Qualifying for a Roth IRA

To claim a tax deduction for your traditional IRA contribution, much hinges on whether you are covered by a retirement plan at work. That doesn’t come into play with a Roth IRA. Instead, all that matters is your income.

If you are single or head of household and you have enough earned income, you can fully fund a Roth IRA in 2016 if your modified adjusted gross income is less than $117,000. The amount you can contribute is phased out if your income is between $117,000 and $132,000. Above $132,000, no contribution is allowed. For 2017, the phase-out range is $118,000 to $133,000.

If you are married filing jointly, your ability to fund a Roth phases out if your combined income is between $184,000 and $194,000 in 2016 and between $186,000 and $196,000 in 2017.

What if you’re eligible to make only a partial Roth contribution of, say, $3,000 out of a possible $5,500? You can put the remaining $2,500 in a traditional IRA, though your contribution won’t necessarily be tax-deductible.

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