If you exceed your income limits, you won't be able to contribute pre-tax funds to your account, but you'll still be able to make non-deductible contributions and benefit from tax-free growth. The IRS will charge you a 6% penalty on the excess amount for each year you don't take steps to correct the error. Second, keep in mind that there is a penalty for contributing too much to an IRA. Excessive contributions are taxed at a 6% tax each year during which they remain in the IRA.
The special tax is reported on Form 5329 (opens in a new tab). If you also withdraw it, you may have to pay taxes on the excess amount. Excess contributions are taxed at 6% per annum for each year in which the excess amounts remain in the IRA. The tax cannot exceed 6% of the combined value of all your IRAs at the end of the tax year.
Your modified adjusted gross income is the number that the IRS uses to determine your eligibility to make annual contributions to a Roth IRA. However, you may not be able to deduct all of your traditional IRA contributions if you or your spouse participate in another retirement plan at work. If, in a previous year, you deducted an excess contribution for a year in which you did not exceed the IRA contribution limit, you can still eliminate the excess of a traditional IRA without including it in your gross income by filing an amended return without the deduction. Second, if your contributions for the tax year in which the excess amounts were made did not exceed the annual dollar limit for IRA contributions and there was no deduction from the excess contribution withdrawn on your tax return.
If you exceed the modified adjusted gross income limit for Roth IRAs, you can't contribute, so any money you deposit in your account is considered an excess contribution. If the deadline for an excess contribution has passed and nothing has been done to correct it, you must pay a 6% penalty corresponding to the year of the excess contribution. However, you must still withdraw the excess contribution from your IRA in order not to receive additional penalties. Even though you don't realize it at the time, your income is too high to make contributions to a Roth IRA.
But what happens if your income is less than the maximum contribution amount for an IRA? In this case, you can only contribute up to the actual dollar amount of your earned income for the year. The IRS provides a specific formula for calculating gains (or losses) attributable to an excess contribution. If you're not sure what your MAGI will be for the year, be conservative with your contributions until you do your taxes to avoid excessive contributions. If you contributed to a Roth when you earned too much to qualify, or if you contributed more than allowed to any of the IRAs, you have made an excess contribution.
The deduction may be limited if you or your spouse are covered by a retirement plan at work and your income exceeds certain levels. The requalification must be completed before the IRA owner's tax filing deadline (including any extension) for the year in which the initial contribution was made. However, you'll have to pay the 6% special tax each year on any remaining IRA contribution until it's fully absorbed. You must be 50 years old at the end of the calendar year for which you will pay taxes in order to receive a recovery contribution.