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What is the Roth IRA, how much is the maximum income and what are the contribution limits in 2024?

A Roth IRA can be a highly efficient way to save for retirement, but as with other financial products it has rules and regulations.

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A Roth IRA is a type of Individual Retirement Account. It is a retirement savings account that allows you to make after-tax contributions that can be withdrawn tax-free in retirement. Contributions to a Roth IRA are flexible as long as it doesn’t exceed the annual contribution limit. However, the annual contribution limit varies per person. It depends on your 

  • income, 
  • tax filing status (whether filing singly, married but filing singly, or married but filing jointly) 
  • and other contributions made to other IRA accounts. 

To contribute to the Roth IRA, you must have earned income from working for someone else and getting paid. According to the IRS, earned income includes salaries, wages, tips, and any other taxable income. 

(They are called Roth IRAs after Senator William Roth, who campaigned for additional access to IRAs).

Contribution  limits for Roth IRA In 2024 

The 2024 contribution limits for Roth (and traditional) IRA are: 

  •  $7,000 if you are under 50, and 
  • $8,000 if you are 50 years and older

These limits are combined maximums, which means they apply to both Roth IRA and traditional IRA contributions. So assuming you contribute to both Roth and traditional IRA accounts, the total contribution in the two accounts can’t be more than $7,000 for those under 50, or $8,000 for those 50 and older. 

The contribution limit for Roth IRAs is adjusted annually to accommodate inflation and is published by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). 

Maximum income for Roth IRA

The amount of contributions you can put into a Roth IRA depends on your tax filing status, and modified adjusted gross income (MAGI).  

  • If you’re filing singly with a MAGI less than $146,000 in 2024, you can contribute the full amount annually.
  • If you’re filing singly with a MAGI between $146,000 and $161,000, you contribute a reduced amount
  • If you’re married and filing jointly, and your MAGI is less than $230,000, your contribution is reduced. 
  • If you’re married and filing jointly and your MAGI is between $230,000 and $240,000, your contribution is reduced. 
Filing statusRoth IRA income limitsRoth IRA contribution limits 2024
Single, head of household, or married filing separately (if you didn’t live with spouse during the year)Less than $146,000.$7,000 ($8,000 if 50 or older)
$146,000 or more, but less than $161,000.Contribution is reduced
$161,000 or more.No contribution is allowed
Married and filing jointly or surviving spouseLess than $230,000.$7,000 ($8,000 if 50 or older)
$230,000 or more, but less than $240,000.Contribution is reduced
$240,000 or more.No contribution is allowed
Married filing separately (if you lived with spouse at any time in the year)Less than $10,000.Contribution is reduced
$10,000 or more.No contribution is allowed

If your annual income is more than the Roth IRA contribution limit you may not be able to contribute directly to a Roth IRA. However, you can contribute to a traditional IRA, and then convert it to a Roth IRA. 

If your annual earned income is less than the contribution limit, your earned income can become your contribution limit. That is, if you earn $5,500 annually, and the contribution limit is $7,000, you can contribute a maximum of $5,500 to a Roth IRA. 

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