roth ira contribution limits

Roth IRA Contribution Limits

Deb Hipp

When you set your financial priorities, you’ll need to know the Roth IRA contribution limits that apply to your modified gross adjusted income (MAGI), tax filing status, and age.

Maximum Roth IRA contribution limits for 2021 are the same as in 2020: Up to $6,000 if you are under age 50, or $7,000 if you are 50 or older. Your MAGI also determines how much you can contribute to a Roth IRA annually.

When you contribute to a Roth IRA, you must follow IRS rules for annual maximum contribution limits for Roth IRAs.

The Roth IRA rules state if you contribute more than the allowable limit, you must pay a 6% tax on the excess amount each year for as long as that amount remains in the account.

What are the Roth IRA Contribution Limits for 2021

roth ira contribution limits 2021

The annual Roth IRA maximum contribution of $6,000 or $7,000 (if age 50 or older) doesn’t automatically apply to everyone who has a Roth IRA.

If your MAGI exceeds the IRS amount allowed, your contribution limit is reduced. Or, you may not be allowed to contribute to a Roth IRA at all.

Below is the breakdown of 2021 Roth IRA contribution limits based on:

  • age
  • filing status
  • MAGI

Filing Status

2021 MAGI

Maximum Roth IRA Contribution


Single, head of household or married filing separately (if not living with your spouse at any time in 2021)



Less than $125,000



Up to $6,000 ($7,000 if you are age 50 or older)



$125,000 to less than $140,000



Contribution limit reduced



$140,000 or more



Cannot contribute to a Roth IRA



Married filing jointly or qualified widow(er)


Less than $198,000




Up to $6,000 ($7,000 if you are age 50 or older)



$198,000 to less than $208,000



Contribution limit reduced



$208,000 or more



Cannot contribute to a Roth IRA



Married filing separately (and you lived with your spouse at any time during 2021)



Less than $10,000



Contribution limit reduced



$10,000 or more



Cannot contribute to a Roth IRA

What Other Factors Can Affect My Roth IRA Contribution Limit?

Want to make sure you’re contributing as much as possible to your Roth IRA without being taxed on excess contributions? Here’s a closer look at factors that affect your Roth IRA contribution limit.

Age

The amount of money you can contribute also depends on the Roth IRA contribution age limit.

For example, if you’re under age 50 and your tax filing status and IRS rules for modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) allow (see above table), you can contribute up to $6,000 annually. Once you turn 50, you are allowed a maximum annual contribution of up to $7,000.

Tax Filing Status

Your tax filing status also determines your maximum annual Roth IRA contribution. For tax year 2021, taxpayers who file as single, head of household or married filing separately can contribute up to $6,000, or up to $7,000 if age 50 or older, if their 2021 MAGI is less than $125,000.

For taxpayers with that same filing status who have a MAGI of $125,000 to less than $140,000, the Roth IRA contribution limit is reduced, using a calculation formulated by the IRS. If your MAGI is $140,000 or more, you can’t contribute to a Roth IRA.

If you’re married filing jointly or a qualified widow(er) and your MAGI is less than $198,000, the age-based $6,000 or $7,000 Roth IRA contribution limit still applies. But for a taxpayer with a MAGI of $198,000 to less than $208,000, the contribution limit is reduced. If your MAGI is $208,000 or more, you can’t contribute to a Roth IRA.

If you’re married filing separately, lived with your spouse at any time during 2021 and have a MAGI of less than $10,000, your contribution limit is reduced. With this filing status, when your MAGI is $10,000 or more, you can’t contribute to a Roth IRA.

Earned Income

When filing income taxes, the maximum annual Roth IRA contribution limit you’re allowed can’t exceed your earnings for the year. For example, if your Roth IRA contribution limit is $6,000, but you earned only $5,000 from your job in 2021, you can’t contribute more than $5,000 to your Roth IRA that year. If you earn more than $6,000, and your MAGI qualifies, you’re allowed a max annual Roth IRA contribution of up to $6,000, or $7,000 if you’re 50 or older.

Contributions to Regular IRAs

Contributions made to traditional IRAs can also affect Roth IRA contribution limits. So, if you contribute to an IRA, the total contribution limit based on your MAGI, filing status, and age applies to all IRA accounts.

For example, let’s say you contribute to a traditional IRA and also to a Roth IRA, and your IRA contribution limit is $6,000. You can split your contributions between the two IRAs, such as $3,000 to one and $3,000 to the other. But your total contributions for both IRAs can’t exceed your $6,000 contribution limit.

Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI)

Your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) determines how much you’re allowed to contribute to a Roth IRA annually. Your MAGI may be close to — or even the same amount — as your adjusted gross income (AGI) and is based on certain deductions added back into your AGI.

How to Calculate Your MAGI

Adjusted gross income (AGI) is your gross income for the tax year, minus deductions such as:

  • educator expenses
  • student loan interest
  • alimony payments
  • tax-deferred contributions to a retirement account

Your MAGI is calculated by subtracting any income resulting from the conversion of an IRA (other than a Roth IRA) to a Roth IRA and a rollover from a qualified retirement plan to a Roth IRA from your AGI. Then you add back certain deductions to come up with the MAGI.

“Add-back” deductions include those for any traditional IRA , student loan interest, tuition and fees, foreign earned income exclusion and/or housing exclusion, foreign housing, excludable qualified savings bond interest and excludable employer adoption benefits.

To calculate your MAGI, use Worksheet 2-1 on page 38 in IRS Publication 590-A “Contributions to Individual Retirement Arrangements.”

How to Calculate Your Roth IRA Contribution Limit

Once you know your MAGI, you can determine your Roth IRA contribution limit based on your income, age and tax filing status. If your MAGI is above the IRS limit, your Roth IRA contribution limit will be reduced according to the IRS formula.

Here is the Roth IRA reduced contribution limit formula, along with an example for a 2021 MAGI of $131,000 for someone under 50 years old with a tax filing status of single, head of household or married, filing separately who didn’t live with their spouse at any time in 2021:

  1. Begin with your MAGI ($131,000)
  2. Subtract the IRS MAGI limit amount in the table above for your tax filing status ($131,000 – $125,000 = $6,000)
  3. Divide the result by $15,000 ($6,000 ÷ $15,000 = 0.4)
  4. Multiply by the maximum contribution limit for your age (0.4 x $6,000 = $2,400)
  5. Subtract the result ($2,400) from the maximum contribution limit for your age ($6,000 – $2,400 = $3,600 reduced contribution limit)

Use Worksheet 2-2 on page 42 of IRS Publication 590-A to calculate your maximum annual Roth IRA contribution limit.

Securing Your Financial Future

roth ira contribution limits

Now that you understand how Roth IRA contribution limits work, you can proceed confidently with deciding whether a Roth IRA is a good retirement savings option for you. But don’t stop there. You’ll find a wealth of additional information on saving, managing finances, insurance and other financial topics at LifeLime’s “Protect Your Finances” section.

This informational material shall not be considered financial advice. The Hartford assumes no responsibility for any financial, investment, or tax-related decisions. Those seeking resolution of specific financial, legal, tax, or business issues, questions, or concerns regarding this topic should consult their own financial, investment, tax, legal, or other business consultants, advisors, or other professionals.

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