Individual Retirement Account (IRA) Help
The annual regular contribution limit is the lesser of $6,000 (plus catch-up contributions, if eligible) or 100 percent of eligible compensation (generally earned income). IRA owners age 50 or older by the end of the tax year may increase their IRA contributions to help "catch-up" on their retirement savings, for a maximum contribution of $7,000. The contribution limit applies to all Traditional and Roth IRA contributions made for the year, in aggregate.
Roth IRA contribution eligibility depends on the individual’s (or if married, the individual and the spouse’s) modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) and income tax filing status. The amount that an individual is eligible to contribute is reduced if his MAGI falls within or below certain phase-out ranges.
The 2021 MAGI phase-out ranges are listed below.
|Filing Status||2021 MAGI|
|Single Filer and Head of Household||$125,000-$140,000|
|Married, Filling Joint||$198,000-$208,000|
|Married, Filing Separate||$0-$10,000|
The following specific details for Roth IRA contributions are based on 2021 figures.
- Single individuals with MAGI of $125,000-$140,000 may contribute the maximum annual contribution ($6,000, plus catch-up contributions up to $1,000 if eligible) to their Roth IRAs.
- Married individuals who file joint income tax returns with joint MAGI of $198,000-$208,000 may contribute the maximum annual contribution to their Roth IRAs.
- Married individuals who file separate returns with MAGI of less than $10,000 may make partial contributions to their Roth IRAs.
Yes. An individual may convert assets from a Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. The individual must pay tax on any previously untaxed dollars converted from, but the 10 percent early distribution penalty tax does not apply to the conversion amount. Individuals should seek advice from a competent tax advisor to determine whether converting pretax retirement assets is beneficial.
For more information on conversions, see "Conversion From a Traditional IRA" under the Help section in the IRA Section Center.
There are no required minimum distributions due upon attaining age 72. Earnings can continue to grow tax-deferred until the Roth IRA owner takes a distribution. There are special distribution requirements, however, after the IRA owner dies.
Individuals may take a qualified Roth IRA distribution tax- and penalty-free. A distribution of Roth IRA assets is considered a qualified distribution if two requirements are met. First, the Roth IRA must satisfy a five-year waiting period, beginning with the first day of the year for which the Roth IRA owner makes a regular contribution or, if earlier, in which the Roth IRA owner completes a conversion or retirement plan rollover. Second, the distribution must be made because of one of the following events.
- Age 59½
- First-time homebuyer
Distributions that meet the above requirements are referred to as "qualified distributions." While individuals may take distributions from their Roth IRAs at any time, distributions that are not qualified distributions may be subject to taxes (and in some cases the 10 percent early distribution penalty tax).
Eligible taxpayers may deposit up to $2,000 per year into an ESA for a child under the age of 18. Parents, grandparents, other family members, friends, and even the designated beneficiary (child) may contribute to an ESA for the same child, but the total contributions for a child for a taxable year cannot exceed $2,000. Eligible taxpayers may contribute up to $2,000 for multiple children in a year.
Almost anyone can contribute to an ESA.
- Individuals of any age
- Individuals without earned income
- Individuals with modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) within the applicable limits for their tax filing status
There are two key limitations.
- Each child can receive up to the maximum contribution amount allowed per year ($2,000 per year) from all sources. It does not matter if this is done in a single account or in multiple accounts designed to benefit the same child.
- Contributors may be limited in how much they contribute if their MAGI exceeds $95,000 (for single filers) or $190,000 (for married tax filers). Above these income levels, the ability to contribute is phased out. An individual may not make an ESA contribution if her MAGI exceeds $110,000 for single tax filers or $220,000 for married tax filers.
A qualified education expense is one that is required for the enrollment or attendance by your child at an eligible educational institution.
These expenses include the following.
- Academic tutoring
- Special needs services
- Room and board expenses
Qualified family members include a designated beneficiary's
- child or descendent of child, stepchild, or eligible foster child;
- brother, sister, stepbrother, or stepsister;
- aunt or uncle;
- niece or nephew;
- parent, stepparent, or in-law (son, daughter, brother, sister, father, mother);
- spouse of any of the individuals named above; or
- first cousin.
Even with this extended range of family members, contributions only can be made for those under the age of 18.
If a designated beneficiary distributed more from her ESA than the cost of her qualified education expenses for the year, a portion of the distribution will be taxable to her. She must include the earnings attributable to the excess distribution in her gross income for the year, and pay a 10 percent penalty tax on the earnings amount, unless an exception applies (e.g., death or disability).
If the designated beneficiary does not use the ESA assets, or transfer or roll over the ESA assets to a qualified family member by age 30, the ESA is deemed distributed and is subject to taxation if not used for qualified educational expenses.