2011 IRA Contribution Limits

Your MAGI (Modified Adjusted Gross Income) determines your eligibility to contribute to IRA’s. The below article summarizes your qualifications to contribute to an IRA depending on your MAGI and filing status.

2011 IRA MAGI Limits – Married Filing Separately

Note: for the purposes of IRA MAGI qualification, a person filing as Married Filing Separately, who did not live with his or her spouse during the tax year, is considered Single and will use the information on that page to determine eligibility.

For a Traditional IRA (Filing Status Married Filing Separately):

If you are not covered by a retirement plan at your job and your spouse is not covered by a retirement plan, there is no MAGI limitation on your deductible contributions.

If you are covered by a retirement plan at your job and your MAGI is less than $10,000, you are entitled to a partial deduction, reduced by 50% for every dollar (or 60% if over age 50), and rounded up to the nearest $10.  If the amount works out to less than $200, you are allowed to contribute at least $200.

If you are covered by a retirement plan at your job and your MAGI is more than $10,000, you are not entitled to deduct any of your traditional IRA contributions for tax year 2011.  You are eligible to make non-deductible contributions, up the annual limit, and those contributions can benefit from the tax-free growth inherent in the IRA account.

If you are not covered by a retirement plan but your spouse is, and your MAGI is less than $10,000, you are entitled to a partial deduction, reduced by 50% for every dollar over the lower limit (or 60% if over age 50), and rounded up to the nearest $10.  If the amount works out to less than $200, you are allowed to contribute at least $200.

Finally, if you are not covered by a retirement plan but your spouse is, and your MAGI is greater than $10,000, you are not entitled to deduct any of your traditional IRA contributions for tax year 2011.  You are eligible to make non-deductible contributions, up the annual limit, and those contributions can benefit from the tax-free growth inherent in the IRA account.

For a Roth IRA (Filing Status of Married Filing Separately):

If your MAGI is less than $10,000, your contribution to a Roth IRA is reduced ratably by every dollar, rounded up to the nearest $10.  If the amount works out to less than $200, you are allowed to contribute at least $200.

If your MAGI is $10,000 or more, you cannot contribute to a Roth IRA.

2011 MAGI Limits for IRAs – Married Filing Jointly or Qualifying Widow(er)

For a Traditional IRA (Filing Status Married Filing Jointly or Qualifying Widow(er)):

If you are not covered by a retirement plan at your job and your spouse is not covered by a retirement plan, there is no MAGI limitation on your deductible contributions.

If you are covered by a retirement plan at work, and your MAGI is $90,000 or less, there is also no limitation on your deductible contributions to a traditional IRA.

If you are covered by a retirement plan at your job and your MAGI is more than $90,000 but less than $110,000, you are entitled to a partial deduction, reduced by 25% for every dollar over the lower limit (or 30% if over age 50), and rounded up to the nearest $10.  If the amount works out to less than $200, you are allowed to contribute at least $200.

If you are covered by a retirement plan at your job and your MAGI is more than $109,000, you are not entitled to deduct any of your traditional IRA contributions for tax year 2010.  You are eligible to make non-deductible contributions, up the annual limit, and those contributions can benefit from the tax-free growth inherent in the IRA account.

If you are not covered by a retirement plan at your job, but your spouse IS covered by a retirement plan, and your MAGI is less than $169,000, you can deduct the full amount of your IRA contributions.

If you are not covered by a retirement plan but your spouse is, and your MAGI is greater than $169,000 but less than $179,000, you are entitled to a partial deduction, reduced by 50% for every dollar over the lower limit (or 60% if over age 50), and rounded up to the nearest $10.  If the amount works out to less than $200, you are allowed to contribute at least $200.

Finally, if you are not covered by a retirement plan but your spouse is, and your MAGI is greater than $179,000, you are not entitled to deduct any of your traditional IRA contributions for tax year 2011.  You are eligible to make non-deductible contributions, up the annual limit, and those contributions can benefit from the tax-free growth inherent in the IRA account.

For a Roth IRA (Filing Status of Married Filing Jointly or Qualifying Widow(er)):

If your MAGI is less than $169,000, you are eligible to contribute the entire amount to a Roth IRA.

If your MAGI is between $169,000 and $179,000, your contribution to a Roth IRA is reduced ratably by every dollar above the lower end of the range, rounded up to the nearest $10.  If the amount works out to less than $200, you are allowed to contribute at least $200.

If your MAGI is $179,000 or more, you cannot contribute to a Roth IRA.

2011 MAGI Limits – Single or Head of Household

For a Traditional IRA (Filing Status Single or Head of Household):

If you are not covered by a retirement plan at your job, there is no MAGI limitation on your deductible contributions.

If you are covered by a retirement plan at work, if your MAGI is $56,000 or less, there is also no limitation on your deductible contributions to a traditional IRA.

If you are covered by a retirement plan at your job and your MAGI is more than $56,000 but less than $66,000, you are entitled to a partial deduction, reduced by 50% for every dollar over the lower limit (or 60% if over age 50), and rounded up to the nearest $10. If the amount works out to less than $200, you are allowed to contribute at least $200.

If you are covered by a retirement plan at your job and your MAGI is more than $66,000, you are not entitled to deduct any of your traditional IRA contributions for tax year 2011.  You are eligible to make non-deductible contributions, up the annual limit, and those contributions can benefit from the tax-free growth inherent in the IRA account.

For a Roth IRA (Filing Status Single or Head of Household):

If your MAGI is less than $107,000, you are eligible to contribute the entire amount to a Roth IRA.

If your MAGI is between $107,000 and $122,000, your contribution to a Roth IRA is reduced ratably by every dollar above the lower end of the range, rounded up to the nearest $10.  If the amount works out to less than $200, you are allowed to contribute at least $200.

If your MAGI is $122,000 or more, you cannot contribute to a Roth IRA.



About the author

Jim Blankenship, CFP®, EA

Jim Blankenship is the founder and principal of Blankenship Financial Planning, Ltd., a financial planning firm providing hourly, as-needed financial planning and advice. A financial services professional for over 25 years, Jim is a CFP professional and has earned the Enrolled Agent designation, a designation that qualifies him as enrolled to practice before the IRS. Jim is also a NAPFA-registered financial advisor, which designates him as a Fee-Only Financial Advisor.

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3 Comments

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  • Mike, only your federal filing status impacts the ability to contribute to a Roth IRA account, so your District return should have no impact.

    Best wishes –

    jb

  • If my wife and I make less than $160,000 and file jointly, my understanding is that we can each contribute $5000 toward our own Roth IRA’s. Does the joint filing status requirement apply only to the federal tax return? In DC there is a “Married Filing Separately on the Same Return” status that results in lower taxes than filing jointly. If we file in DC under that status, can we still contribute the $5000 toward our Roth IRA’s?
    Thanks,
    Mike

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