re age 50 or older), or
  • your taxable compensation for the year, if your compensation was less than this dollar limit.

For 2019, the limits are the same as 2020.

For 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015, your annual total contributions to all of your traditional and Roth IRAs cannot be more than:

  • $5,500 ($6,500 if you’re age 50 or older), or
  • your taxable compensation for the year, if your compensation was less than this dollar limit.

The IRA contribution limit does not apply to:

Claiming a tax deduction for your IRA contribution

Your traditional IRA contributions may be tax-deductible. The deduction may be limited if you or your spouse is covered by a retirement plan at work and your income exceeds certain levels.

Roth IRA contribution limit

The same general contribution limit applies to both Roth and traditional IRAs. However, your Roth IRA contribution might be limited based on your filing status and income.

IRA contributions after age 70½

For 2019, if you’re 70 ½ or older, you can’t make a regular contribution to a traditional IRA. However, you can still contribute to a Roth IRA and make rollover contributions to a Roth or traditional IRA regardless of your age.

For 2020 and later, there is no age limit on making regular contributions to traditional or Roth IRAs.

Spousal IRAs

If you file a joint return, you may be able to contribute to an IRA even if you did not have taxable compensation as long as your spouse did. The amount of your combined contributions can’t be more than the taxable compensation reported on your joint return. See the formula in IRS Publication 590-A.

If neither spouse participated in a retirement plan at work, all of your contributions will be deductible.

Can I contribute to an IRA if I participate in a retirement plan at work?

You can contribute to a traditional or Roth IRA whether or not you participate in another retirement plan through your employer or business. However, you might not be able to deduct all of your traditional IRA contributions if you or your spouse participates in another retirement plan at work. Roth IRA contributions might be limited if your income exceeds a certain level.

Examples

  1. Danny, an unmarried college student working part-time, earns $3,500 in 2019. Danny can contribute $3,500, the amount of his compensation, to his IRA for 2019. Danny’s grandmother can make the contribution on his behalf.
  2. John, 42, has both a traditional IRA and a Roth IRA and can only contribute a total of $6,000 to either one or both in 2018.
  3. Sarah, age 52, is married with no taxable compensation for 2018. She and her husband reported taxable compensation of $60,000 on their 2019 joint return. Sarah may contribute $7,000 to her IRA for 2019 ($6,000 plus an additional $1,000 contribution for age 50 and over).

Tax on excess IRA contributions

An excess IRA contribution occurs if you:

  • Contribute more than the contribution limit.
  • Make a regular IRA contribution for 2019, or earlier, to a traditional IRA at age 70½ or older.
  • Make an improper rollover contribution to an IRA.

Excess contributions are taxed at 6% per year as long as the excess amounts remain in the IRA. The tax can’t be more than 6% of the combined value of all your IRAs as of the end of the tax year.

To avoid the excess contributions tax:

  • withdraw the excess contributions from your IRA by the due date of your individual income tax return (including extensions); and
  • withdraw any income earned on the excess contribution.