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New limits for 2019

Did you happen to read IRS publication Notice 2018-83? Don’t worry, we read it for you. Each year, the IRS announces the contribution and income limits for the next calendar year. Unlike recent years, the changes for Roth IRAs (and Traditional IRAs) are fairly dramatic (for the IRS). They affect both contribution limits and income limits for 2019.

Contribution Limits Rise

For the first time since 2013, the total amount you can contribute to either a Roth IRA or a Traditional IRA rose, from $5,500 to $6,000. People 50 and over can contribute an additional $1,000 (the catch-up contribution did not change) for a total of $7,000.

Income Limits Adjusted Up $2,000 to $4,000

Direct Roth IRA contributions are only allowed if your income (technically your Modified Adjusted Gross Income) is below a certain level. You can get around this limit by using a Backdoor Roth IRA. For single filers in 2019, that income threshold starts at $122,000 and ends at $137,000. In that range, your contribution is limited, eventually reaching zero. For married filing jointly filers (and qualifying widower(er)s in 2019), that income threshold starts at $193,000 and ends at $203,000.

Contribution Limits 2019 2018
Roth IRA Contribution Limit $6,000 $5,500
Roth IRA Contribution Limit if 50 or over $7,000 $6,500
Traditional IRA Contribution Limit $6,000 $5,500
Traditional IRA Contribution Limit if 50 or over $7,000 $6,500
Income Limits
Roth IRA Income Limits (for single filers) Phase-out starts at $122,000; ineligible at $137,000 Phase-out starts at $120,000; ineligible at $135,000
Roth IRA Income Limits (for married filing jointly and qualifying widow(er) filers) Phase-out starts at $193,000; ineligible at $203,000 Phase-out starts at $189,000; ineligible at $199,000