2010 Roth IRA Income Limits Removed

Due to stupid errors in my original post, I have gone ahead and written it over. Please see my updated post: 2010 Roth IRA Income Limits Effectively Removed.


  1. Am I reading this wrong? IRS Publication 590 under “Whats New for 2010” says :
    You cannot make a Roth IRA contribution if your modified AGI is $177,000 or more.

  2. I don’t think you’re correct about the Roth contribution restrictions being lifted. It says on page 2 that you are ineligible to contribute to a Roth if your (married) income is greater than $177k. The only thing that’s changed in 2010 is the the conversion loophole.

  3. hmmm…i don’t see this on the IRS website. plus i would have thought this would have gotten a lot more press than it has if it was true. are you sure CONTRIBUTIONS have no income limits anymore? CONVERSIONS, yes, this has been publicized much, but CONTRIBUTIONS to Roth? I don’t think so.

  4. You might want to check that. I am on a tax escalation team and it is lifted for conversions, not for contributions. Pub 590 confirms that as well.

  5. CowTipper says:

    According to IRS Publication 590 (page 2), there are still income limits for Roth IRA’s.

  6. There are no longer AGI limits on conversions from a traditional IRA, but this isn’t the same thing as “no limits on ROTH IRAs”.

    The balance of all IRAs is looked at when converting, so you can’t just open a new traditional IRA, make non-deductible contributions, roll it over to a ROTH, and call it a day.

    If you have 100k in a traditional IRA, and open a new IRA ($5000) for the purposes of rolling it over to a ROTH, you’re going to owe taxes as if 95% of the conversion ($4750) was taxable.

    Note that SIMPLE and SEP IRAs are all considered IRAs for the purposes of the pro-rata tax calculations.

    These considerations make using this strategy non-viable for many people, but if it works out for you, then by all means go for it.

  7. You got me excited, but you are wrong. From the IRS publication you link:

    What’s New for 2010
    Modified AGI limit for Roth IRA contributions in- creased. For 2010, your Roth IRA contribution limit is reduced (phased out) in the following situations.
    • Your filing status is married filing jointly or qualifying widow(er) and your modified AGI is at least $167,000. You cannot make a Roth IRA contribution if your modified AGI is $177,000 or more.
    • Your filing status is single, head of household, or married filing separately and you did not live with your spouse at any time in 2010 and your modified AGI is at least $105,000. You cannot make a Roth IRA contribution if your modified AGI is $120,000 or more.

  8. The title “2010 Roth IRA Income Limits Removed” does not appear to be true. If one reads the IRS publication, there are still income limits. I would suggest you change this article.

  9. JC and CowTipper are correct.

    Roth conversions, starting in 2010 and moving forward, do not have MAGI limits. However, those above a certain MAGI (e.g. $177K for married filing jointly), cannot contribute to a Roth IRA.

    Thus, anyone above the MAGI limit should make non-deductible contributions to a Traditional IRA and later convert them to a Roth.

  10. i think you are wrong and jc is right. see page 2 of the irs publication pdf file that you have in your post. the income limit still exists for roth ira for contribution.

  11. Yes, you should fix this post, as it has incorrect information.

  12. I have a question. I already rolled old 401K money into a NEW Roth IRA many years ago and paid the resulting taxes.

    I also have a SIMPLE IRA (falls into ‘traditional category) also which I haven’t contributed to in 5 years.

    ? Can I roll the SIMPLE IRA into the already existing ROTH IRA (and pay the taxes) and ALSO make my $5000 contribution for the year?

    It’s a somewhat simple question yet I have looked and cannot find a clear answer elsewhere.

    When I first created the ROTH, $20k went in that year as a rollover which obviously is above the annual limit so I wonder if I can do something like that again.

    thanks in advance to anyone who knows!!

  13. Incorrect information. Was excited to see the headline but looking at publication says otherwise. There is still a limit for Roth IRA.

  14. Incorrect. The phaseout limits were increased in 2010, but NOT eliminated. The income limits were only removed for conversions, not contributions.

  15. They’ve just been effectively removed, because conversions no longer have income restrictions, but not actually removed.

  16. As other commenters have pointed out, the post is COMPLETELY WRONG.

    Page 56 of IRS Pub 590: “your Roth IRA contribution limit is reduced (phased out) in the following situations: …” married filing jointly and AGI is greater than $177k or more, and single (or other tax filing status) and AGI is $120k or more.

    HOWEVER, a person can make a non-deductible IRA contribution AND THEN convert that non-deductible IRA to a Roth, at any income level.

  17. Assuming this is true (which, from the previous comments, it does not seem to be) would those with higher incomes actually benefit from a Roth IRA, considering their income puts them in a higher tax bracket which they have to pay up front? Aren’t the benefits of a Roth most when you’re in a lower tax bracket now than you will be when you withdraw?

  18. I don’t think so:

    Can You Contribute to a Roth IRA?
    Generally, you can contribute to a Roth IRA if you have taxable compensation (defined later) and your modified AGI (defined later) is less than:
    · $176,000 for married filing jointly or qualifying shown on Form 8839.
    · $120,000 for single, head of household, or married filing separately and you did not live with your spouse at any time during the year, and
    · $10,000 for married filing separately and you lived come, such as your deduction for medical and dental
    with your spouse at any time during the year.

  19. In order to contribute to a Roth IRA if your income is over the limit you would have to first contribute to a traditional IRA and then convert it. You can’t contribute directly to a Roth IRA.

  20. Awwww shoot!!!!!!!!!

    I was hoping this was about contribution amount limits being lifted!!!

    I have a SIMPLE IRA thru work, but the plan sucks. I only do it for the matching. However, it has something like a $12,000 contribution limit.

    Roth IRA’s are still stuck at a pathetic $5,000 (or $5,500 or whatever it is today).

    Why in the world do they have a problem with folks contributing MORE to their IRA than $5K???? I’d think that would be especially helpful to the markets especially after the last 2 years.

    (face palm)

  21. Your blog is very helpful. I started the process of savings and it offered a great head start. wondering if you could offer some personal advice for me for some reasonable fee?? please let me know

  22. OK. So I am not eligible for Roth in 2010. But If I contribute to IRA for 2009 now and then convert it to Roth, since I will have no gains, since I contributed in the IRA with already taxed money, Will I have to pay something or this will be a completely free process ?

  23. Robert (a differen't Robert) says:


    If you’ve paid taxes on the dollars already then it should be a “completely free process”.

  24. Anybody else leaving an existing Traditional IRA alone??

    I have one from several years ago and I’m leaving it alone. It’s not much but just in case the whole Roth thing goes sour a couple decades from now, I’d like to know I “diversified” my IRA’s like I “diversified” my portfolio!!!


  25. You guys are right, the conversion limits are removed. I don’t know what I was thinking.