Roth IRA Contribution Limits, Income Limits 2020

The Roth IRA contribution limit is $6,000 in 2020 ($7,000 for those 50 or older). Roth IRA income limits apply.

On a similar note...
On a similar note...

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

The Roth IRA income limit to qualify for a Roth IRA is $139,000 of modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) for single filers and $206,000 for joint filers in 2020. Annual Roth IRA contribution limits in 2020 are $6,000 for people under 50 ($7,000 for people 50 and up).

The maximum Roth IRA contribution limit applies to all of your traditional and Roth IRAs, combined. (Don't have an account? Here's how to open a Roth IRA.)

How much money you make affects the maximum amount you can contribute to a Roth IRA. At higher incomes, the amount you can contribute to a Roth begins to phase out, until the ability to contribute is eliminated completely.

To see who is eligible to contribute to a Roth IRA, check out the tables below for Roth IRA income limits and Roth IRA contribution limits for 2020 and 2019. (These Roth IRA income limits are based on modified adjusted gross income, which is your adjusted gross income with some deductions added back in.)

Roth IRA contribution limits and Roth IRA income limits for 2020

Filing status

2019 MAGI

2020 MAGI

Maximum annual contribution

Single, head of household or married filing separately (if you didn't live with spouse during year)

Less than $122,000

Less than $124,000

$6,000 ($7,000 if 50 or older)

$122,000 up to $137,000

$124,000 up to $139,000

Contribution is reduced

$137,000 or more

$139,000 or more

No contribution allowed

Married filing jointly or qualifying widow(er)

Less than $193,000

Less than $196,000

$6,000 ($7,000 if 50 or older)

$193,000 up to $203,000

$196,000 up to $206,000

Contribution is reduced

$203,000 or more

$206,000 or more

No contribution allowed

Married filing separately (if you lived with spouse at any time during year)

Less than $10,000

Less than $10,000

Contribution is reduced

$10,000 or more

$10,000 or more

No contribution allowed

» Check out the full list of our top picks for best Roth IRA accounts

Calculate your reduced Roth contribution

Contributing to a Roth (if you’re eligible) can be a great idea, even if your contribution is reduced because of your income.

Even if your contribution is at a reduced amount, your money will be contributed after taxes and you'll get to take distributions from a Roth IRA tax-free in retirement. Assuming you follow the Roth IRA withdrawal rules, you won’t pay taxes on any investment growth.

You’ll also gain some valuable tax diversification in retirement: Because Roth IRA distributions aren’t included in your income in retirement, pulling money from that pot in addition to a traditional IRA or 401(k) could allow you to keep you in a lower tax bracket, potentially reducing the taxes on your Social Security benefits and lowering Medicare premiums that increase at higher income levels. (Read more about the pros and cons of Roth IRAs.)

Roth IRA limits include earned income

The fine print on Roth IRA contribution limits is that you can’t contribute more than your taxable compensation for the year. If, say, your earned income is $3,000, your Roth IRA contribution limit is also $3,000 for that year. If you don’t have any earned income during the year, you can’t contribute. (The exception is the spousal IRA, which allows a nonworking spouse to contribute to an IRA based on the taxable compensation of the working spouse.)

Contributing too much to a Roth

Contributions in excess of the annual Roth IRA limits can trigger a penalty from the IRS that could easily wipe out any investment income.

But here’s the good news: You’re allowed to backtrack. If you realize your mistake prior to filing your tax return, withdraw the excess contributions and the earnings you received on them. If you’ve already filed, you can remove the excess and earnings within six months, and file an amended tax return. In both cases, you’ll pay taxes on the earnings but no penalty.

Contributions in excess of the annual Roth IRA limits can trigger a penalty from the IRS that could easily wipe out any investment income.

The other option is to reduce the following year’s contribution by the excess amount, but you’ll pay a 6% penalty on the excess that was contributed, for every year it remains in the account.

The lesson: Keep track of your Roth IRA contributions, especially if you use more than one account. If you have questions about removing excess funds, it may make sense to work with a tax advisor.

» Read more: Other important Roth IRA rules to know

Can I contribute to a Roth IRA if my income is too high?

One way to get around the Roth IRA income limit is to do a backdoor Roth IRA, which involves putting money in a traditional IRA and then converting the account to a Roth IRA. (Here's how to do a backdoor Roth IRA.)

Advertisement

FIDELITY

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Fees and minimums:
$0 trade fees. $0 annual or inactivity fees.
No account minimum.
Promotion:
None.
SOFI AUTOMATED INVESTING

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Fees and minimums:
0% per year.
No account minimum.
Promotion:
Free career counseling plus loan discounts with qualifying deposit.
BETTERMENT

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Fees and minimums:
0.25% per year.
No account minimum.
Promotion:
Up to 1 year of free management with qualifying deposit.

We want to hear from you and encourage a lively discussion among our users. Please help us keep our site clean and safe by following our posting guidelines, and avoid disclosing personal or sensitive information such as bank account or phone numbers. Any comments posted under NerdWallet’s official account are not reviewed or endorsed by representatives of financial institutions affiliated with the reviewed products, unless explicitly stated otherwise.